The US CMA which is accredited by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) is the highest credential one can earn as a management accountant. The qualification denotes that the person possesses knowledge in the areas of financial analysis, planning, control, decision support, strategy and professional ethics.
The CMA syllabus is organised into the following two parts :
Part 1 – Financial Reporting, Planning, Performance and Control
- External Financial Reporting Decisions (15%)
- Planning, Budgeting And Forecasting (30%)
- Performance Management (20%)
- Cost Management (20%)
- Internal Controls (15%)
Part 2 – Financial Decision Making
- Financial Statement Analysis (25%)
- Corporate Finance (20%)
- Decision Analysis (20%)
- Risk Management (10%)
- Investment Decisions (15%)
- Professional Ethics (10%)
Indian students are usually used to studying from thick books and syllabus in the Indian education system is much more theory-oriented. Given this, preparing for US CMA may not be such a difficult proposition. While the CMA subjects may look a little challenging, it is important that you maintain and dutifully follow a Plan of Action when you decide to take the CMA exam. Chart a study time-table and stay committed to it.
Also on the exam front, there is considerable flexibility. Depending on your readiness for either parts of the exam, you may opt to give Part 1 or Part 2. There are three testing windows (of two-months duration) in a year to take the exam. Some candidates schedule one part of the exam at the beginning of the two-month period and the second part at the end of the same month period in order to make enough time for study. Some others choose to take each part during separate testing periods. Some even register for both parts at the same time and just space out the exam parts. By following a dedicated study schedule, it is entirely possible to complete both parts in six months.
Given all this, it is equally important to pick a good CMA review course. Once you have selected a good training institution, give as many mock tests as possible. This will help you gauge where you stand. Only when you are thorough with your preparations, should you plan the exam.