US-CMA-vs-ACCA-What-is-the-difference.
US CMA vs ACCA

US CMA vs ACCA: What is the difference?

US Certified Management Accountant (US CMA):

US Certified Management Accountant is a designation that signifies expertise in strategic management and financial accounting. US CMA certification builds on the proficiency of financial accounting by adding management skills that aid in making strategic business decisions. IMA (Institute of Management Accountants) issues the US CMA certification. US CMAs (Certified Management Accountants) work in the areas of management decision-making, financial analysis and planning. Many auditors, accountants, and financial analysts earn the designation of US CMA to advance in their careers. 

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA):

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is a leading global professional accounting body founded in 1904, which offers the Chartered Certified Accountant qualification to learners who want to build a career in finance. Individuals who are Chartered Certified Accountants must be members of the ACCA and also they must comply with certain additional regulations such as carrying liability insurance, having a practicing certificate, etc.

Get to know more differences between US CMA and ACCA from the below video.

Exam Format of US CMA:

The US CMA exam is completely computerized, and you can take this exam at many Prometric centres all over the world. It’s essential to schedule the exam dates in one of the testing windows. Choose which suits you. 

Testing Window Exam Dates
Jan-Feb 1st January to 28th February
May-Jun 1st May to 30th June
Sep-Oct 1st September to 31st October

There are two parts in the US CMA exam consisting of 100 MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions) and two essay scenarios. One must have to answer 50 percent of the MCQs correct to unlock the portion of the essay questions. 

Note: The multiple-choice questions are worth a weightage of 75% of your total score.

There are two parts in the US CMA exam.

Part:1 – Financial planning, Analytics, and Performance

Part:2 – Strategic Financial Management

Each US CMA exam is 3 hours long for MCQs and the second section is of one hour, which consists of essay type questions. So, the total testing duration is 4 hours.

Question type No. of Questions Duration Avg Time per Question
Multiple choice 100 3 hours 1.8 minutes
Essay 2 1 hour 30 minutes

US CMA exam (part1 + part2) consists of 200 MCQs and 4 essay questions.

Exam Format of ACCA:

The ACCA consists of three important particulars which are: 4 entry-level papers, 13 ACCA papers and also two outline modules which are based on professional ethics. There are four papers of the FIA or Foundation in Accounts which is an entry-level certificate and three initial papers of the ACCA. Then there are 13 ACCA papers which are further divided into two main groups – nine fundamental 4 professional papers. The candidate has a choice of whether he/she wants to finish off with the FIA or further pursue the ACCA qualification

ACCA covers the following subjects at the knowledge and professional level:

  • Financial Reporting 
  • Cost and Management Accounting, Financial Management, Performance Management etc
  • Auditing 
  • Taxation 
  • Law
  • Ethics and other relevant theories 

As mentioned before there are 13 papers which are divided into Fundamental Level consisting of 9 papers and Professional Level consisting of 4 papers. Candidates can also apply to waive off part or all of the given papers but only at the Fundamental Level. You basically first have to give the four FIA (Foundation in Accounts) papers as an entry-level certificate and then proceed to giving the 13 ACCA papers.

The ACCA exam isn’t computerized although some papers might be computerized but not all. This particular examination is offered about four times in a year. 

The ACCA exam is also computerized in India and during the pandemic, there is remote proctoring.

Related Article: Scope of US CMA Course in India 2021

Benefits of US CMA Certification:

Benefits of ACCA Certification:

Career scope for US CMA:

US CMAs are uniquely qualified for different positions in the industry. Here are the few job areas of US CMA:

  • Financial reporting
  • Performance management
  • Internal controls
  • Planning and budgeting
  • Cost management
  • Investment decisions
  • Profitability analysis

Skills gained while pursuing the US CMA certification enable the professional to connect the concepts of accounting to finance applications. Moreover, US CMAs hone financial data analysis and accounting, which can be leveraged to make strategic business decisions and to improve performance. In addition, US CMAs are experts in budgeting and cost management. 

Related Article: What is US CMA Course?

Career Scope for ACCA:

There are multiple career options available for ACCA professionals too. An ACCA can work as a management consultant, financial planner and so on. Their work is related to the inspection of the accounting service of public and private entities. They usually also deal with international accounting standards. They need to have the certification before the inspection. Other than auditing, taxation, etc. ACCA can mark their presence globally across the field of finance, controlling, and financial analysis. ACCA India has no authority for signing, and hence he cannot mark his signature on audit reports. Similarly, he cannot set up his auditing firm as well. However, an ACCA India professional can carry out auditing jobs in the UK.

Why should one pursue US CMA?

US CMAs work in accounting, corporate finance, and strategy teams in a company. They can parse data from many sources to inform performance improvement. Besides, they contribute to strategic business decisions. 

Certified Management Accountant work experience can be summarized as follows:

  • Create strategies to improve various external and internal risks.
  • Identify investment management opportunities.
  • Arrange financing and funding options.
  • Supervise lower-level accountants.
  • Monitor and administer compliance.

US CMA is in great demand in the Finance, Banking, Private, and Government sectors. In India, the most common industries to employ US CMAs include:

  • Educational Services
  • Medical and health services
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining
  • Construction
  • Transportations
  • Insurance and real estate
  • Communications and utility services

Why should one pursue ACCA?

AICPA is an extremely prestigious body for Certified Public Accountants, and the Uniform CPA exam that is conducted by the AICPA is looked upon with high regard since it is the highest qualification that a CA (Chartered Accountant) can achieve. Therefore, CPA is a very prestigious credential. CPA receives a valid license that allows them to practice in the USA successfully. They also enjoy other advantages of getting to work with large organizations, public accounting departments, and also in various reputable American MNCs. 

Earning a CPA license demonstrates a commitment to the profession and often shows potential candidates for management and leadership positions. The CPA is less confusing and feasible as compared to the ACCA, and this is computerized. CPAs are multi-talented professionals as they get to perform various specialized jobs like international financial reporting, tax advisory services, business and management, and also information technology.

Conclusion:

When it comes to a designation, it depends on two factors here, where you want to work and how much income you want to make. Both designations are well respected and growing in global recognition, but the facts remain the same. If you want to work in the United Kingdom or a Commonwealth country, the ACCA may be a better choice. If you prefer to live and work in the Middle East, Asia, or in the Americas and earn a higher salary, then there is no question; the CMA is right for you.

Simandhar Education:

Simandhar is the official partner of Becker and AICPA – The largest Training provider for US CPA, US CMA, IFRS and EA, HRCI courses in India.

Learn how to clear your CMA exams with extremely satisfying results by getting proper guidance and knowledge through our online courses and video tutorials taught by industry Experts. We’re here to provide you with all the help that you need in order to ace your CMA exams. We are just a call away for any assistance. Simandhar Education is the leading training provider for the CMA USA in India. Contact [email protected] 91 9390584166.

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