Certified Management Accountant (CMA) Certification

What is a CMA certification?

The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certification, or CMA License, is a professional credential offered through the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). This license ensures that the candidate is an expert in management accounting and corporate finance.

CMA career outcomes

CMAs are able to pursue many different career options. This includes corporate finance or accounting firms, as well as government agencies, educational institutions or large corporations, and can have roles such as financial analysts, accounting managers, controllers and several other executive positions.

In each position they are expected to use their knowledge and expertise in finance and accounting along with strategic planning, performance management and decision-making skills.

Who is eligible?

Candidates are required to have a bachelor's degree and two years of full-time work in a management accounting role to qualify for CMA certification.

CMA exam overview.

Candidates are required to pass a two-part exam. Most CMA exam prep programs recommend 150-170 hours of coursework before candidates are ready to take the exam.

Each part includes 100 multiple-choice questions and two essay questions, which must be completed within four hours.

Part 1: Financial planning, performance, and analytics

  • 15% External financial reporting decisions
  • 20% Planning, budgeting, and forecasting
  • 20% Performance management
  • 15% Cost management
  • 15% Internal controls
  • 15% Technology and analytics

Part 2: Strategic financial management

  • 20% Financial statement analysis
  • 20% Corporate finance
  • 25% Decision analysis
  • 10% Risk management
  • 10% Investment decisions
  • 15% Professional ethics

Both parts of the exam must be completed within three years for the candidate to earn the credential.

For more information on the CMA exam, please visit the Institute of Management Accountants.

If pursuing a path to become a CMA interests you, learn more about the Business Administration program at Goodwin University.

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