Certified Management Accountant

Certified Management Accountant (CMA) is a professional certification credential in the management accounting and financial management fields. The certification signifies that the person possesses knowledge in the areas of financial planning, analysis, control, decision support, and professional ethics. The CMA is a U.S.-based, globally recognized certification offered by the Institute of Management Accountants.

CMA-certified professionals work inside organizations of all sizes, industries, and types, including manufacturing and services, public and private enterprises, not-for-profit organizations, academic institutions, Government entities (USA), and multinational corporations world wide. CMA has better Career in Management Accounting Globally than Cost Accountants of SAARC Countries.

To date, more than 70,000 CMAs have been certified in more than 140 countries. To obtain certification, candidates must pass a rigorous exam, meet an educational requirement, experience requirement, and demonstrate a commitment to continuous learning through continuing professional education (CPE).

The Certified Management Accountant Exam

Prior to 2010, the CMA exam was organized into four parts: Business Analysis, Management Accounting and Reporting, Strategic Management. Since 2010, the exam has been condensed into two four-hour parts, covering largely the same material as the former four part exam with added emphasis on financial planning, analysis, control, and decision support.

Each exam consists of descriptive questions and two 30-minute essay questions. Candidates are given 3 hours to complete the multiple choice section and one hour to complete the essays. Candidates must show their work for the essay questions in order to receive credit. Parts 1 and 2 of the CMA exam are scored on a scale of 0-500 with a candidate's raw score converted to a uniform scaled score against all exam candidates. On this scale, a score of 360 represents the minimum passing scaled score.

Exam Content

Part 1 – Financial Reporting, Planning, Analytics, Performance, and Control.

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

Part 2 – Strategic Financial Management

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

The exam is considered very rigorous and pass rates for the CMA exam have historically been low for both parts. Worldwide, the exam had a pass rate of 35% for Part 1 and 49% for Part 2 in 2014. Historic pass rates published by the IMA for the two part exam are as follows:[2][3][4][5][6]

CMA Exam Part 1 Pass Rates
Asia Pacific44%42%41%41%N/AN/AN/A
Middle East & Africa20%20%21%21%N/AN/AN/A
CMA Exam Part 2 Pass Rates
Asia Pacific47%51%45%55%N/AN/AN/A
Middle East & Africa25%28%29%37%N/AN/AN/A
  • The IMA discontinued region breakouts of exam pass rates starting with the 2015 results.

Additional Certification Requirements

In addition to successfully passing the exams, CMA candidates must fulfill education and experience requirements in order to be certified:[7]

1. Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university

2. Two continuous years of professional experience employing the principles of management accounting and financial management including:

  • Preparation of financial statements
  • Financial planning & analysis
  • Monthly, quarterly, and year end close
  • Auditing (external or internal)
  • Budget preparation & reporting
  • Manage general ledger and balance sheets
  • Forecasting
  • Company investment decision making
  • Costing analysis
  • Risk evaluation

3. For certified CMAs, 30 hours of CPE credits, including two hours of ethics, and annual IMA Membership are required to maintain active status.

See also


  1. "Home | IMA - The association of accountants and financial professionals working in business". imanet.org. Retrieved 2017-09-13.
  2. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-12-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. http://www.imanet.org/docs/default-source/cma-lib/pass_rates.pdf?sfvrsn=2] Archived 2015-12-22 at the Wayback Machine
  4. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2015-12-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2015-12-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-04-26. Retrieved 2016-04-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2015-12-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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