What Is The Certified Management Accountant (CMA®)?

True Tamplin

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®
Updated on January 11, 2021

CMA® Certification Defined

Paragraph 1A Certified Management Accountant or CMA is a global professional designation to perform financial accounting and strategic management. 

CMAs have broader job descriptions as compared to CPAs. 

They are responsible for performance management in a business. 

In this role, they gather and analyze data from various business units and activities to contribute to strategic decision-making in a venture or a company. 

Thus, CMAs enable businesses to make important decisions relating to a business as opposed to conducting audits and filing taxes. 

CMA® Designation Meaning

Certified Management Accountants wear several hats in an organization because they have a broad view of an organization’s workings and departments. 

They can be cost accountants responsible for determining and quantifying costs associated with the business. 

They can also be analysts responsible for ascertaining the impact of a new product or venture. 

For example, CMAs may be called in to provide their inputs for a buy vs. build decision relating to a new machine. 

They will gather existing cost and market information for the machine, perform opportunity cost analysis, form decision trees, and present their findings to senior executives. 

CMA® Credentials

The CMA designation is administered by the Institute of Management Accountant and has the following requirements:  

  • A bachelor’s degree or accounting certification
  • Two years of work experience 
  • Passing two standardized tests in various subjects, some of which are:
  1. Financial planning and analysis
  2. Cost management
  3. Decision analysis
  4. Ethics   

CMA® Exam

Passing the CMA designation exams consists of approximately between 150 to 170 hours of work. 

Application and exam fees plus IMA membership fees total $1325. 

Roles Of Being A CMA®

Common roles for CMAs in an organization are:

  • Senior Accountant
  • Cost Accountant, 
  • Financial Analyst
  • Accounting Manager
  • Controller 

What Is The Certified Management Accountant (CMA®) FAQs

CMA stands for Certified Management Accountant.
Paragraph 1A Certified Management Accountant or CMA is a global professional designation to perform financial accounting and strategic management.
They are responsible for performance management in a business. In this role, they gather and analyze data from various business units and activities to contribute to strategic decision-making in a venture or a company.
For example, CMAs may be called in to provide their inputs for a buy vs. build decision relating to a new machine.