What is CMA? US CMA Course Details | Zell Education

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      What is CMA? Course Details, Duration, Syllabus, Fees, and Eligibility

      The Certified Management Accounting course, also known as the US CMA course is a prestigious certification with global acceptance. This course is speedily gaining popularity among students who are keen on making planning, budgeting, and forecasting decisions for their firms. The aim of this course is to mentor young leaders in effective, strategic decision-making to contribute to a company’s financial well-being. Through this course, the competency levels of US CMA professionals would enhance to be at par with the international benchmarks. This course provides scope for professional development and financial leadership.

      CMA Course Highlights and Duration

      The CMA course has been divided into two parts covering a total of twelve competencies. Since the curriculum offers an amalgamation of four pillars of planning, management, analysis and strategy, and financial reporting, every level has topics from each of these pillars. 

      Administered by the Institute for Management Accountants, USA, its cutting-edge curriculum trains aspirants for global challenges. The minimum duration of the Certified Management Accounting course ranges from 6 to 12 months. This course includes two exams which can be taken three times a year, depending on your preparation.

      Why CMA?

      Here’s how you can benefit from taking up the CMA course:

      • Industry needs: The CMA course improves the employable skills of candidates through practical as well as technical aspects, thus helping to meet the skill requirement of industries.
      • Expert knowledge: Professionals gain knowledge in strategic decision-making, compliance, costing, accounting, and taxation.
      • High earning potential
      • Practical training ensures that the candidates can earn while they study
      • Encourages skill development for entrepreneurship
      • Opportunities to climb the highest ladders of professional growth

      What is the function of CMA?

      A CMA is majorly responsible for managerial accounting. They are the ones to provide the logical reasons behind the statistics, analyse project proposals and share their insights on creating future profits. 

      What are the core strengths of the CMA profession?

      The CMA profession has its foundation on the following core strengths:

      • Building cost-effectiveness
      • Business analytics and strategy
      • planning, budgeting and forecasting
      • Cost-benefit analysis
      • Enterprise governance
      • Effective regulatory landscape
      • Benchmarking
      • Financial management
      • Management control systems

      Eligibility Criteria for the CMA course

      In order to take admission to the CMA course, it is important to take heed of the eligibility criteria, which is as follows:
      • A candidate should have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university or IMA-approved professional certification
      • In case of any non-accredited degrees, an independent agency such as the NACES or AICE can be appointed to evaluate the same
      • If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, you still stand a chance to qualify for CMA with a professional certification approved by the ICMA

      What are the US CMA course requirements for professionals

      As a finance professional, if you wish to attain a US CMA certification, here are some eligibility requirements that you will adhere to.

      • To apply as a CMA candidate you need a minimum work experience of at least two years in management accounting or financial management
      • It is beneficial for candidates to have their work experience as full-time employee. Part-time work experience counts at the rate of one year for every two years of experience

      US CMA Syllabus and Subjects

      Compared to other financial accreditations, achieving a CMA degree requires lesser time and provides you with an in-depth understanding of several financial concepts. The coaching institute you choose for mastering this course also plays an important role for helping you gain professional skills and industry-relevant knowledge.

      The subject list for the entire course:

      Level one: Financial planning, performance and analytics

      • External Financial Reporting Decisions (15%)
      • Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting (20%)
      • Performance Management (20%)
      • Cost Management (15%)
      • Internal Controls (15%)
      • Technology and Analytics (15%)

      Level two: Strategic financial management

      • Financial Statement Analysis (20%)
      • Corporate Finance (20%)
      • Decision Analysis (25%)
      • Investment Decisions (10%)
      • Professional Ethics (15%)
      • Risk Management (10%)

       How to enroll for the CMA course?

      To register for the CMA course, here are some steps you can follow that will help you through the process. For a seamless procedure, you can also first shortlist your coaching institute and let them guide you. The academic experts at Zell Education ensure that the end-end requirements of your student journey are met with

      • Visit the IMA website and register as a member
      • Pay for the membership
      • Register for the CMA exam at IMA’s online store
      • You can also register by calling  800-638-4427 or (201) 573-9000
      • Make sure to keep your card details ready as you begin with the procedure
      • After you register, you need to get an authorization for the CMA exam
      • Schedule your test appointment through Prometric
      • If you fail to do so, you may lose the fees you paid for the exam
      • Once you’ve received your confirmation, it’s time to look for the best coaching

      CMA Job Roles

      The Certified Management Accounting course (CMA) opens up a plethora of opportunities, both in industry and academia. Their demand exists not only in the private sector, but also in the government, banking and finance, education, and research sectors, developmental agencies, services, as well as the public utility sector. Some of the job opportunities for CMAs include:

      • Financial Management
      • Financial/Business Analyst
      • Cost Accountant
      • Financial Controller
      • Financial Risk Manager
      • Professors in Accounting and Finance
      • Recovery Consultant
      • Cost Accountant
      • Corporate Controller
      • Chief Operating Officer
      • Strategic Head
      • Cost Advisor
      • Head of Finance
      • Information System Audit, Forensic Audit
      • Insolvency Professional
      • Valuation and Audits under GST
      • Loss Assessor, Surveyor
      • Arbitrator

      These opportunities will bring forth career growth, social reputation, and high earnings. The freshers are employed by regulators as well as reputed companies with an average pay of around $85,000 per year. The top recruiters in the latest CMA campus placement drive included Accenture, ITC, Vedanta, Philips, Deloitte, KPMG, GST Suvidha among others. The earnings as CMA increase with experience and skill set development.

      US CMA salaries around the world

       A CMA is not only supposed to be a strategic thinker but also a strategic planner who manages the financial data of the company and guides the company on the basis of it. This kind of skill set is highly demanded by several corporations and innovative startups today. And they are willing to pay a handsome salary for it.

      There are two different types of CMA courses available, one that’s relevant to India and one that’s accepted globally. The Cost & Management Accounting course is an India specific course while the Certified Management Accounting course is a US-based course that’s accepted globally.

      Wondering how much US CMAs earn across countries? Here’s a glimpse into US CMA salaries in Philippines, Canada and the US. 

      Country Salary (as per US Dollars)
      USA $105,000
      Canada $69,000
      UAE $36,000
      India $15,000
      Philippines  $11,000

      CA vs. CMA: Which is better?

      The CMA and CA courses are preferred by candidates entering the field of finance. Chartered Accountants (CA) are responsible for any organisation’s core accounting job. They have comprehensive knowledge of auditing, accounting, and taxation. On the other hand, Certified Management Accountants (CMA) are responsible for maintaining the balance between resources at disposal of the organisation and their expenditures. They have comprehensive knowledge concerning financial and cost management. 

      The CA course, on average, takes 4.5 years including the mandatory practical training while the CMA course takes a minimum of 6 to 12 months. Lately, the CMA course has gained popularity; however, both courses provide ample opportunities.

      Which is better, CMA or ACCA?

      Both the courses are in demand and are recognized globally. However, the choice depends on personal preferences. CMA is a better choice for those working in the U.S. However, ACCA is the more desired choice for Commonwealth nations like the UK. 

      Certified Management Accountant (CMA) is a credential awarded by the Institute for Management Accountants, USA. This global certification is open to all students who have completed their 10+2 or the high school equivalent. If you are interested in pursuing a career in accounting, check out our Certified Management Accountant (CMA) course.


      How to prepare for the CMA exam?
      The course requires hard work and dedication and the results ultimately depend on interest levels. The study material for preparation is provided by the institute. Candidates are advised to opt for the online test series to improve their performance and confidence. Previous years’ questions should also be included in the preparations.

      Is there any scope for CMAs in India and globally?
      The scope for CMAs has been increasing in the past few years. There is a demand for skilled, trained, and qualified cost accountants both in India and abroad in varied industries and government departments.

      What is the job of CMA?
      A CMA is a professional who is responsible for managing the finances and accounts for organisations. Aside from providing financial management services like costing, pricing of goods and services, and taxation, a CMA is also authorised to audit books of public corporations. While most accounting professionals work for the general public, CMAs are more focused on business corporations.



      Satyamedh Nandedkar, a seasoned finance professional, holds ACCA, CA, US CMA & CS credentials. With 10+ years of experience, he’s a master ACCA tutor, IFRS trainer, adept in global financial standards, and a trusted advisor in navigating complex financial landscapes.

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