How to become a certified management accountant

The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) professional credential, offered by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), is the certification to get if you’re in the management accounting profession. While you don’t have to become a CMA to work as a management accountant, more than 30,000 people have chosen to do so since the program’s inception in 1972, and you might want to as well. In this article, we’ll take a look at what four CMA holders have to say about the designation’s benefits.
Why Become a CMA?
The professionals we interviewed all said they pursued the CMA credential for career advancement.
“I decided to go after my CMA because I felt that the CPA left some gap in the trade skills that I needed to have to continue my career in industry,” says Ben Mulling, CFO of TENTE Casters, Inc., in Hebron, Ky. Mulling is a member of IMA’s Global Board of Directors and also holds the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) designations.
Lon Searle, CFO of YESCO Franchising LLC in Salt Lake City, Utah, said he decided to become a CMA because he knew he would be promoted to CFO someday and he wanted to be prepared to be a world-class financial leader.
Steve Kuchen, a member of the IMA’s Small Business Financial and Regulatory Affairs Committee, says, “After leaving a job, I went to a search firm specializing in finance and accounting professionals and the recruiter really impressed upon me how important it was to have some credentials after my name. He thought that the CMA would be just right based on my prior experiences and interests.”
Financial Cost
Earning your CMA has the following financial costs:

You may spend additional money on test-prep materials, such as $470 for an online self-study course or $1,110 for an online self-study course plus textbooks and access to an online test bank. Finally, some continuing professional education (CPE) materials and activities cost money, but there are also options to earn CPE credits for free.
Time Commitment
Earning your CMA requires a significant time commitment. You have to meet requirements for education and work experience. You’ll also need to study for and pass two exams, which you’re allowed a maximum of three years from program entry to complete. Once you become a CMA, you must complete 30 hours of continuing professional education annually. But just how much time does the program actually take if you already have a bachelor’s degree and the two years of required work experience?
Mulling says the CMA process took him about 12 months, including study time and exams. He earned his CMA in 2008.
For Searle, who also became a CMA in 2008, it was a longer process. “For two years, I spent an average of four hours a week studying for the CMA exam,” he says. “I listened to CDs during my commute and studied online using practice tests.” The effort paid off: “I used skills and knowledge I acquired during my studies in my position at work almost immediately,” he says.
Susan E. Bos, tax and accounting manager for the Washtenaw County, Mich., treasurer’s office and a member of the IMA’s Global Board of Directors, says it took her about a year and a half to study for the CMA exam. “I already had the work experience and had already passed the CPA exam , which gave me credit for one of the four parts,” she says. The exam had a four-part program when she earned her designation, in 1996. Bos is also a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).
Kuchen also earned his CMA in 1996, when the four-part exam was in place. It took him about 18 months to earn the credential because of other demands on his time and because he had been out of school for a few years when he began pursuing the designation.
Passing the Exam
Given the time and expense involved in preparing for the exams, you’ll want to do your best to pass on the first try.
“My advice is to set a study schedule and stick to it religiously. Plan out your week and achievement markers and commit yourself to keeping those goals,” Mulling says.
Kuchen says he initially took an in-person study class at a local college. The class helped him “immensely,” he says. It got him back into the flow of studying and, because it was taught by professionals who had experience grading the CMA exam, he learned what graders were looking for in the open-ended question parts of the test. “After that, I used a private company’s self-guided software study program, which also helped me a great deal,” he says.
“Apply the principles in your career and find opportunities to use new skills,” says Searle. “This will make you comfortable with the principles and familiar with applying them in different situations.” Searle also says he listened to the audio lessons several times until they were very familiar, because he learns best from audio or classroom instruction.
Bos says she used the Gleim books. She did every multiple choice question and went over every essay question. She also took a one-day review class through her local IMA chapter. “If you prepare well, you will pass,” she says.
Repetition in your study time is a major key to success, Mulling adds. “Keep reviewing previous-chapter and multiple-choice questions over and over,” he says. “If you stay on track with your study schedule, you should do fine.”
Job Opportunities, Career Advancement and Earning Potential
Searle says the CMA certification provides a very large advantage in the job market. There are jobs that require either a CPA or CMA designation, he says.
Mulling says the CMA credential has “tremendously” helped him in his career. “It provided me with critical decision-support skills that I have used to advance my career to CFO of my company,” he says. Even with his CPA license, he says he could not have succeeded in guiding his company through the recession and back into growth mode without the skills he mastered as a CMA.
Bos says earning the CMA designation gave her credibility and confidence. “I was already working as an accountant for several years, but the CMA gave me more visibility,” she says.
Like Mulling and Bos, Searle says the CMA has added value to his career. “I have used the knowledge gained during my studies for the exam in all areas of my job as a CFO including strategic planning, coaching staff, marketing, financial analysis, decision making and banking. It was a much more applicable educational experience than studying for and passing the CPA exam,” he says.
Kuchen says attaining the CMA shows that you are serious about your career and interested in improving your skill set. He also says the CMA material is very relevant to real-world situations you might encounter, not only in finance and accounting, but also in other disciplines like information technology.
Finally, the IMA’s most recent annual survey of its members found that CMAs earn nearly $27,000 more in total compensation than non-CMAs.
The Bottom Line
Becoming a CMA involves a commitment of money and, most of all, time that shouldn’t be taken lightly. But if you want to pursue a career as a management accountant, the extra effort can pay off.

What does a management accountant do?

This role involves looking after a company’s accounts, and finding ways of improving profitability and growth. Duties could include:

  • preparing regular financial statements and accounts, such as profit and loss accounts
  • monitoring spending, costs and budgets
  • analysing the company’s financial performance
  • forecasting and planning future spending and profits
  • recommending ways to reduce costs and increase profits
  • making business decisions with other managers
  • carrying out internal audits of various departments
  • providing external auditors with company reports and financial data
  • managing a team of accounting technicians and finance clerks
  • overseeing the company’s payroll, credit control and bookkeeping systems

What do I need to do to become a management accountant ?

To do this job you will need to have good maths and computer skills. You’ll need accuracy and attention to detail. You’ll also need good communication skills.

To become an accountant, you must complete training with one of the professional accountancy bodies. Although each professional body includes some company financial management in their training, many management accountants choose to qualify with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

CIMA training involves two stages:

  • CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting – an entry-level qualification with five exams
  • CIMA Professional Qualification – the second stage of training, with ten exams (see Training and development section).

Your starting point will depend on your previous qualifications and work experience.

You do not need any set qualifications to begin studying for the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting, although you will need a good standard of maths and English. You can study full-time, part-time or by distance learning.

Individuals and companies in nearly every industry turn to accountants for various financial services. This career path has a positive job outlook and can offer job security in an in-demand industry. In this article, we will discuss what an accountant does, the average salary of accountants and how you can become one.

What does an accountant do?

An accountant is a professional who specializes in various aspects of individual and business finances. Accounting involves measuring and managing financial information that helps investors, managers, business owners and other individuals make sound financial decisions. An accountant may keep track of business transactions, monitor and report on a company’s financial performance and prepare financial statements.

Specific examples of what accountants may do include:

  • Prepare and issue invoices to a company’s customers.
  • Prepare and issue tax reports to government entities on behalf of a company or individual.
  • Reconcile bank statements.
  • Analyze profits and losses.
  • Maintain and process payroll.
  • Create and review budgets and expenses.
  • Develop and maintain financial databases for individuals and companies.

Types of accountants

While all accountants work with finances in some capacity, there are several different types of accountants. The most common types of accountants include:

Certified public accountants (CPAs)

A CPA is an accounting professional who oversees all aspects of an organization’s finances. They are often considered a trusted financial advisor and may perform duties that include tax preparation, audits, financial reviews and litigation services.

Auditors

An auditor is an accountant that performs audits and records reviews for a company or organization. Tasks of an auditor may include assessing and maintaining financial records, analyzing account books and records, verifying financial statements and providing recommendations for financial improvement. Many auditors are brought in from the outside of a company to ensure objective auditing.

Forensic accountants

A forensic accountant is an accounting professional who studies and ensure financial records are accurate. They may also be brought into an organization to determine any financial discrepancies, errors or instances of fraud. Most forensic accountants work in litigation or investigation support.

Government accountant

All forms of government require accountants. A government accountant may work on a city, state, county or federal level to analyze and implement taxpayer dollars in the most efficient way possible. A government accountant may also help the government formulate a fiscal plan for each calendar year. This type of accountant may also work for the IRS and be responsible for auditing organizations and individuals.

Management accountant

Management accountants are responsible for helping business owners and managers make sound financial decisions for their organization. A management accountant may prepare business budgets, analyze profitability, access risks and prepare external financial reports. These individuals must also prepare and communicate the financial aspects of a company in a way that others can easily understand.

Cost accountant

A cost accountant is typically responsible for helping a business improve its processes to become more profitable. This type of accountant may analyze all costs related to labor, production, shipping and other day-to-day operations of an organization. With this information, cost accountants then make recommendations to businesses on how they can save money.

Staff accountant

Staff accountants are accounting professionals that are part of the staff of a company or organization. This is the most common type of accountant and duties typically include maintaining a company’s accounts, analyzing and preparing financial statements, reconciling accounts, maintaining payroll and various bookkeeping responsibilities. A staff accountant’s duties will vary depending on the size and type of company they work for.

Average salaries of accountants

Salaries for accountants may depend on their level of education, years of relevant experience and professional certifications. Their employer and geographical location may also impact earnings.

  • Common salary in the U.S.: $54,717 per year
  • Salaries range from $14,000 to $120,000 per year.

Education requirements for accountants

While not mandatory, most accountants hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. For individuals wishing to become a certified public accountant, a bachelor’s degree is considered the minimum education requirement. Some states may require CPAs to also complete advanced coursework that may include classes in auditing, taxes and financial reporting. Many CPAs choose to pursue a master’s degree in accounting in addition to a bachelor’s degree.

Steps to become an accountant

Most accounting positions require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree as well as certifications and a commitment to continuing education.

The following are the steps you will likely need to take to become an accountant:

  1. Obtain a bachelor’s degree
  2. Choose a specialty
  3. Get an internship or entry-level position
  4. Determine whether you will be an accountant or CPA
  5. Pass all required exams
  6. Consider pursuing continuing education

1. Obtain a bachelor’s degree

While not all accounting positions require a bachelor’s degree, many do. Even if a particular accountant job does not require higher education, having a bachelor’s degree can make you more likely to stand out among competitors and potentially increase your yearly salary. Common degrees that accountants pursue include accounting, finance and auditing.

2. Get an internship or entry-level position

Getting as much experience as possible before and after you graduate can significantly boost your resume and increase your chances of landing an accounting job.

3. Choose a specialty

Most accountants work in a specific field of accounting. For example, you may choose to work in corporate or public accounting, or you may select a subspecialty such as taxes or auditing. Your specialty will likely be related to the degree you earned but can also be based on your own preferences and skills.

4. Determine whether you will be an accountant or CPA

Determining which career path you will pursue will give you a better understanding of what you will be required to have to actively practice in your specialty. Accountants typically work within an organization as part of the staff and do not always require certifications or licensure. A CPA is required to have several requirements to practice accounting. These requirements include a bachelor’s or master’s degree, passing the CPA exam and working under a licensed CPA for 1800 hours.

5. Pass all required exams

As mentioned above, if you choose to pursue a career as a CPA, you will need to pass the CPA exam to practice. There are four parts of the CPA exam: Regulation, Financial Accounting and Reporting, Business Environment and Concepts and Audit and Attestation. This test is offered during the first two months of each quarter and is typically completed over several days.

6. Consider pursuing continuing education

Many successful accountants do not end their education after receiving their degree and necessary certifications. Participating in continuing education is key to being the most successful accountant possible and staying abreast of accounting trends. There are several opportunities for accountants to further their education, including additional certifications and master’s degrees.

How to become a certified management accountant

The CGMA® letters are worth having after your name. They stand for Chartered Global Management Accountant® and they show employers that you mean business.

The CGMA designation is the most widely held management accounting designation in the world. It boldly announces your commercial skills, strategic vision and transformational mindset.

Employers, colleagues and stakeholders alike will recognize that you’ve got entrepreneurial and leadership acumen. That you’re in a pivotal position to analyze information, advise strategy and drive business success. And they’ll know all this just by looking at those four letters after your name.

1. Develop a globally in-demand career
Those four letters are recognized in every sector, in every corner of the globe. With 96% of FTSE Top 100 companies employing CGMA designation holders, you can rest assured that your designation will open doors to challenging, fast-paced, rewarding roles.

2. Boost your earning prosepcts
Your professional reputation isn’t all that will soar once you earn the CGMA designation — most employees see a significant pay-raise upon completing the CGMA designation.

3. Unleash your potential
Set your sights high. Even higher than that. With the CGMA designation, your career opportunities are limitless. The skills you master will empower you to rise to any challenge you want, from helping business owners, CFOs and CEOs to becoming one yourself.

4. Be a leader, not a follower
It takes true strategic vision to lead. Once you’ve got your CGMA designation, analyzing and future-proofing an organization will be second-nature. You’ll be well-versed in sharing your vision while managing others and playing an active role in the leadership of the business.

5. Make a tangible difference
The CGMA designation teaches you the skills to make a real difference, whether that’s advising managers about the financial implications of projects or helping devise negotiation strategies. What you do every day will have a huge business impact.

The CGMA designation is powered by two of the world’s leading accounting organizations — the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA®) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA®). How you’ll study for your CGMA designation depends on where you live. The learning routes may be different, but they all test the same knowledge and lead to the same prestigious CGMA designation.

What does a management accountant do?

This role involves looking after a company’s accounts, and finding ways of improving profitability and growth. Duties could include:

  • preparing regular financial statements and accounts, such as profit and loss accounts
  • monitoring spending, costs and budgets
  • analysing the company’s financial performance
  • forecasting and planning future spending and profits
  • recommending ways to reduce costs and increase profits
  • making business decisions with other managers
  • carrying out internal audits of various departments
  • providing external auditors with company reports and financial data
  • managing a team of accounting technicians and finance clerks
  • overseeing the company’s payroll, credit control and bookkeeping systems

What do I need to do to become a management accountant ?

To do this job you will need to have good maths and computer skills. You’ll need accuracy and attention to detail. You’ll also need good communication skills.

To become an accountant, you must complete training with one of the professional accountancy bodies. Although each professional body includes some company financial management in their training, many management accountants choose to qualify with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

CIMA training involves two stages:

  • CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting – an entry-level qualification with five exams
  • CIMA Professional Qualification – the second stage of training, with ten exams (see Training and development section).

Your starting point will depend on your previous qualifications and work experience.

You do not need any set qualifications to begin studying for the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting, although you will need a good standard of maths and English. You can study full-time, part-time or by distance learning.

Heading back to school is the easiest way to make more money at the job that you already have. Getting certified in your craft allows you to gain experience in your field, while working towards a higher salary.

The best part? You might never have to step into a classroom. Many certification program can be done online. Many of these programs are designed to help business professionals get ahead in their careers without having to sacrifice their time at work. So, go ahead, and head back to school. It’s the best thing you can do for your career and your bank account.

1. Project Management Professional (PMP)

There are very few careers out there that cannot be improved by project management experience or a Project Management Professional certification. This certification shows that you know how to manage others, strategize multifaceted variables, and implement a project from start to finish.

This certification is very attractive for employers, as it shows that you can handle yourself in any leadership position. The Project Management Institute (PMI) hosts the certification, and is eligible to anyone with project management experience.

According to Huffington Post, those with this certificate can earn nine percent more for their salary than those without the certificate.

2. LEED Accredited Professionals

If you’re working in construction, building management, or interior design, then you should definitely look into becoming a LEED Accredited Professional. LEED, Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, works to educate certificate recipients on eco-friendly strategies and practices to implement in the world of housing and design.

The certificate can not only boost your credibility, but the credibility of your designs and your buildings. In fact, those with LEED certifications are likely to earn twelve percent more than those without the certificate, according to the experts at Monster.com.

3. Adobe Certified Associate

In many professions, graphic design is a preferred skill for most job candidates and professionals.

Up your current skill level by registering to be an Adobe Certified Associate. The program will educate you in all Adobe software such as Photoshop and Illustrator, and help you to stand out against many entry-level candidates.

4. Microsoft Office Specialist

Microsoft Office is integral for any office job. Become an expert at the software by working towards a specialty certificate. It’ll allow you to have the perfect edge in the administrative world as well as help you boost your salary.

5. Certified Public Accountant

Did you get your Bachelor’s Degree in accounting? Boost your resume even further by working towards becoming a certified public accountant. This certificate helps those in the finance world land amazing jobs, and work towards their ultimate career goals.

Plus, certified accountant tend to earn thirty-five percent more than their uncertified counterparts.

6. Chartered Financial Analyst

Looking to manage financial portfolios or work in investment analysis? Show off your financial background by working towards a Charted Financial Analyst certificate. The program does wonders for your career, and not to mention your salary.

7. Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)

Boost your computer networking skills by becoming a Cisco Certified Network Professional. It’s great for those working in IT, who want to learn more about routing and switching scalable networks.

How to become a certified management accountant (CMA)?

How to become a certified management accountant

What is CMA?
Affirmed or Certified Management Accountant CMA is a bookkeeping or back expert. CMAs work in the zones of monetary arranging, examination, and administration basic leadership. Numerous bookkeepers, evaluators, and budgetary investigators gain the CMA assignment to progress in their vocations. The CMA qualification has particular training and works encounter prerequisites. You should likewise acquire a passing score on the CMA confirmation exam. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a comparable assignment to the CMA.

The CPA accreditation is centered on bookkeeping and evaluating experts. A CMA proficient concentrates more on administration basic leadership and examination. On the off chance that you are uncertain whether you need to wind up plainly a CMA or a CPA, keep an eye on the course prerequisites for both accreditations. You might have the capacity to plan your coursework to meet both arrangements of necessities. Bookkeeping or fund entry level positions give you genuine experience and help you to arrange for full-time positions. Consider applying for temporary jobs while you are in school. Working at a temporary job will enable you to choose which profession way is the correct one for you.

How to become a certified management accountant

Who affirms the CMA?
The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) assignment is a much-regarded qualification granted by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) which is a US-based overall relationship for bookkeepers and monetary experts working in the business.

Scope of CMA in the UK
For over 40 years, the CMA Certified Management Accountant accreditation has been the worldwide benchmark for administration bookkeepers and money related experts. Why? Since CMAs can clarify the why behind numbers, not only the what. And that can give you more prominent believability, higher gaining potential, and at last a seat at the administration table.

Comparison of CMA (US) and CMA (UK)
you will be surprised because both courses have same contents however, IMA which is belong to the US gives an ensured course and stands for Certified Management Accountant and CIMA which is located in UK gives a Chartered assignment and stands for Chartered Management Accountant and able to provide the facility to search for cheap online accountants in the UK by Weaccountax.

How to become a UK based certified management accountant CMA?
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountant (CIMA) Professional Qualification gives more procedure, greater administration bookkeeping and more pertinence over a wide business point of view. With its accentuation on vital business aptitudes, the CIMA Professional Qualification is a springboard to achievement both inside and outside the fund field. CIMA Chartered Management Accountants consolidate a number of cheap online accountants in the UK and an abnormal state of money related and administration aptitude with amazing business sharpness and basic leadership abilities.

Suitability


leading inner business reviews, surveying hazard and get ready money related proclamations, administration bookkeeping. CIMA individuals are effective business investigators, administration specialists and venture administrators.

How to become a certified management accountant

Why be a CMA?


The CMA is a propelled proficient confirmation particularly intended to gauge the basic bookkeeping and budgetary administration abilities. This is particularly applicable for achievement in a business domain.

CMA Skills are more practical


Different industry diaries have demonstrated that 80% of bookkeepers wind up in non-open bookkeeping. The administration bookkeeping learning and aptitude is in truth more helpful for these experts. Truth be told, numerous double CPA and CMA holders discover the materials canvassed in CMA all the more intriguing and pragmatic in their day to day work.

IMA makes it easy


IMA (the CMA exam head) make things clear, straightforward and sorted out for candidates. IMA transparently invites universal hopefuls with the exam offered in several areas around the world. t is less demanding not as a result of a low boundary of passage since hopefuls are as yet required to have a four-year college education, a thorough exam and 2 persistent years of administration bookkeeping knowledge to get affirmed. Be that as it may, IMA makes the way toward turning into a CMA as smooth as could be expected under the circumstances. Applicants can concentrate on passing the exam and satisfying the experience, rather than stalling out with the organization and clashing standards from various State Boards.

Conclusion


If you aren’t sure, the CMA confirmation may not be beneficial for you, in any event at this stage. There is next to no utilization in the event that you seek to work in an open bookkeeping firm, either as an evaluator or in duty. Then again, on the off chance that you need to construct your vacation in corporate bookkeeping, the affirmation enormously improves your profile and information in the field.

Become A Certified Management Accountant!

How to become a certified management accountantSearching for Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam training? Then you’ve come to the right place!

CPATrainingCenter.com offers Certified Management Accountant training and certification courses for those individuals interested in earning the prestigious CMA designation.

The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation is the undisputed professional credential for persons in the field of management accounting and financial management. The CMA designation signifies that an individual working in this field has mastered a comprehensive body of knowledge directly related to operational and strategic management as well as the skills and abilities required to build quality business practices inside organizations.

Recommended CMA Prep Courses & Available Training Options

Why take a CMA review course? To fulfill your Certified Management Accountant requirements, you will have to take and pass a grueling two-part CMA exam, and each section is four hours in length. If you expect to pass this exam as soon as possible and get certified as a CMA, preparation is crucial. Those who have the most success at passing the CMA exam early typically put in many hours of study.

But just being determined to study hard is not enough — you have to study the right way. You need a directed CMA preparation program that allows you to focus on and absorb the material that will actually be on the exam, without getting distracted by material that may not be relevant.

We have the CMA prep course that will do just that for you. CPATrainingCenter.com offers exam review courses and training for earning the CMA designation. These are courses that have been painstakingly researched and tested to make sure they will offer you the most benefit and give you the best chance of passing the exam on the first try if you commit to the course.

We offer a study-at-home course for both the first part of the exam, Financial Planning, Performance & Control, and the second part, Financial Decision Making. We recommend getting the complete two-part course for convenience and cost-effectiveness.

About The Complete CMA Exam Review Course

Our recommended CMA exam prep course is the Advanced Certified Management Accountant Test Preparation course based on cutting-edge ExamMatrix CMA Exam Review Software, the most technologically advanced software you will find for CMA exam review. This is an all-new program that offers a host of extremely helpful features, like a user-friendly dashboard that makes tracking your performance on practice exams and progress with the material a snap.

What makes ExamMatrix so unique is the advanced machine intelligence you’ll find in the program. It learns your skill level, strengths and weaknesses as you go in order to create a personal, customized study plan that suits your specific needs and learning style. Other study programs can provide you with all the information that may be on the test, but our program lets you hone in on your specific areas of improvement, so you can engage in focused studying that will make you stronger at taking the test in less time.

This course is chock full of features, including thousands of practice questions to test your knowledge, with clear, in-depth answers to help you fully absorb the information, not just learn the correct response. You’ll get unlimited practice exams, and thanks to the program’s detailed tracking and reporting, you’ll always know exactly how you’re doing and what you need to do to get where you want to be when the exam comes around. The course also comes with added features like hard copy reference books and specific reading assignments geared to your course of study.

By the time you actually sit down to take the course, you will do so with the confidence of someone who is fully prepared. You will have seen questions just like the ones on the exam before, in a similar layout and format, so you should be very comfortable. We have designed the course to specifically prepare you for the CMA exam requirement.