CMA Qualification and Career Growth

Muhammad Ali By Muhammad Ali

What is a CMA course? The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) course is a professional credential awarded by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). It’s designed for individuals working in management accounting and financial management. The CMA designation is recognized worldwide, making it valuable for professionals seeking international opportunities. Pursuing the CMA title enhances your financial expertise and understanding of the financial management process. 

CMA Eligibility Criteria

To become a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), you’ll need to meet the following eligibility requirements:

The CMA is divided into three levels namely:
Foundation Level
Intermediate Level
Final Level

  • For enrolling into the foundation level for CMA you must have passed your class 10th, while to appear in the intermediate exam, you must pass class 12th. For the final level, candidates should pass the previous level exams.
  • You need at least two continuous years of full-time employment in a financial management or management accounting role.

Once you successfully complete you CMA qualification you can work in the following fields as a CMA professional:

CMA Examination Structure and Course Content

The CMA exam syllabus consists of two parts. These are basically the case-study questions. The topics covered in both the parts include the following: –

1. Part 1: Financial Reporting, Planning, Performance, and Control (CMA-FA): Topics related to Financial Accounting, Financial Statement analysis, budgeting, cost management, performance measurement, and risk management are all subsumed in Part 1. It also covers cost concepts and internal controls.

2. Part 2: Financial Decision Making (CMA-FD): Part 2 majorly focuses on more practical aspects of handling the business. It includes areas such as financial management, corporate finance, and professional ethics.

CMA examination covers the topics related to both the parts of the module as stated above. Let us understand the level wise distribution and question paper blueprint:

1) Foundation Level (CMA Level I): This level consists of four exams, 100 marks each, and you need to score 50% or more aggregate to clear the foundation level along with having passing marks in each individual level which is 40 or above. It would take around 8 months for preparing and clearing the foundation level exams. 

2) Intermediate Level (CMA Level II): After foundation level you are eligible to appear in the intermediate level examinations. There are eight papers of 100 marks each in this level segregated in two separate groups consisting of 4 papers in each group. The passing score is determined based on the aggregate performance across all eight papers The passing score is determined based on the aggregate performance across both groups. 

3) Final Level (CMA Level III): After the above two levels have been cleared, then and only you are eligible to appear in the CMA final. The study duration could be around 18 Months as it consists of eight papers of 100 marks each divided in two separate groups of 4 each. The passing score is determined based on the aggregate performance across all eight papers. 

Overall, the passing score for each part is 360 out of 500 or 70% in all. This is also called a direct entry route. So, the duration would be less than that appearing all together for the three levels. 

Demand for CMA in Different Sectors?

CMA designation is highly valued across various industries, but in some sectors, CMAs are particularly esteemed: –

  • Oil Exploration and Production: Companies in the oil and energy sector value the strategic financial expertise that CMAs bring to managing complex operations and financial planning.
  • Information Technology: IT companies rely on CMAs to optimize cost management, Tata Consultancy (TCS) and Infosys are prominent IT firms that value CMAs.
  • Consumer Goods and Retail: This sector is one of the largest business sectors and they hire CMAs for managing costs and pricing strategies within the consumer goods industry. Hindustan Unilever (HUL) and ITC are the top hirers of CMA professionals.

The average salary of a CMA qualified is approx. 7-8 LPA as a fresher, which grows to 15-20 LPA with one or two years of experience. With even higher experience, the salary ranges somewhere between 36LPA to 55LPA, generally at the post of a CFO (chief financial officer). CMA qualification is not an easy one but by making proper strategies it is easily achievable. The perks of qualifying as a CMA is not hidden from anyone, along with a lucrative salary structure it offers immense career building opportunities in both national and international markets.

Apart from the above opportunities a CMA gets, you will be glad to know that the average salary for a CMA ranges between 16 LPA – 23 LPA. With experience the highest CMA salary can reach up to 55 LPA. TATA and Reliance Groups, Various Banks, Accenture are potential hirer of CMA professionals. They increasingly seek CMA professionals and offer high-paying salaries!

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