For accounting professionals, becoming a CMA, or Certified Management Accountant is an appealing choice because of the wide range of benefits. It is a good stepping grounds for enhancing one’s career, not to mention more room for growth and better work opportunities. In general, a CMA is an advanced professional certification which is significantly relevant in the majority of businesses, as they are the ones responsible for measuring the financial management and critical accounting skills. Other benefits may include but are not limited to:
– Highly in demand. Many top businesses prefer hiring CMA, so with this title, your chances of working in more established companies are higher.
– They get paid more. According to recent studies, CMAs get paid 67% more than those who haven’t gotten their certification.
– CMA skills are practical. Practices in this field are more useful for all sorts of industries.
For those of you who wanted to take the next step towards becoming a CMA, here are the most crucial steps that one needs to take to make this dream possible:
1. Must Have A Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, Economics Or Finance
If you haven’t already, to become a Certified Management Accountant, you need to have a Bachelor’s degree in either the accounting, economics or finance field.
2. Work Experience
As tempting as it may sound, you can’t go straight as a fresh graduate and apply for CMA. You need to have at least 2 years of work experience in order to apply as a CMA. Don’t worry though, there are various companies that hire non-certificate holders as well. You’ll surely get your 2-years work experience easily.
3. Become An Institute Of Management Accountants Member
Apply for an Institute of Management Accountants membership – this process includes filling up the form, paying for the annual membership fee (cost may vary depending on your location), then send your college transcript to IMA. Afterward, you also need to download a form from their website where you’ll indicate your relevant work experience in the field.
4. Understand The Components Of The CMA Exam
Go over the exam’s structure. There are 2 parts of this exam – one is in essay form, and the other one is a multiple-choice section.
5. Register For The CMA Exam
Review the CMA handbook to make sure you haven’t missed anything, register and take the exam. Make sure that you have properly reviewed and carefully prepared for this exam. The IMA recommends that you take at least 2 months to study and prepare for this exam. Do not rush things!
6. Take The Exam And Wait For Results
It’s time to take the exam! Be sure that you’re mentally and emotionally prepared for this. Take note that you need to at least get a 50% passing score in the multiple-choice exam before you can proceed to the essay portion.
Once you’re done, you will be e-mailed with the results. You can use this report to determine which part you could improve on studying if you’ve failed. If you’ve passed, congratulations! You will receive your certification but you’d need to complete at least 30 hours of continuing education credits on a yearly basis to keep your certification.
Bear in mind that the number of months that you need to take for review generally depends on your learning pace and current life situation. Either way, preparing for becoming a CMA is a brave step towards your career and requires thorough preparation and studying, so don’t rush things. Good luck!