CMA Description & Outline
The Institute of Management Accountants is dedicated to excellence within the
Management accounting profession. The Certified Management Accountant (CMA ) designation was developed in 1972 to provide an objective measure of an individual's knowledge and competence in the field of management accounting. Only the CMA Program recognizes the unique proficiencies required for success in this challenging profession.
The Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA ) regularly reviews the content of the Certified Management Accountant (CMA ) exam to ensure that current
Topics are appropriately updated and relevant to business practice. Connectivity of a practical Body of Knowledge to the workplace is important. The CMA exam aligns with the knowledge, skills and abilities that an accountant or finance professional in business uses on the job today - financial planning, analysis, control, and decision support. These skills are critical to the success of finance teams.
The CMA program has been designed to meet the evolving needs of business - today and tomorrow. We look forward to helping you achieve excellence as a professional.
Certification will confirm your proficiency in your chosen field.
To be certified as a CMA, candidates must fulfill the education requirements using the following criteria.
Bachelor's Degree, in any area, from an accredited college or university. A partial listing of international institutions accepted without evaluation is available at www.imanet.org.
If your college or university is not on this list please contact CMA
Degrees not from accredited foreign institutions must be evaluated by an independent agency listed at www.aice-eval. org or www.naces.org. All transcripts must be submitted in English and show the official seal of the college or university
Candidates for the CMA Certification must complete two continuous years of professional experience in management accounting and/or financial management. This requirement may be completed prior to or within seven years of passing the examination. Teachers can meet this requirement if the majority of their course load is in accounting and corporate financial management courses above the introductory level. Professional experience is expected to be gained in full-time employment.
However, continuous part-time positions of 20 hours per week meeting the definition of qualified experience will count toward this requirement at a rate of one year of experience for every two years of part-time employment
The CMA program is rigorous and relevant. The two-part testing format requires a mastery of the critical skills and knowledge involved in planning, analysis, control and decision support.
Examination Parts Required
Candidates for CMA certification must complete two examinations
- Part 1: Financial Planning, Performance and Control (4 hours - 100 multiple-choice questions and two 30-minute essay questions)
- Part 2: Financial Decision Making (4 hours - 100 multiple-choice questions and two 30-minute essay questions)
The Content Specification Overview
Part 1 - Financial Planning, Performance and Control (Levels A, B, and C)
- Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting (30%)
- Performance Management (25%)
- Cost Management (25%)
- Internal Controls (15%)
- Professional Ethics (5%)
Part 2 - Financial Decision Making (Levels A, B, and C)
- Financial Statement Analysis (25%)
- Corporate Finance (25%)
- Decision Analysis and Risk Management (25%)
- Investment Decisions (20%)
- Professional Ethics (5%)
The CMA examination is given in a computer-based format.
Parts 1 and 2 will be given during the following three testing window periods:
- January and February
- May and June
- September and October
CMA CURRICULUM AND FORMAT
CONTENT SPECIFICATION OVERVIEW (Effective May 1, 2010) The percentages below show the relative weight range given to each topic in each part.
The level designations indicate the depth and breadth of topic coverage in each part. A detailed content specification outline can be downloaded from our website in the certification section.
Financial Planning, Performance and Control
A. Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting (30%) (Level C)
Planning process; budgeting concepts; annual profit plans and supporting schedules;
Types of budgets, including activity-based budgeting, project budgeting, flexible budgeting; top-level planning and analysis; and forecasting, including quantitative methods such regression analysis and learning curves.
B. Performance Management (25%) (Level C)
Factors to be analyzed for control and performance evaluation including revenues, costs, profits, and investment in assets; variance analysis based on flexible budgets and standard costs; responsibility accounting for revenue, cost, contribution and profit centers; and balanced scorecard.
C. Cost Management (25%) (Level C)
Cost concepts, flows and terminology; alternative cost objectives; cost measurement concepts; cost accumulation systems including job order costing, process costing, and
Activity-based costing; overhead cost allocation; operational efficiency and business process performance topics such as JIT, MRP, and theory of constraints, value chain analysis, benchmarking, ABM, and continuous improvement
D. Internal Controls (15%) Level C)
Risk assessment; internal control environment, procedures, and standards; responsibility and authority for internal auditing; types of audits; and assessing the adequacy of the accounting information system controls.
E. Professional Ethics (5%) (Level C)
Ethical considerations for management accounting professionals
Financial Decision Making
A. Financial Statement Analysis (25%) (Level C)
Principal financial statements and their purposes; limitations of financial statement information; interpretation and analysis of financial statements including ratio analysis and comparative analysis; market value vs. book value; fair value accounting;
International issues; major differences between IFRS and U.S. GAAP; off-balance sheet financing; Cash Flow Statement preparation, analysis, and reconciliation; and earnings
B. Corporate Finance (25%) (Level C)
Types of risk; measures of risk; portfolio management; options and futures; capital instruments for long-term financing; dividend policy; factors influencing the optimum capital structure; cost of capital; raising capital; managing and financing working capital;
Mergers and acquisitions; and international finance.
C. C. Decision Analysis and Risk Management
(25%) (Level C)
Relevant data concepts; cost-volume-profit analysis; marginal analysis; make vs. buy decisions; pricing; income tax implications for operational decision analysis; operational risk, hazard risk, financial risk, and strategic risk; and ERM.
D. Investment Decision
(20%) (Level C)
Cash flow estimates; discounted cash flow concepts; net present value; internal rate of return; non-discounting analysis techniques; income tax implications for investment decisions; ranking investment projects; risk analysis; real options; and valuation models.
E. Professional Ethics
(5%) (Level C)
Ethical considerations for the organization
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