Are you exploring pathways to pursue CMA USA? Considered as one of the top-most courses in the field of Accounting and Management, Certified Management Accountant (CMA) is a coveted certification program offered by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), USA. Founded in the year 1919, IMA is an international association of financial and accountant professional in the global business industry. Acquiring the prestigious CMA certification from a leading country like the USA will help you earn global exposure as well as an international qualification. To all those aiming to gain a specialised certification in the field of Accountancy, this blog will provide you with the essential details of CMA USA, its syllabus, eligibility, course fees and much more!

CMA USA Highlights and Important Dates

Before we elaborate the core details about the course, let us have a look at the key features and important dates of CMA USA for 2020:

Name of the course  Certified Management Accountant (CMA) 
Institution  Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) 
Exam Structure  Part 1 and Part 2 
Number of Questions 100 in Each Part
Duration 4 Hours
Important Registration Dates of CMA USA 
For May/ June 2021 [Now includes April] Last Day to Register: June 15th, 2021
First Exam Date: April 1st
Last Exam Date: July 31st
For September/ October 2021 Last Day to Register: October 15th, 2021
First Exam Date: September 1st
Last Exam Date: October 31st
For January/ February 2021  Last Day to Register: February 15th, 2021
First Exam Date: January 1st, 2021
Last Exam Date: February 28th, 2021

Eligibility Criteria For CMA USA 

To pursue this prestigious program by IMA, you need to fulfill certain prerequisites specified by the institution. Candidates with discrepancies in their application or those who fail to meet the requirements will not be allowed to get admission in the course. Mentioned below are major entry requisites of CMA USA: 

  • IMA Membership
  • A bachelor’s degree from a renowned institution in a related field. 
  • You must possess 2 continuous years of work experience in Management Accounting or Financial Accounting.
  • You must abide by the IMA’s Statement of Ethical Professional Practice.

Exam Structure 

The CMA exam is available in two parts and in order to gain this certification, it is essential for you to qualify both these exams. Part 1 or Part 2 examination of CMA USA can be taken in any order but you will only be qualified for the next one if you clear the first examination. The registration for an exam is valid only for one exam window, hence, you have to register again if you wish to appear again for the examination. 

  • The testing window opens up every year in the months of January/ February, May/ June, September/ October. Thus, you can book the slot of your choice and take the examination accordingly.
  • The CMA is a computer-based examination. Each of the exams will be of 4 hours with 100 MCQ questions as well as the two 30-minute essays.

CMA USA Syllabus

Now that you are familiar with the basic details pertaining to the course, let us understand the CMA USA syllabus of Part 1 and Part 2 through the tables given below:

Part 1: Financial Planning, Performance and Analytics Weightage
Technology and Analysis 15%
Internal Controls 15%
Cost Management 15%
Performance Management  20%
Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting  20%
External Financial Reporting Decisions  15%
Part 2: Strategic Financial Management Weightage
Financial Statement Analysis  20%
Corporate Finance 20% 
Decision Analysis 25%
Risk Management 10%
Investment Decisions  10%
Professional Ethics 15%

CMA USA Program Fee 

The fee for CMA USA differ for professional members and student or academic members of IMA. The following tables elucidate upon the fee details for this certification:

For Professional Members Cost 
CMA Entrance Fee ( Nonrefundable) $250* [INR 18,300]
Exam Fee $415 per part [INR ]
For Student/ Academic Members  Cost
CMA Entrance Fee $188* [INR 13,700]
Exam Fee $311 [INR 22,700]

*IMA membership is additional and also required 

CMA USA: Getting Started 

To qualify the CMA course from the USA, it necessary for one to follow a bunch of important steps. If the candidates go by these simple steps, they can easily live up to their dream of CMA USA. There are three simple steps in the journey of becoming a successful CMA. To begin with, candidates shall enrol in the CMA program so that they will become a member of the IMA association and enjoy its benefits. Next step would be to, register for the CMA exam and gain access for all the benefits. In the concluding step, you must plan to complete the certification requirements and collect all the vital documents that are to be submitted. 

CMA USA: Taking the Exam 

Before you gear up to take up the CMA examination, there are a bunch of important points that you must keep in mind. To who register for the exam get access to the CMA Exam Support package which includes a variety of practice and previous year’s questions. Also, the candidates are advised to study at least 150-170 hours per level or part and 300 hours in total. Here are some important points with respect to the CMA examination- 

  • Candidates are free to attempt part 1 and 2 in any order they like 
  • The testing window is open only in the slots of- January/ February; May/June; September/ October 
  • The exam registration is only valid for one exam window 
  • From the end of the month in which you have taken the exam, it takes around 6 weeks for the result to be out via the e-mail
  • A performance report will also be delivered to the candidates after 14 days of result

CMA Scholarship 

To help students fulfil their goal of CMA USA, the IMA organization also offer a scholarship for the potential candidates. Since CMA is considered to be one of the topmost courses on the field of Management Accounts, it is widely pursued by students from across the world. Nearly 9,200 students globally have received this scholarship and more than 1,000 institutions from across the world have been a part of this program. To assist the IMA members, over $14 million worth of scholarships have been awarded. 

Who is it for?  What is includes?
-High-achieving students (undergrad through PhD)
-Students who have attended an accredited school in the US or anywhere around the world 
-Only 10 students per school and academic year can be nominated for the scholarship
-All those who will be nominated by a professor will earn the scholarship
-Entrance fee for the CMA program
-Exam support package with retired exam questions and a glossary of terms
-Up to three years of IMA membership while pursuing the certification
-Wiley CMAexcel Online Test Bank access for both exam parts for up to two years (all regions, except China)

CMA USA vs CMA India

Though both are equally recognized, there are some stark differences between CMA USA and CMA course details in India. Let us understand this through the table given below: 

Details CMA USA CMA India
Competent Body Institute of Management Accountants Institute of Cost Accountants of India
Duration 1 Year 3 Years
Prerequisites 10+2 Pass/Graduate 10+2 Pass
Exam Structure 2 Parts (1 Level) 3 Levels – 20 Papers
Articleship 6 Months

Career Opportunities After CMA

This ‘A’ level certification is well-recognised by leading financial and business organizations around the globe. You can explore a vast range of career opportunities after completing CMA USA and some of these are: 

  • Finance Manager 
  • Budget Analyst 
  • Treasurer 
  • Controller 
  • Cost Accountant 
  • Financial Analyst 
  • Internal Auditor, etc


Is CMA degree of USA valid in India?

Being an internationally recognised certification course, CMA is valid in India too.

Is CMA USA a good course?

Whether or not a course is good depends on what your professional goals are. If you want to gain advance knowledge in the field of Finance and want to further progress in your career, then pursuing CA is the most suitable choice.

How to crack CMA exam in 1st attempt?

Listed below are some tips which you can follow to clear the CMA exam in the 1st attempt:
1. Go through the syllabus thoroughly.
2. Identify your strengths and weaknesses so that you prepare a plan accordingly.
3. Chalk out a time table.
4. Practice questions on a regular basis.
5. Solve multiple mock papers.
6. Clear your concepts.
7. Revise regularly in order to retain information for a longer period.

Hopefully, after reading this blog about CMA USA, you are all geared up to pursue this course. If you need assistance in the admission process, reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu and we will guide you throughout the application process ensuring that you get successfully shortlisted.

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