CMA Course Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide

CMA Course Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide

May 31, 2020

What is CMA?

Certified Management Accountant (CMA) is a certification in financial accounting and strategic management. Unlike other accounting certifications, CMA has been a globally recognized credential with a special eye toward corporate finance and management accounting.

CMA has been offered by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). Added, the Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA) is a division within IMA that awards CMA certification. IMA has a reach over 140 countries.

A Certified Management Accountant (CMA) has significant expertise in financial accounting and strategic management. The CMA certification not only covers basic financial accounting proficiency, but it also includes an in-depth focus on management skills. It will aid in making strategic business decisions based on financial data.

Is CMA easier than CA?

Comparing CMA and CA, both go hand in hand. The individual has to come up with a keen understanding and visualizing the methodology indulged in the courses. When you compare both CMA and CA in syllabus content, CMA is easier than CA.

An individual who pursues CMA after CA may find it a bit easier. He/she may encounter several similar topics in both the courses. So, it will become easier for a person to clear CMA courses after CA.  Yet, both courses demand consistency and regular practice. It is up to the individual to choose the right course that will enlighten his skill and his career as well.

What is the Scope of CMA in India?

After completing the CMA, the individual will experience tremendous opportunities in different realms. In India, CMA professionals are earning a handsome salary even as a fresher in this field. Opportunities for CMA students in India have been available across different areas globally.

Many realms including decision support, planning, and control functions.  Roles including CFO, CTO, Treasurer, VP (Finance), Controller, Finance Manager, Internal Auditor, Budget Analyst, Financial Analyst, Corporate or division planner, cost accountant, staff accountant, and Senior Analyst are CMA job profiles that are widely known.

Globally many MNCs and other companies have been bringing in great job opportunities in India for the CMA aspirants. Following are the roles,

  • 3M
  • Alcoa
  • AT&T
  • Bank of America
  • Boeing
  • Cargill
  • Caterpillar
  • ConAgra
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Microsoft
  • Procter and Gamble
  • KeyCorp
  • WhirlPool

What is the Average Salary of a CMA in India?

Opportunities for CMA students are diverse. The salary of a CMA ranges from Rs. 5 LPA for entry-level jobs. Whereas, for senior-level CMA job profiles, the package ranges from 30 LPA to 50 LPA.

Thus, it is worthwhile to invest time and energy in order to gain the necessary skillsets. There are the extra edges that may bring the global economy to gear up. The global shift may bring a major shift and all the business firms will begin to radically change the financial practices into newer opportunities.

Many CMA certified individuals have a great opportunity to the future-ready things and thus grab the first movers’ advantage.

How I Can Study CMA?

If you have finally made up your mind to pursue the CMA designation, then the next step you are wondering about is how to study CMA.  through you are determinant in coming up with the CMA preparation successfully, a proper study plan is necessary to make it turn good. So, here is the list of the areas which you need to focus on and develop before entering into the CMA preparation.


Enrolling in a CMA course will help you a lot. The next step is to choose the high-quality CMA course that can dramatically improve your odds of passing the CMA exam on your first click.


In order to reach success, it is necessary to plan ahead. An in-depth study about the course will help you cover all the essential material and keep you on track.

Keep in mind that choosing a study plan is very important. Make your study plan flexible. For instance, if you are preparing for the CMA exam while juggling a full-time job and family, then it is necessary to have a plan to manage things effectively.

Perhaps, it may require high weekend study sessions for several weeks when compared to the applicant who does not have a full-time job or family commitments.


Averagely, you will have to dedicate about 16 weeks of study to each part of the exam. It may maximize your chances of passing the test. The amount of time designed for the study course will help in making up with the success in the examination. Many successful CMA students had spent around 3 to 4 hours a day and around 8 to 10 hours on weekends.

What is the Structure of the CMA Course?

The journey of attaining a CMA designation is not a big deal. But it requires proper effort and a keen clarity about the course structure. Many individuals who have an interest in the financial area would like to dive into the concepts of CMA.

The following is the course structure of the CMA course that elaborates your mind with a clear insight into the CMA course.

CMA course comprises of three levels namely,

  • Foundation
  • Intermediate
  • Final

If a person has completed an undergraduate degree, then he/she can start at the intermediate level. If not, then they have to start from scratch i.e. from the foundation level.

The person can sit under CMA for 18 months before his/her graduation. But they will be considered as a provisional student instead of regular.

There are four parts or subjects in the CMA foundation, eight in CMA intermediate, and 8 in CMA final. One has to come up with the regular three stages. The duration for the CMA exam is about 6 months out of the 12 months. Every exam has been divided into 2 parts each of them exists for 3 hours.

In the first part, typically the exam contains 100 MCQ questions that hold 75%. In the second part, it is required to write essays that hold 25% of the remaining weightage.

What are the CMA Course Fees?

Certified Management Accountant (CMA) has become the major professional certification credential that has been highly preferred by the management accounting and financial management fields. The certification signifies that the person possesses the knowledge in the areas of financial planning, analysis, control, and professional ethics.

CMA course mainly consists of three parts namely,

In order to become a CMA, the individuals have to come up with a pass on all these levels. Students who have passed +2 exams are eligible to enroll in the CMA course.

ICAI conducts exams twice a year which helps the students to get prepared well. Probably, the exams will take place in the months of June and December. If you hold a degree, then you are exempt from the Foundation level of exams.

The fees structure for CMA course is,

Course Fee: Either Oral or Postal
Foundation 4000
Inter 20000
Final 17000

What is the CMA Certification?

Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certification is a professional certification that adds as a beneficial credential to the individual in the management accounting and financial management fields. The certification also symbolizes that the person has extreme knowledge in the areas of financial planning, analysis, control, decision making, and professional ethics.

CMA certified professionals are qualified enough to take the handling section in the areas of financial analysis, and financial planning including budgeting and forecasting. CMAs are working professionals under various roles all over the world.

Here are some of the industries where CMA professionals are highly working,

  • Manufacturing
  • Education services
  • Mining
  • Insurance and real estate
  • Finance
  • Banking
  • Construction
  • Communication and utility services
  • Transportations
  • Medical and health services

The job opportunities are huge in India as well as abroad. Many public and private sectors are in search of an energetic CMA candidate in order to make their financial operations easier and to ease up their financial burden.

Here are some of the employment areas of CMA professionals. They are,

  • Cost Accountant
  • Financial Accountant
  • Performance Management
  • Planning and budgeting
  • Investment decisions
  • Internal controls
  • Tax returns
  • Financial reporting

The skills of the individual pursuing the CMA certification will be extremely useful for many sectors around the world. The knowledge gained through CMA certification enables the professional to connect accounting concepts to the practical finance concepts.  CMA certification also hones improvement in the financial areas of the company and thereby brings huge returns through financial planning.

Frequently asked questions

How Should I Prepare for the CMA Foundation?

Usually, preparing for the CMA Foundation is easy when planned and executed correctly. Many exam aspirants have been spending around two to three hours on weekdays and around 8 to 10 hours on weekends. It is essential to take Mock tests once you complete every section. Instead of taking the whole syllabus mock tests, try to split the tests.

How Can I Prepare for CMA?

Individuals preparing for CMA must come up with a strict timing schedule that might enhance the aspirants to make their attempt successful. It is important to make a clear attempt of deciding which part to choose first. Come up with a study plan. Make a routine to revise the chapters before you delve into attempts.

What is the Difference Between CA and CMA?

Chartered Accountants (CA) and Certified Management Accountants (CMA) differ in the way they are applied in the industry. CA mainly relies on the accounting and taxation side of things. Whereas, CMA focuses on the business side of things. Both CA and CMA are amazing courses but it depends upon the individual to make it as his /her ideal decision.

After Finishing We Can Do CMA?

If a candidate wishes to do CMA after his/her degree, then they can join the CMA intermediate course while pursuing their UG courses/studies. The student will be eligible to appear to the Intermediate course after qualifying the CMA Foundation. And, are considered as regular students and can appear in the Intermediate Course Examination even during their pendency of UG courses.

What is CMA Course Fees?

Certified Management Accountant (CMA) has been the major qualification for professional certification, strongly favored by the fields of accounting management and financial management.

The fees structure for CMA course is,

Course Fee: Either Oral or Postal
Foundation 4000
Inter 20000
Final 17000

Can I do CS and CMA Simultaneously?

Yes, Of course. You can do CS and CMA simultaneously. Both courses form a great combination. But it is not recommended to do both simultaneously. If you wish to go along with both CS and CMA courses alongside, then forecheck whether you are able to handle both the courses at a time in order to come up with success on both sides. It helps you to avoid clashes during exam preparation.

Is There Any Difference Between ICWA and CMA?

There is no difference between ICWAI and CMA. Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI) has changed its name into The Institute of Cost Management Accountants of India (ICMAI). Added, the ICWA course has also been renamed as a CMA course. They are two different words with the same meaning.

Are the CA and the CMA Syllabus the Same?

No, there is a difference in the syllabus inculcated in CA and CMA. CA will take up the purpose of tuning up the knowledge of Costing and related concepts to the individuals. At the same time, CMA has to come up with all taxation concepts. So, the overall syllabus is the same. But, from an exam point of view, the weightage for subjects in the examination is different in the intermediate stage.

How Many Years Are Required to Complete a CMA?

An individual has to spend 6 months of training to appear in Final exams and thereby need around 3 years including the previous 6 months to become a CMA. The minimum duration required to complete CMA is around 3 to 3.5 years.

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