Certification

The Gold Standard

The CMA Program is celebrating its 40th year as the gold standard certification for accountants and financial professionals in business.

Certification Requirements

Requirements for certification include

  • Membership in IMA.  If you are not already a member, Join IMA now.
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university or an equivalent degree as determined by an independent evaluation agency. Please reference the Education Qualification Section of the CMA Handbook.
  • Entrance into the CMA Program.  (Recommended to be done at least six weeks prior to first exam.)
  • Completion of Part 1 and Part 2 of the CMA exam.

Examination Structure

Part 1: Financial Reporting, 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)

Each exam part will consist of 100 multiple choice questions and two 30-minute essay questions. You will have 3 hours to complete the multiple choice section and one hour to complete the essays. The essays will be presented after you have completed the multiple choice section of the exam or after 3 hours, whichever comes first. Once you complete and exit the multiple choice section of the exam, you cannot go back. You must remain in the essay section to complete the exam. The essay section consists of 8-10 written response or calculation questions based on two scenarios, describing a typical business situation.

Note: You must answer at least 50% of the multiple-choice questions correctly to be eligible to take the essay section.

You will not receive immediate pass/fail results because the essay questions will be graded off-line. This is a time consuming and labor intensive process. In order to assure consistency, accuracy, and fairness all papers are graded at the same time. Sample grading is performed first to ensure all alternative solutions have been accounted for. Reviewers check the grading throughout the grading process. Once grading is completed there is an additional review of papers on the borderline of passing. The scores for the multiple choice section will be added to the scores of the essay section for a total weighted score of pass/fail reflected in a scaled score for the entire part. Candidates are not required to “pass” both sections; the total score determines pass/fail status. Exam results will be emailed and posted to your online profile approximately six weeks from the end of the month in which you tested.

**Please NOTE: You cannot take an exam part more than one time during a testing window.

The tests are offered during testing windows.  The windows are January and February, May and June, and also September and October.  The Grand Rapids Prometric location is at 3910 Burton St., SE, Suite 101.  To find other locations that may be more convenient to you, please visit www.prometric.com/ICMA.

Examination Parts

Part 1-Financial Planning, Planning, Performance and Control

External Financial Reporting Decisions (15%)

Preparation of financial statements: balance sheet, income statement, statement of changes in equity, statement of cash flows; valuation of assets and liabilities; operating and capital leases; impact of equity transactions; revenue recognition; income measurement; major differences between U.S. GAAP and IFRS.

Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting (30%)

Strategic 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 as regression and learning curve analysis.

Performance Management (20%)

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; key performance indicators; and balanced scorecard.

Cost Management (20%)

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; supply chain management and business process performance topics such as lean manufacturing, ERP, theory of constraints, value chain analysis, ABM, continuous improvement and efficient accounting processes.

Internal Controls (15%)

Corporate governance; internal control risk; internal control environment, procedures, and standards; responsibility and authority for internal auditing; types of audits; assessing the adequacy of the accounting information system controls; and business continuity planning.

 

Part 2-Financial Decision Making

Financial Statement Analysis (25%)

Calculation and interpretation of financial ratios; evaluate performance utilizing multiple ratios; market value vs. book value; profitability analysis; analytical issues including impact of foreign operations, effects of changing prices and inflation, offbalance sheet financing, and earnings quality.

Corporate Finance (20%)

Types of risk; including credit, foreign exchange, interest rate, market, and political risk; capital instruments for long-term financing; initial and secondary public offerings; dividend policy; cost of capital; working capital management; raising capital; managing and financing working capital; mergers and acquisitions; and international finance.

Decision Analysis (20%)

Relevant data concepts; cost-volume-profit analysis; marginal analysis; make vs. buy decisions; income tax implications for operational decision analysis; pricing methodologies including market comparable, cost-based and value-based approaches.

Risk Management (10%)

Types of risk including business, hazard, financial, operational, strategic, legal compliance and political risk; risk mitigation; risk management; risk analysis; and ERM.

Investment Decisions (15%)

Cash flow estimates; discounted cash flow concepts; net present value; internal rate of return, discounted payback; payback; income tax implications for investment decisions; risk analysis; and real options.

Professional Ethics (10%)

Ethical considerations for management accounting professionals and for the organization.

Examination Fees

The exam registration fee is $250 and the exam fee is $415 per part.

Student/Academic Member Exam fee are entitled to reduced pricing of $188 for the exam entrance fee and $311 exam fee per part.

Preparing for the Exam

There are many CMA Self-Study courses approved by the IMA.  For a full list, please visit the IMA's Current CMA Candidates Self-Study Courses site.

Davenport University, College of Business has also partnered with the IMA to offer in-seat Certified Manager Accountant (CMA) prep courses. Please visit their website to learn more about the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) Program.

More Information

The IMA National's web site has a bunch of really good information on certification.  They have multiple pages, downloads, brochures and videos to help candidates know what to expect.  Please visit their web site to get more information, http://www.imanet.org/cma-certification.

 

For questions, suggestions or corrections about this website or newsletter, please contact Nicole Dunn at GrandRapidsIMA@gmail.com.

CMA - Certified Management Account

   

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