CMA Benefits - Top Reasons to Become a CMA
In the financial and accounting world, the designation of Certified Management Accountant, or CMA, is one that holds acclaim around the world. The CMA certification is quite often compared to the CPA or CFP titles. However, the benefits of being a CMA are unique and substantial in their own right. In fact, the CMA is one of the few accounting credentials that is recognized across international borders because of its global relevance.
A growing number of accountants choose to pursue the CMA certification each year for varying reasons, from career flexibility to prestige and more. In fact, the number of new CMAs climbed to new heights and reached an all-time high in 2019.
The benefits of being a CMA
So, what exactly does a CMA do, and why is the designation so sought after? Becker has compiled the top benefits of becoming a CMA to help you understand the advantages that come with this esteemed career path. Read on to learn more!
One major benefit of being a CMA is that preparing for the certification can broaden your knowledge of management accounting topics.
Additionally, earning a CMA certification can help you stand out among other accountants for new roles. Having the CMA designation next to your name not only distinguishes you from others in the field, but can also add increased credibility to your other qualifications.
Obtaining the CMA certification can boost your professional outlook because passing the associated CMA Exam demonstrates your knowledge of financial management processes. The two sections of the CMA Exam focus on financial planning and management topics.
Combined with the accounting experience requirements outlined in the CMA handbook, earning a CMA solidifies your status of being an experienced and versatile accountant.
Many CMAs also have the duty of overseeing, doling out tasks for, and generally managing more junior-level accounting staff. If you’re someone who enjoys managing and mentoring others, the CMA certification can be a fast track to manager-level roles.
Additionally, if you’re seeking new career opportunities, the benefits of the CMA designation present opportunities to pivot your career into more cost management roles, and the CMA title can help you stand out in the accounting community. Explore some of the career paths that CMAs can pursue on the IMA’s website.
Most CMAs work with upper level management staff at a given firm or company and take on a major role in making key choices for the company’s finances. A CMA benefits from having this cost management experience under their belt; the certification can help supervisors view you as a suitable candidate for the next available promotion and grant you roles with increased responsibility.
CMAs tend to work closely with C-suite executives and managers to provide financial guidance, as they have proven expertise on making financial decisions. As a result, an elevated role often translates into higher earning potential. Compared to the initially low investment, the CMA can prove its return on investment quite quickly.
Increase financial skills / knowledge
Often, accountants who pursue the CMA title are passionate about accounting and finance. Pursuing a CMA demands a strong grasp of basic and complex management processes, as the two parts of the CMA exam test on an array of these topics. A CMA benefits from developing these critical skill sets in many different ways.
As earning the CMA title requires a thorough and diligent knowledge of management accounting processes, putting these principles into practice will grant transferable skills. A CMA’s responsibilities are often more specialized than a general accountant’s job description. Performing tasks like budget analysis and planning, making key investment decisions and risk management in your daily repertoire will expand your professional capabilities.
Other benefits of becoming a CMA include advancing career breadth, as you’ll take on more tasks at a managerial level. For example, many CMAs deal with preparing data in a digestible way for executive boards and other important company personnel. Most entry-level accountants and CPAs typically will not perform these types of roles. As a CMA, you'll also contribute to larger business objectives and will likely have to analyze external trends and figures, a task that is usually reserved for upper-level accountants.
One of the many benefits of the CMA designation is that you can gain a deeper understanding of a company’s financial workings. If you’re interested in learning the behind-the-scenes of cost accounting and extending the span of your career horizons, this may be the right path for you.
The prestige of having a CMA title isn’t limited to the U.S. border. While getting the CMA is highly respected inside the accounting and finance world, the CMA is a universal accreditation - in fact, the job outlook for CMAs is growing - since 2019, new CMAs grew 17% globally. (Source: IMA)
Other accounting certifications often require retesting to be recognized in other countries or even states/jurisdictions. The CMA certification is one of the few that gains global recognition, so much so that the title transcends borders. In fact, the IMA refers to the CMA certification as the “global benchmark for management accountants and financial professionals,” as it is well-known and generally well-received around the world. CMAs benefit from their accreditation when they go abroad, as the certification is not exclusive to one country.
As the CMA certification is globally recognized and honored, this makes it an ideal choice for candidates who have hopes of one day living or working abroad. If your firm has international offices or often works with overseas businesses, this may be a good choice for your career path. Passing the two sections of the CMA Exam just once grants you a lifetime of global career opportunities.
The benefits of being a CMA are clearly widespread, and can lead to a variety of lucrative and fulfilling career opportunities that can reward you throughout your career’s lifecycle. Explore all of Becker’s CMA offerings to get started on your path to CMA.
Learn more about the requirements and background of obtaining a CMA certification.