3 ways to use the CMA certification during the accounting digital transformation

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The accounting field is changing. As the rest of the world goes digital, it should come as no surprise that the role of technology in accounting is steadily growing. This accounting digital transformation may leave you wondering whether your role as an accountant is still important, or whether intelligent technology can take your place. 

If you're concerned about how these technological changes will impact the profession, you might need to consider earning the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certification. The CMA certification ranks as one of the fastest growing accounting certifications in the world and brings with it some great benefits, especially as the finance and digital transformation takes place. 

What is the CMA certification? 

The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certification is the globally recognized, advanced-level certification awarded to accountants and financial professionals in business by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). For comparison, a CPA focuses their skillset towards financial reporting and compliance. A CMA is focused on business analysis and strategy, as well as corporate financial management.

Many professionals consider the CMA program to be a time-efficient investment, based on the flexibility of the program and the benefits earned.

Earning this certification can provide new career opportunities for accountants concerned with upcoming changes in technology and the accounting digital transformation. CMAs are some of the most sought after financial and accounting employees by multi-national companies of all sizes. From this high employer demand comes higher earning potential. The credential can also lead to more job flexibility and greater credibility as a business partner overall.

Using the CMA certification during the accounting digital transformation

These great benefits don't come from nothing, though - they're well earned. Integrating the strategic insights of the role of technology in accounting allows CMAs to use this knowledge in the real world. Here are three ways that certified CMAs can use their accounting expertise during the finance and digital transformation. 

  1. Cloud computing
    Accounting digital transformation has occurred so rapidly that it can be difficult to keep pace. For example, many companies and accounting firms have flocked to cloud-based systems. Ranging from systems like QuickBooks Online to more advanced Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, this conversion is growing fast. 

    Since data is stored centrally, cloud computing allows accountants to streamline and obtain information regardless of physical location and process this information in real-time. Understanding these changes is key to keeping your company from falling behind the curve by having timely and accurate information. 
  2. Innovations in tax software
    As cloud computing becomes standard practice, it also drives changes in the underlying software programs. Tax software is seeing significant changes in areas like data-entry and computation, where functions are now performed automatically - rather than by a CPA with a pen and a calculator in days past. 

    For example, an accountant can now scan a photo of a page and the software will automatically fill-in the data fields. The transition to robotic automation from manual processes changes the role of the accountant from bare bones data entry to more complex data analysis. 

    In other words, earning additional certifications like the CMA allows accountants more strategic insights into analyzing the "why" behind data and not just the "what." 
  3. Mobile accounting
    Even traditional bookkeeping duties of accountants are transforming. Where companies previously required full-time employees to perform functions like invoicing or categorization of expenses, many software programs can now do this automatically.

    Better yet, users can manage it all from a mobile device. This means that even when you're not around a computer you can gauge your company's financial performance and get information when you need it. 

Cloud computing, software innovations, and mobile accounting are only a few of the changes occurring in our modern accounting world. Understanding these changes through the CMA certification may prove useful to accountants as they pursue new roles in this age.

On the flipside of benefits to accountants, the benefits to companies of having CMAs on payroll are immense. For those with an eye to the future, having an employee who understands the role of technology in accounting is critical in not being left behind.

This can lead to changing how your company sets goals and objectives and even the ability to conduct business physically unrestrained. Companies have also seen benefits for corporate fraud prevention and detection based on improved internal controls. 

If you have excellent communication and problem-solving skills, the ability to act in a leadership role, and a strong desire to work across all areas of accounting and demonstrate ethical behavior, you may want to consider earning a CMA certification. 

Ready to begin your CMA journey? Start preparing with the Becker CMA Exam Review.

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