How to fulfill your CMA CPE requirements

6 min read
cma continuing education requirements

Certified Management Accountants (CMAs) must complete annual continuing professional education (CPE) obligations. 

While some may think of these courses as a chore, the CMA CPE requirements are vital to keeping your certification active, as well as ensuring that you’re providing the most current and knowledgeable services for your organization. CPE is also an important way to advance your career by gaining specialized training in areas of interest. 

Learn the CMA CPE requirements and unlock the benefits that accompany relevant, targeted, accessible continuing education. 

What are the CMA CPE requirements? 

To keep your CMA certification in good standing, you must fulfill a certain number of continuing professional education (CPE) credits. The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) is the governing body over the CMA certification and stipulates completing 30 CPE credits by December 31 of each year. 

CMA CPE requirements state that you need 30 credits of CPE per year, two of which must be in ethics.

CMA CPE requirements also dictate that two of these 30 annual credits must be ethics CPE, but the other 28 may be focused on any area that is an acceptable CMA CPE credit.1

Best topics to meet CMA CPE requirements and build your skills 

CPE content covers a myriad of topics: everything from finance to taxes to auditing, and more. As a CMA, you want to use this opportunity to take courses that are relevant to your organizations’ needs and your career goals. Consider questions such as: Which topics interests me? What do I need to learn to better serve my clients? What training is needed for my dream job? 

Certain topics are especially beneficial for CMAs and provide a good starting point when planning how to meet your CMA CPE requirements. 


Because your CMA CPE requirements dictate that you must complete two credit hours of ethics per year, courses in this area are a necessary investment. As dictated by the IMA, CMAs must uphold four ethical principles: 

  • Honesty 
  • Fairness 
  • Objectivity 
  • Responsibility 

and four ethical standards: 

  • Competence 
  • Confidentiality 
  • Integrity 
  • Credibility2 

Courses that address any or all these topics are acceptable toward meeting CMA CPE requirements, and helping you gain a deeper understanding of how to navigate the sometimes-sticky dilemmas that arise in your day-to-day work as a CMA. 


Managerial accounting is not beyond the reach of technology’s revolutionizing nature. It’s important to keep up with the ever-changing landscape as new tools enter the industry and create greater efficiency, more opportunities, and better data management. Tech CPE courses can be highly beneficial to make sure that you’re not only proficient in new technology, but also able to offer novel solutions and handle tools that make your organization better. 


As a CMA, you play a decisive role in the way that organizations handle money and allocate resources. Equipping yourself with the soft skills of great team leadership, combined with the nature of your high-stakes work, sets you on the career path toward opportunities in executive financial positions like Controller, Financial Director, and CFO. 

Business-specific courses 

Fulfilling CMA CPE requirements in economics, marketing, and behavioral management is useful for CMAs, since they so deeply need to understand the inner workings of their organizations. Business-related topics will strengthen your knowledge of the way companies operate and how they tend to make decisions, helping you better understand financial data from all angles and building a stronger foundation for a successful CMA career. 

Management services 

Brushing up on essential management-related topics—everything from project management to team management to risk management—is a valuable investment of your CPE resources. These skills are integral to a CMA’s job and will be required of you throughout your career. You may find one of these management areas that is especially interesting and use CPE to gain more specialized knowledge on this topic. Or, you could take advantage of the chance to get extra training in an area that you need to know, but isn’t yet in your skillset. 

How to meet CMA CPE requirements 

You can earn CPE credits through a variety of mediums, including: 

  • Online courses 
  • Certificate programs 
  • Webcasts  
  • Conferences 
  • Workshops 
  • Events 

The format you choose depends on your learning preferences, where you find a topic of interest, and convenience. 

Consider these tips to help you plan your CPE: 

  1. Many CMAs choose online courses and webcasts because they can be completed from anywhere with internet connection and flexibly fit into an already full schedule.
  2. Certificate programs provide more in-depth training on a particular topic and attribute several credit hours at once to those who complete the program.
  3. Don't lose sight of your CPE. Accumulating 30 credits annually means that you’ll need to take several courses. Pace yourself and set a plan for the year’s learning. Perhaps most importantly, find a way to keep track of your CPE credits, so you always know how many you’ve earned, how many you still need, and how to easily access your CPE certifications. 

Complete your CMA CPE requirements with Becker

It's helpful to find a trusted CPE provider with many course options and learning styles. Becker offers:

  • Online courses through our user-friendly platform
  • Variety of course topics targeted especially for CMAs
  • Convenient live and on-demand webcasts 
  • Certification programs 
  • Access to our Compliance Tracker to manage your CPE credits

Compare Becker’s CPE subscription packages and explore our online CPE course catalog to find the option that’s best for you to meet CMA CPE requirements and advance your career.

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