Are There CMA Benefits For You?

In this article, we compile and explain all the main benefits of CMA and put you on track to a respected career in accounting and finance.

Imagine a time in the future when you’ve just attained CMA certification. You remember the moment when you made the decision, and you begin to reflect on your journey. 

  • What were the most significant benefits of CMA membership?
  • Did CMA credentials give you an advantage in salary negotiations?  
  • Were you able to do work that you love to do because you became an advisor on complex management processes, making you invaluable to the organisations you worked for?
  • Would you recommend that other aspiring management accountants go this route?

Now, come back to the present day.  

What if you could have some of these answers today? Would it help you make your decision? In this article, we set out the benefits of CMA and put you on track to a respected career in accounting and finance. 

1. Management Accounting is the future

As the reality of AI enters the financial arena, every present and future accountant should be asking how this will affect their profession. Repetitive and even complex tasks that were previously done by bookkeepers and accountants will be taken over by automation software in the near future. That’s a given.

So, how will the role of the accountant evolve?   

Complex management processes such as corporate governance practice, risk management, fraud management and strategic planning will become the focus of many companies as data input and generation is taken over by machines.   

Management positions for highly qualified and skilled professional practitioners will become the norm. Businesses will look for accountants who can use large amounts of complex data to make sound business decisions quickly.

Institute of Management Accountants

Changes in the financial industry can only be supported by an organisation with experience and a proven track record of flexibility to the needs of its members, and the IMA is such an organisation. 

The Institute of Management Accountants has aligned the CMA certification to these changes and are committed to keeping the syllabus for the CMA exam responsive to the demands of the industry. The CMA website reports they have 140,000 members worldwide, and 4 out of 5 of these members say that without the CMA certification, they would not be where they are today. 

A huge benefit for members

One example of the IMA’s ability to keep up to date with changing circumstances is the addition of the module, ‘Technology and Analytics’ in 2023. 

Technology is now a vital factor in preparation for strategic management decisions. Process automation, business intelligence and efficient data utilisation are common place in the roles that CMAs fulfill.   

None of this is possible without the correct integration of accounting systems, so this change to the CMA syllabus is probably one of the best indications of their responsiveness to the needs of their members.   

Quick summary of the benefit: You will have a relevant certification that will give you the skills to hold an executive position where you can influence key investment decisions across multiple industries.

2. Salary

Speak to any current CMA member and they will tell you that an annual six figure salary was a major consideration in registering for CMA. With an increase in professional capabilities, you expect an increase in salary and benefits. Holding an important position where one decision can make or lose millions for a company usually means you can command a lucrative salary. 

CMA candidates are sought after in North America and this qualification is gaining popularity in the Middle East, India and China.  

Image courtesy of Canva/bepslabor

As per IMA, CMA-qualified MAs attract a 58% higher salary compared with their non-certified peers and 78% of CMAs report that certification helped their professional development.

Furthermore, CMA-qualified candidates receive better fringe benefits which can include partnerships, board positions and company shares.    

Quick summary of the benefit: Higher salaries globally for CMA-qualified members

3. A career worth pursuing

When you undertake ongoing personal career development as a CMA, it sets you up to have a rich and rewarding career. You receive personal and professional recognition for your contribution towards company successes and you become a respected practitioner in valuable industries. 

Many CMAs have found that they get more respect after their CMA certification because they received it from a prestigious organisation (IMA). This gives them the credibility they need to work on executive boards and opens up career opportunities they never had access to.

Your opinions hold weight in important business meetings and your job security greatly increases as a result of this designation. Even if a company goes through difficult times, the financial skills of a certified management accountant are needed to resolve the situation. Worst case scenario, if you lose your position due to company closure, CMAs are in such demand that you do not need to fear a loss of income.

Quick summary of the benefit: More respect for your skills and knowledge and senior management positions.

4. CMA is highly specialised

One of the most appealing reasons to get the CMA is its difficulty. What? Yes, you read correctly. 

Think about this. CMA graduates say that this is probably the most difficult certification that they have obtained. They can say this because senior financial professionals usually achieve around 3 certifications in their careers.   

This actually makes the successful completion of this qualification more valuable, not less. The specialisation of this qualification is partly what makes it so difficult and also in such demand by large corporates and government organisations. 

Employers are becoming aware of the fact that in corporate finance and manufacturing, the CMA graduate is superior to other certifications, especially in the US. To maintain the highly specialised nature of this qualification, the IMA go to some lengths to keep its members aware of legislative, technological and economic changes that will affect their work.

Quick summary of the benefit: A certification that is in demand

Image courtesy of Canva/GettyImages

5. CMA is a global certification

CMA is globally recognised. If you’re working in North America and are happy to stay local, then this doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but for those that have their sites set on other places, this is a critical benefit of CMA.

As previously mentioned, CMA is becoming highly popular in the Middle East, China, and India. The economies of these countries are evolving at a tremendous speed and so are the businesses in these regions. Start-ups in the Middle East and India are recruiting management accountants at high salaries to join their firms and get them in a competitive space as soon as possible. This benefit will be very exciting for anyone who wants a chance to impact cutting-edge business operations. 

6. Continuing professional development

On the surface level, this may not seem like much of a benefit, but for career advancement, you must prove to employers that you are continually updating your knowledge and skills.

With IMA, you will log a certain number of hours CPE annually and this forces you to increase your financial skills. No person would go to a surgeon who was certified 30 years ago and never updated their skills since that day.  Well, let’s hope not. It is the same with  management accountants - they must be on the cutting edge of their industries throughout their careers. 

7. Really good tuition providers

When cost is a consideration for you, you might be tempted to go it alone or take the cheap route. However, this is likely to have the opposite effect and increase your financial burden. If you don’t pass your exam on your own, you’ll be looking for a provider after already spending money on trying to do it yourself.   

There are some really good providers for CMA tuition and it is our recommendation that you go this way from the start. The exam preparation kits and tutor support will be invaluable to you, unless you want to re-write your exam a few times!

We’re not just saying this so that you can spend money signing up for a service you don’t need. We’ve been around long enough to see students try to do this on their own and eventually either give up or look for help. 

If you have a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting and have at least two years of work experience, then you can finish your exams in as little as 9 months with the right help and support from a good tuition provider. 

See this as some realistic but wise advice that you’ll thank us for later. 

Quick summary of the benefit: Pass your exams the first time. 


We hope this article leads you to a future that is bright and that you really will be able to reflect on your journey and conclude that CMA was the right choice for you. 

If you’ve been convinced, you can sign up to receive your tuition material today and get on your way to writing those CMA exams. Join the 140,000 CMA members who are making a name for themselves globally today!

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