The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) qualification is a post-graduate level professional qualification that those already possessing a CA/CPA would undertake whilst at a senior level in the organisation. In short, the CA/CPA are ‘generalist’ qualifications, mainly focusing on statutory financial reporting, auditing and taxation; whilst the CMA is a ‘specialist’ qualification focusing on strategic decision-making, business analysis and sustainable value creation.
A CMA is part of the management team, who understands the business formula for delivering value to the customer, arriving at strategies for identifying, developing, marketing and evaluating a product or service throughout the entire life cycle. He or she assesses the competitive environment and ascertains whether there is a sustainable competitive advantage. Unlike a CA/CPA, who mainly emphasises after-the-fact verification for statutory purposes, the CMA looks to the future to provide real-world strategic direction, business management and leadership. A CMA creates value instead of just measuring it.
The ICMA has over quarter-century of history in setting the current standard of skills and qualifications needed to be certified as a management accountant. All ICMA members must have a relevant accounting degree or equivalent before undertaking the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) professional program; and upon qualifying, must possess 5-years of relevant experience to become a CMA.