The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation is granted by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), provided that the candidate passed a rigorous examination of four parts, and met educational and practical experience requirements. CMA's generally provides their services directly to their employers rather than to the public. CMA's may also provide services to the public, but to a lesser extent than a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
The CMA credentials differ significantly from the CPA designation, and the decision to pursue one over the other depends entirely on oneís career goals. More than 80% of accounting professionals in the U.S. work within organizations, building quality financial practices into the organization through decision support, planning, and control over the organizationís value-creating operations. For these managerial finance and accounting professionals, the CMA may be more appropriate as a best selection. Many professional accountants hold both CPA and CMA designations.
In order to earn the CMA designation in the United States, an accountant must have mastered a comprehensive body of knowledge by demonstrating six key skill levels -- knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation -- in the following areas: - Business Analysis (economics, internal controls, quantitative methods, financial statement analysis) - Management Accounting and Reporting (budget preparation, cost management, performance measurement, external financial reporting) - Strategic Management (strategic planning, corporate finance, decision analysis, investment decision analysis) - Business Applications (all of the above, plus organization management, behavioral issues, ethical considerations)
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