How Much Does A CMA Make? (With Skills And Requirements)

Updated 26 January 2023

Certified management accountant (CMA) is a professional specialisation that you may consider if you are a finance or accounting professional. With the relevant educational background and experience, you can become a certified management accountant and have an extensive range of career options. Having knowledge about this certification and understanding the ways to obtain it can help you gain expertise in strategic management and financial accounting. In this article, we discuss how much does a CMA make and explore their responsibilities, along with steps to become one.

How much does a CMA make?

The average salary of a certified management accountant is ₹30,729 per month. This salary may vary depending on professional experience, location and industry. CMAs can also work on an hourly basis. Their working hours may vary depending on the needs of employers.

Related: What Is an Accountant? Types and Career Advice

What does a CMA do?

Certified management accountant manages accounting and financial management for businesses and companies. CMAs work in the finance or accounting industry. The work of CMA may vary depending on their industry and the job role. Here are some primary duties for a certified management accountant:

Prepare financial statements

Certified management accountants prepare financial statements such as balance sheets, income and cash flow statements. A balance sheet gives insights into the assets and liabilities of a company. A cash flow statement shows the spending versus expenses of the company. Certified management accountants use these statements and assist senior accountants and shareholders.

Create and maintain company budgets

Certified management accountants manage the complete process of creating and controlling the budget of a company. They identify and set limits regarding the expenses and costs associated with the operation of a company. Predicting impending expenditures and expecting costs requires research and tracking of all business activities of the organisation. A CMA helps the business keep budget under control by implementing a cost management structure and performing analysis for projects.

Supervise staff in the accounting department

CMAs mentor and supervise lower level staff in accounting or financial departments and help them prepare financial statements and budgets. They often conduct meetings with accounting staff and identify their strength and areas of improvement. Certified management accountants recommend best practices and solutions to lower level accountants to meet goals and the deadlines of the organisation.

Monitor internal controls

CMAs monitor internal and external issues or inefficiencies. They take necessary steps to prevent frauds or stealing of assets. Certified management accountants advise executives and stakeholders to avoid or mitigate financial risks. By completing internal audits, CMAs check the effectiveness and operational standards of an organisation.

Coordinate financial operations

A CMA makes sure that the financial activities of a business align with its objectives and initiatives. They analyse the performance market of the financial sector of the business and take steps to improve performance within the workforce. Certified management accountants have knowledge of all necessary information related to financial expenditures of the organisation.

Related: Accountant Roles and Responsibilities: A Complete Guide

Skills for a CMA

Here are some of the essential skills for a certified management accountant:

  • Knowledge of basic accounting: CMAs have knowledge of basic tax and generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

  • Communication skills: Certified management accountants can communicate well with their financial and accounting teams. Conveying financial information to non-accountant teams requires excellent communication skills.

  • Risk management skills: CMAs require risk management skills to effectively deal with the financial uncertainties in an organisation.

  • Attention to detail: Certified management accountants require strong attention while performing finance-related tasks to pick up slight errors.

  • Leadership skills: CMAs require leadership skills to manage lower level accounting staff and review their work in a timely manner. Having leadership skills helps them train accounting staff and meet the goals of an organisation.

How to become a CMA

Here are the steps required to become a certified management accountant:

1. Complete your 10+2 in any stream

The first step to becoming a CMA is to successfully complete your high school examination in any stream. You may also consider pursuing a diploma in commerce education by AICTE or the state board of technical education. You can only appear in the CMA foundation examination after you have cleared your 10+2 examination.

Related: What Are the Qualifications Required to Become a CA?

2. Enrol in the foundation examination

After completing your high school examination, you can enrol in the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) for the foundation course. Candidates prepare months before the foundation examination to register themselves for the CMA intermediate course. The application for the CMA foundation course remains active throughout the year and you can apply four months prior to the term.

3. Enrol in the intermediate course

Candidates can enrol in ICAI for CMA intermediate course after qualifying for the foundation examination. You may also enrol in this course without qualifying for the foundation exam. Candidates with a graduate or post-graduate degree in commerce with a minimum of 55% can directly enrol for the CMA intermediate course. For graduates and postgraduates in non-commerce streams, the minimum aggregate mark is 60%.

4. Complete CMA practical training

Practical training is an essential step to becoming a certified management accountant. It is mandatory to complete at least six months of CMA practical training before appearing for the CMA final examination. You can undergo practical training immediately after your enrolment in the CMA intermediate course or before the final examination.

The duration of certified management accountant practical training is three years. This training can be helpful to you in the following ways:

  • providing you with exposure to work environments

  • developing the essential hard and soft skills

  • applying theoretical knowledge of accounting to practical situations

  • providing on-the-job experience

  • helping candidates to become confident in the professional world

5. Qualify for the final course

After successfully completing the CMA intermediate course, you can enrol in the CMA final course. The CMA final course involves a compulsory Industry Oriented Training Programme (IOTP) for seven days. Practical training of at least six months is mandatory for enrolling in the CMA final course.

During the final course, candidates learn about various soft skills, including business etiquette, interview skills, presentation skills and career planning. Aside from these soft skills, candidates learn about cost management, direct and indirect taxes and finalisation of accounts. Once you qualify for the CMA final examination, you may get registered with the ICAI and become a certified management accountant.

6. Join an internship

You can join an internship after the successful completion of the CMA final course. Aspiring candidates who want to join an internship as a certified management accountant undergo mandatory training. Candidates can opt for CMA online practice or complete training practically from relevant organisational premises. You can complete your training from business startups or companies. There are plenty of internship opportunities available for CMAs.

Related: What Are Internships and How Do You Find One?

FAQs about CMAs

Here are some frequently asked questions about CMA jobs:

What are the benefits of CMA jobs?

CMA professionals can work in different strategic roles within finance teams. They can enjoy the following advantages:

  • higher-paying positions based on skills and expertise

  • globally applicable management accountant certification

  • more job opportunities

  • better job security

What is the difference between a CMA and CPA?

The primary difference between a certified management accountant (CMA) and a certified public accountant (CPA) is the difference in the tasks they perform. CMA is responsible for the accounting of a company and the CPA is responsible for public accounting. A CPA generally focuses on general accounting, audits and taxes, while a CMA does accounting management for a company.

How long does it take to complete the CMA course?

The course to become a certified management accountant consists of three stages which are foundation, intermediate and final courses. Usually, candidates take three to four years to complete the CMA course. The duration of becoming a CMA depends on the performance and career path of candidates.

What is the syllabus of the CMA course?

The certified management accountant course consists of twenty subjects that candidates learn in three stages. The CMA foundation syllabus contains fundamentals of accounting, laws and ethics, business mathematics, statistics, economics and management. Candidates learn eight different subjects during their intermediate course such as financial accounting and direct and indirect taxation. Another eight subjects are in the CMA final course syllabus.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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