Benefits of doing CMA US

What is CMA US ?

CMA stands for Certified Management Accountant. This qualification is an approved professional qualification from International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) which is the world wide apex body for controlling all the financial professional qualifications in the world.

In India, there are two such financial professional course which are approved by IFAC. One is Chartered Accountant (CA) by Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and the other is Certified Management Accountant (CMA) by Institute of Cost Accountants of India.

In the USA, there are two financial professional courses approved by IFAC. One is Certified Public Accountant (CPA) by Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA) and the other is Certified Management Accountant (CMA) by Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).

See the complete list of IFAC approve professional bodies here

As you can see, both USA and India have professional qualification of CMA with the same name. However, the structure, exam pattern, evaluation strategy, recognition, job profile, pass ratio, duration, etc are completely different. Read about the complete difference here

Benefits of CMA USA for an University Student

Students wanting to pursue their career in the finance and accounts field mostly do their graduation in either B Com or BBA from various Universities. Listed below are some clear benefits which an University Student gets if they start with the CMA US journey while in college/university

  1. Discounts in professional fees. When an University student starts pursuing the CMA US course, they enjoy student discounts to the tune of USD 390 (INR 32,000) in Registration and Exam Fees.
  2. 70% common subjects between the CMA USA and the Under Graduation program which a student is pursuing. This means that while studying for their undergraduate program, they will need to exert a slight effort to prepare for the CMA USA exams as well.
  3. Graduate with a professional qualification. We all know that in todays job market, being just a graduate will attract a very low starting salary. Getting into a MNC can remain a dream. With just 2 exams to clear in CMA US, there is a major chance that you are professionally qualified before you complete your graduation. This means that by the time you are a graduate, you are also professionally qualified which make you eligible to get a job in top MNC companies like TCS, Accenture, Wipro, Cap Gemini, CTS, IBM, etc, etc.
  4. High billable value. The starting salary in top MNC can be as high as INR 6-8 l.p.a. This is because, your billable hours to the US based clients will increase drastically when you have a US based professional qualification with you. 90% of the work in these MNC are from the USA. So the value for a US Professional qualification is much higher than any Indian qualification.
  5. 1/5th the cost of MBA. Lot of students plan to go for MBA after completing their Graduation. The cost of doing an MBA from a tier 1 college ranges from 25-30 lacs. However, even if a student chooses to go for lower tier colleges, the cost will range from 5-8 lacs. For CMA US, the cost is around 1.30 lacs which is way below the cost of MBA.
  6. Be in the finance field. The job opportunities after doing an MBA is normally with the various private banks and will mostly involve target oriented work. Even if you are able to crack interview in MNC, you will be doing the Accounts Receivable (AR), Accounts Payable (AP), General Ledger (GL) and Tax work which is nothing but data entry work. The billable hours for such work is very very low and hence the salary structure is in the range of 10-15K per month. However once you are CMA US certified, your work involves in Risk Analysis, Budgeting & Forecasting, Financial Analysis, etc where the billable hours are much high. Hence the salary structure ranges from 6-8 lacs per annum.

Benefits of CMA USA for Working Professionals

There are times when you feel stuck in your career. You have been working in your current role for 3-4 years or more. But you don’t find any new challenges or opportunities to learn anything new. You are tired of the routine work and do not find any joy. Simply, you feel just bored.

Many high-performers often face this common dilemma as they frequently outgrow their positions and roles. As a high-performer, your learning and growth cycle runs at a faster pace. While a mediocre performer may stay in a job comfortably for 8-10 years, it is hard for high-performing professionals to stay in a role beyond 3-4 years. They simply become bored and lose interest in their work, which can lead to the pursuit of another career opportunity or a career crucible.

What are the options?

  1. Look for a job. The natural tendency is to look for a new job. But it may not be easy. Before jumping ship, carefully evaluate your options.
  2. Look internal. There may be opportunities available internally. The prospects of moving into another role internally are generally much higher than finding a new job externally.

While you try to evaluate both the options, without a professional qualification in finance, moving up the curve is quite challenging. So which ever option you choose, a professional qualification can make your position much stronger and can make you move to the next level.

CMA USA is the only professional qualification which is fastest and less expensive to acquire. Please remember that MBA is NOT a professional qualification. It is an academic qualification and the degree is awarded by an University.

To complete a CMA (US) it takes around 6-9 months time only. There are only 2 exams to be completed which can be given in various exam windows in a year. There are 3 such exam windows in a year. Exams are complete computer based and 75% of the question are Multiple Choice Questions and 25% are Essay question. In absolute terms, there will be 100 MCQ and only 2 Essay questions.

The cost of completing a CMA USA is also in the range if INR 1.5-1.7 lacs. This is much much lower than any other professional qualifications available globally.

Given below is a summary of benefits :

  1. Fastest to complete. Takes 6-9 months ONLY
  2. Cost efficient. Takes 1.5-1.7 lacs which is lowest among all professional qualifications
  3. Globally recognized. CMA USA is recognized in more than 50+ countries across the world
  4. Helps move to the next level either internally or externally
  5. Since it is a full qualification, the word CMA can be used with your name e.g Avinash Singh CMA
  6. Chance to move out of AR/AP/GL/Tax job roles into a Managerial Level position
  7. Chance to move from Managerial level position to a Sr Manager, VP, CFO position

Remember, all jobs are temporary. Only your career is permanent. Staying too long in a misfit role may make you unfit for your next growth opportunity. Evaluate your situation and make a calculated move. While the job is important, keeping the perspective of managing your long-term career is more important.  

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