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CMA: Full Form, Course Details, Syllabus, Duration, Exam, Salary in India

28 January,2024  |  By Brainwonders

CMA: Full Form

What is CMA Course

CMA stands for Certified Management Accountant. ICWA (The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India) offers a CMA course that nurtures professional development in management and accounting. To become a successful Certified Management Accountant, you must first administer ICWAI for the CMA foundation exam. The CMA course consists of 3 levels as framed by ICWA:

  • Foundation
  • Intermediate
  • Final

After successfully completing the CMA course, students excel in this field as Certified Accountants, Certified Management Accountants and Cost & Management Accountants. After completing the CMA course, you can work in consulting businesses, stock exchanges, the public utility sector, government regulatory agencies, Training and research institutes, financial institutions, and other organisations. 

CMA Exam Eligibility

  • To apply for the exam, students must have completed a 12th and Bachelor's degree from a recognised college or university.
  • The CMA aspirants must also have two years of professional experience in Financial Management or Management Accounting.

CMA Course Duration

Depending on the aspirant's study plan and plan, the CMA course can be completed in a minimum of 6 months to 3 years. Per the guidelines set by the IMA, an aspirant must complete the exam within 3 years from the registration date.

CMA in India Syllabus

In India, to become a Certified Management Accountant, you have to clear three levels of the CMA Course program:

  • Foundation Exam
  • Intermediate Exam
  • Final Exam
CMA Foundation CMA Intermediate CMA Final 

Paper 1: Fundamentals of Economics and Management

Paper 2: Fundamentals of Accounting

Paper 3: Fundamentals of Laws and Ethics

Paper 4: Fundamentals of Business Mathematics & Statistic

Paper 5 Financial Accounting

Paper 6 Laws, Ethics and Governance

Paper 7 Direct Taxation

Paper 8 Cost accounting and financial management

Paper 9 Operation Management Information System

Paper 10 Cost and Management Accounting

Paper 11 Indirect Taxation

Paper 12 Company Accounts & Audit

Paper 13- Corporate Laws and Compliance

Paper 14- Advanced Financial Management

Paper 15- Business Strategy & Strategic Cost Management

Paper 16- Tax Management and Practice

Paper 17 : Strategic Performance Management

Paper 18- Corporate Financial Reporting

Paper 19- Cost and Management Audit

Paper 20- Financial Analysis & Business Valuation


US CMA Syllabus 

The CMA Certification in the US is provided by the IMA (Institute of Management Accountants), USA. The CMA course ranks among the top professional courses in terms of management accounting.

The US Certified Management Accounting course comprises 12 subjects which are divided into part 1 and part 2. CMA syllabus consists of subjects like  Financial Reporting, Budgeting, costing, internal controls and advanced decision-making areas like Financial Statement Analysis, Marginal Costing, Corporate Finance, Capital Budgeting, and Risk Management. The CMA course duration consists of 6-18 months, where students can complete the CMA course of both parts. It mostly takes 3 years to complete the course. Around 4000 CMAs are granted certificates each year globally with a pass percentage of 50%. 

CMA USA Part 1 CMA USA Part 2
Financial Reporting (15%) Risk Management (10%)
Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting (20%) Professional Ethics (15%)
Cost Management (15%) Investment Decisions (10%)
Performance Management (20%) Corporate Finance (20%)
Internal Controls (15%) Financial Statement Analysis (20%)
Technology and Analytics (15%) Decision Analysis (25%)

US CMA Exam Structure

As we discussed earlier, the CMA course is divided into two parts; hence there are two tests for each. Both tests consist of 75% objective questions (MCQs) and 25% subjective questions (essay-type questions).

IMA's 6-month testing period is separated into three testing windows: January-February, May-June, and September-October. Candidates have the option of scheduling their exams during the specified testing windows.

The CMA test has a time limit of four hours for parts one and two, with three hours allotted to the objective section and one hour allotted to the essay questions. Prometric administers the exam at several locations around the world. The aspirant must schedule the exam at least 72 hours in advance. It is best to arrange it for at least four weeks prior. 

Financial Planning, Performance, and Analytics 100 multiple-choice questions, two essay questions 4 hours
Strategic Financial Management 100 multiple-choice questions, two essay questions 4 hours

Top Careers for CMA:

Careers Average Salary
Financial Analyst ₹40,000-60,000
Financial Examiner ₹50,000-100,000
Financial Manager ₹35,000-40,000
Financial Service Manager ₹20,000-60,000
Cost and Management Accountant ₹15,000-35,000

So when should apply for CMA certification?

The Cost and Managing Account (CMA) program offer the CMA Foundation, Intermediate and Final levels. The registration periods for each of these courses are as follows:

CMA Foundation Course: Applications must be submitted by 31st January for the June term examinations and by 31st July for the December term examinations.

CMA Intermediate Course: Registrations are open throughout the year, with applications due by 31st January for the June term examinations and by 31st July for the December term examinations.

CMA Final Course: Registrations are available throughout the year, with applications accepted until 31st January for the June term examinations and 31st July for the December term examinations.

Why study CMA?

Reasons to pursue the Certified Management Accounting course:

  • Respected job profiles

There are numerous reasons to pursue the Certificate Management Accounting course. Apart from becoming a Certified Management Account, you can discover other career prospects, including Management Accountant, Cost Accountant, Budget Analyst, Senior Accountant, Financial Analyst, Finance Manager, etc. 

  • Scalable Opportunities

There are impeccable opportunities available after completing the CMA course. Candidates can either work for renowned companies with impeccable job prospects or pursue higher studies in the accounting field that will strengthen their resumes. 

  • Good Compensation

Candidates with the CMA degree earn a solid living. According to Payscale, the average annual income for Certified Management Accountants in India is around INR 7.90 lakhs. 

  • Discover the field of Accounting, Finance & Management

CMA aspirants gain in-depth knowledge in the field of management, finance as well as accounting. It is one of the globally recognised job profiles which open the doors to the business and corporate world.

CMA Salary in India

According to Payscale, the annual salary range for a Certified Management Accountant is between 5 and 8 lakhs. This range represents the average salary for this profession. There is a possibility that the salary will increase in proportion to the amount of years worked. 

Employment Areas after CMA

Given the extensive demand for management accountants, every other business employs CMAs. Here are a few key industries that use CMAs in India and worldwide. 

  • E-Commerce
  • Consulting Services
  • Taxation 
  • Financial Planning
  • Accounting
  • Non-Profit Organisations
  • IT & ES 
  • Business Valuation and many more

CMA in the United States vs. CMA in India vs. CIMA in the United Kingdom 

Points of difference US CMA CMA India CIMA - UK
Academic focus Management Accountancy Cost Accountancy Management Accountancy
Board Institute for Management Accountants ICWA (The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India) Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
Duration 6 months 3 years 2-4 years
Papers 2 Papers 20 Papers 16 Papers
Levels of Toughness Single level 3 5
Cost to pursue INR 80 thousand INR 1 lakh INR 2.5-3 lakhs
Recognition Globally India UK

We hope this blog will help you and direct you if you are planning to start your career as a Certified Management Accountant. You can pursue the CMA course in India, UK or US per your preference. Most students opt for the USA CMA program because it is internationally recognised. 

If you are still stuck in the middle, contact our Expert team of Career Counsellors at Brainwonders, and we will assist you in determining your interests and mapping out a career path based on your interests.

Frequently asked questions about CMA

Q.1 What is the full form of CMA?

Ans: Certified Management Accountant

Q.2 What are the career options after completing CMA?

Ans: For those who have completed their Certified Management Accounting (CMA) qualifications, a range of rewarding career paths are available. With an in-depth knowledge of accounting and finance, CMAs can take on roles such as financial analyst or financial controller in private companies, or even become part of a consulting team. A CMA can also use their expertise to work in government organisations, where they may manage budgets, analyse financial data, or help create policies and regulations. 

Q.3 What is the average salary that students can expect after completing CMA?

Ans: The average salary that a CMA student can expect is between 5 lakhs - 8 lakhs. However, with relevant experience and additional qualifications, the earning potential of a CMA graduate can be significantly increased. Earning a CMA certification can open up many doors for professionals seeking advancement in their career, and the payout can be very rewarding.

Q.4 What is the salary of ICWA in India?

Ans: Salaries for ICWA professionals in India vary from around ₹ 3.0 Lakhs to about ₹ 6.0 Lakhs, encompassing an average yearly income of approximately ₹ 4.0 Lakhs.

Are you aware which subjects and courses will bring you closer to your dream career?

Worry not, because the Brainwonders test and guidance will not only help you know it, but also follow it!



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