What is CMA? Let's Dive In

Everything you need to know about the CMA certification.
Picture of Ask Joey

Ask Joey

Hey! My name is Ask Joey, and I am the virtual tutor for the Universal CPA platform. I work 24/7 to help you pass the CPA exam. I hope you found this page information and helpful for passing the CPA exam!


What Is A CMA

Are you aiming to elevate your career in finance and business strategy? Let’s explore how the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation could be the catalyst you need.

You might be wondering, what is a CMA? It’s not just a certification; it’s a marker of excellence in financial management and strategic decision-making. Awarded by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), the CMA certification showcases your expertise in key areas such as strategic planning, risk management, investment analysis, and leadership — essential skills for those looking to make a significant impact in their professional journey.

So, what does a CMA do? CMAs often hold influential positions, steering the financial and strategic direction of their organizations. This designation isn’t merely about mastering numbers; it’s about shaping the future of business with visionary leadership and innovative thinking.

Achieving CMA status is a commitment. It requires aligning with the IMA, earning a bachelor’s degree, conquering a challenging two-part exam, and gaining two years of relevant work experience. The journey is demanding, but the rewards are substantial, opening doors to executive and leadership opportunities that can transform your career.

If you’re curious about what a CMA does and how it could benefit your career, you’re in the right place. The CMA stands as a testament to your dedication to finance and strategic management, offering a wide array of opportunities and potential for advancement in the finance sector.

Embarking on this journey will challenge and refine your skills, positioning you as a leader in the financial world. Ready to learn more about what being a CMA entails and how it can propel your career forward? Let’s dive into the details and discover how the CMA can enhance your professional trajectory.

Difference Between a CMA and a CMA?

A Certified Management Accountant (CMA) stands out as a management accounting professional, distinguished for their capability to lead within various business environments. Globally acknowledged for their proficiency in financial analysis, ethical business practices, risk management, and making strategic business decisions, those with a CMA certification are at the forefront of their field.

Distinct from the realm of public accounting, which is often the domain of CPAs focusing on compliance, taxation, and auditing, CMAs find their niche in advisory roles and leadership positions. In these roles, they play a pivotal role, contributing their financial expertise in settings ranging from corporate boardrooms to leading an organization’s accounting team.

Typically, individuals who seek out a CMA certification are aiming for roles in management or aspire to executive positions, traversing a wide spectrum of industries.

What Do CMA's Do?


A Certified Management Accountant (CMA) engages in a broad spectrum of roles within an organization, spanning corporate finance, management accounting, corporate governance, as well as technology and strategic planning teams.

In such capacities, a CMA’s primary function is to sift through diverse data sources, crafting strategies to bolster the organization’s operational efficiency. This typically entails an in-depth analysis of financial data for internal assessment and budgeting purposes, pinpointing avenues for potential investments.

The responsibilities of a CMA extend beyond just preparing financial reports; they also involve a thorough analysis of financial documents, including profit and loss statements, cash flow reports, and balance sheets. Additionally, CMAs serve as guides for junior accounting staff and often take the helm of accounting departments.

Day-to-day tasks of a CMA might include:

  • Overseeing the implementation and management of financial software and technologies
  • Conducting tax accounting, analysis, and strategic tax planning
  • Generating and evaluating financial statements
  • Undertaking financial planning and analysis
  • Managing budget creation and oversight
  • Directing corporate finance initiatives
  • Performing cost accounting and financial analysis
  • Assessing risks


Qualified to offer strategic financial insights, CMAs collaborate closely with upper management to formulate and implement business strategies, driving the company towards fiscal stability and expansion.


What Are Common Jobs For a CMA?

The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certification provides access to a variety of career opportunities, diverging from the tax and audit focus typical of Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). CMAs are equipped for a wide array of professional roles within the business world.

Potential job titles for CMAs include:

  • Cost or Corporate Accountant
  • Accounting Manager
  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
  • Vice President (VP) of Finance
  • Financial Strategist
  • Corporate Controller
  • Junior and Senior Accountant


This list represents just a glimpse of the positions available to CMAs, with further details available in our comprehensive guide to CMA careers. One of the advantages of the CMA qualification is its applicability across diverse and engaging sectors.


Start a Free 7-day Trial Today!

You'll receive access to video lectures,
study guides, and practice questions!

Choosing the Right CMA Review Course

Universal CMA Review stands out as the best CMA review course for visual learners. Our courses are designed with visual learning in mind, featuring interactive videos and visual summaries. However, we also understand the importance of catering to all learning styles, ensuring that every CMA candidate has the resources they need to succeed.

Start a Free 7-day Trial Today!

You'll receive access to video lectures,
study guides, and practice questions!

Read other recent posts