Have you considered earning the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) credential? Like all industries, the fields of accounting and finance are rapidly changing in the wake of technological advancement. Automation, artificial intelligence, controls and analytics are becoming commonplace terms in the business environment, and companies are becoming more interested in data and how to develop processes surrounding data. In the future, having data and programming skills may become as important as accounting and finance skills.
Companies need to move toward processes and policies that are in line with current and emerging technologies if they want to grow within their given industry. And as a financial professional, you need to find ways to stand out on job applications, build skills for career advancement, and increase your earning potential.
Credentialing and continuing education will further your knowledge of current trends and processes. Run by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), the CMA certification is one of the best accounting certifications a financial professional can get in order to stay relevant in the business environment, as candidates look to advance in their business careers to higher earning positions. To encourage you to seek out your CMA credential to build your future in an ever-advancing career field, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how and where CMAs can contribute, and how the credential will build your skills for a digitally transforming world. First, you have to conquer the CMA Exam.
CMA Exam Format
The CMA Exam is a two-part exam covering the following areas:
Part 1 – Financial Reporting, Planning, Performance, and Control
- External Financial Reporting Decisions
- Planning, budgeting, and forecasting
- Cost Management
- Performance Management
- Internal Controls
Part 2 – Financial Decision Making
- Financial Statement Analysis
- Corporate FinanceDecision Analysis
- Risk Management
- Investment Decisions
- Professional Ethics
CMA Exam Format
Each part of the CMA Exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions and 2 30-minute essay questions.
Where Do CMAs Work?
The CMA certification is a widely respected accounting credential and is often seen in combination with other professional certifications like the Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Typical roles include staff accountants, cost accountants, financial analysts, and C-suite employees (commonly CFO, or Chief Financial Officer). They can work in governmental, nonprofit and for-profit companies. Each type of organization and industry comes with its own set of challenges regarding digital transformation within the profession, and CMAs can rise to these challenges through the knowledge and skills they learn with the credential.
Why Earn the CMA Credential?
A CMA credential is overarching and closes the gap between what financial professionals need to know and what they actually know as the profession transforms in the wake of technology.
Automation is taking over areas that are repetitive and relatively predictable, such as recording amortization and depreciation, billing and accounts receivable, bank reconciliations, and other administrative tasks. As such, the available jobs in these areas are predicted to decrease. This means that entry-level jobs will become more complicated and require more skills from financial professionals just starting out. CMA candidates develop the critical thinking, decision making, and data analytics skills they need to be relevant in entry-level roles.
On the flip side, there are other areas growing in response to the digital transformation within the industry. Data analysis and business analytics are essential skills companies are looking for in new employees. Accounting and finance professionals need to not only be familiar with these terms but know how to apply themselves to the work they require. They need to see data as a useful commodity and know how to work with it to develop the organization in the future. Fortunately, many bachelor’s degree programs are now including courses that help to develop these skills.
As organizations become more technologically advanced, they also need to develop new workflows for accomplishing certain tasks, develop ways to keep data secure and consult with upper management to keep physical assets up-to-date and secure. Candidates with work experience in these skills will obtain and retain jobs, as well as have a better chance of moving up within the organization.
The CMA program covers a wide range of analytical topics, from the top of an organization down, and proves to potential employers that a candidate has the required skills to do well in a job both starting out and into the future. CMA holders can go into job interviews feeling confident with their ability to help an organization move forward in a technologically advancing world, and current employees can leverage the credential to help their organizations make better financial decisions in a digital world.
If you’re looking to advance yourself and make a significant contribution within the field of finance, becoming a CMA is your first step. The certification will help you keep up with digital transformation and feel confident in the security of your position.
Ready to start studying to earn your CMA credential?
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