CMA stands for Certified Management Accountant and is similar to the CPA or Certified Public Accountant in so far as it signifies an accountant is reaching the top of their profession or at least is capable of doing so. All the top accountants therefore have one of these two certifications but the certifications do not come easy. To start with there are several different courses which can be taken in order to get someone ready to sit the exam and all of these courses are relatively expensive, although some are cheaper than other. Secondly there are the many hours of studying which will be required in order to have any chance of passing the exam and even knowing this, 50% of people fail the exams.

The difference between the two certifications is that a CPA will allow an accountant to do a business’s audit whilst a CMA allows an accountant to work in a large corporation’s accountancy department. Both certifications can assist an accountant in reaching a high pay level and so it is really personal preference as to which exam an accountant wishes to take and hopefully pass.

In order to choose the correct course for the exam an accountant wishes to study for, it is best that they look at several of the CPA or cma review websites as they will help the candidate decide which course is best suited to their studying style. The courses do have a lot of hours studying each but whereas some of the courses provide long lectures in order to ready a student sufficiently, others break the lectures down into more manageable sizes for those students that do not always have at a time to spend listening to lectures. There are other ways in which these different courses differ and some of the differences can be quite large and so by looking at a review site for the different courses, an accountant will have a better idea of what they can expect for the duration of the course.

Although most accountants that study for one or other of these exams will usually be an accounts graduate, it is not an essential requirement for those that wish to take the CMA, provided that they do meet other criteria. The other criteria will include at least 2 years working in a management accounting environment, all be it under supervision and also that they are already a member of the Institute of Management Accountants. Once the CMA exam has been passed and certification has been awarded, an accounted is expected to continue studying, formerly, for at least 30 hours per year or face having the certification being withdrawn.

Holding either one of these certifications displays that someone is capable of reaching the top of their profession in accountancy and is well qualified for a suitable job. Both the CPA and CMA can therefore be very financially rewarding for those who are able to pass and so although the cost of the course may seem expensive, it is usually worth the price.