Certified Management Accountant (CMA) is a certification in Management Accounting focusing on Financial Accounting and Strategic Management. US CMA is a globally recognized, extremely competitive certification that offers high rewards and excellent opportunities around the world. With many companies setting up operations in India, the demand for such professionals is on the rise. This professional certification course is governed by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) and awarded by the Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA) which is a division within IMA.
CMA aims at providing industry-relevant skills in corporate finance. It focuses on Accounting, Financial Reporting, Planning, Performance, and Decision Making.
In case you are not aware of CMA, there is a huge gap in the supply and demand of these highly-skilled professionals in India. Certified Management Accountants are absorbed in various verticals of the company and the scope of employment does not stick to one designation or one domain of industry. In fact, the importance of this certification is so high that CMAs eventually become CFOs at major companies.
India, right now, is facing a shortage of these professionals and if you are one of the aspiring students or planning to climb up the ladder in your organization, this certification is one of the best choices for all finance professionals out there. We will walk you through different career prospects after you are awarded a CMA certification, but before that, let us take you through the IMA Management Accounting Competency Framework which will help you understand the competencies required to succeed in management accounting.
IMA Management Accounting Competency Framework
IMA’s Competency Framework aims at identifying the core skills required to succeed in management accounting. It conducts job analysis every 5-6 years to understand what the professionals do on the job and what they need to know to do their work effectively.
The above framework is diagrammatically represented and you can see the framework is divided into 6 parts, namely:
Strategy, Planning & Performance
This section includes competencies like envisioning the future, lead the strategic planning and strategy-setting process, guide management decisions, manage risk, and monitor performance.
Reporting & Control
This section aims at building the skills necessary to manage a business by building and maintaining effective internal controls. Reporting refers to US GAAP and IFRS based accounting and financial statement preparation.
Technology & Analytics
This section speaks to the skills and competencies required to manage technology in business and analysis of data to enhance the organizational success rate.
Business Acumen & Operations
The competencies in this section deal with an individual’s contribution as a cross-functional business partner to transform company-wide operations.
This section deals with the competencies required to collaborate with others and inspire teams to achieve organizational goals.
Professional Ethics and Values
This section deals with the competencies required to understand professional values, ethical behavior, and legal compliance essential to a sustainable business model.
Career Prospects after CMA Certification
We have already seen that CMA certification is one of the most sought-after qualifications around the globe. CMA professionals have a rewarding career and a lot of opportunities open in many reputed MNCs all over the world. In India, most MNCs are looking forward to hiring CMAs in corporate finance roles. Let us take you through the opportunities you can look forward to as a CMA professional.
As a Finance Manager, you will be responsible for taking care of all operational decisions. Forecasting and budgeting are some of the daily tasks you will be taking care of as a finance manager. After management accounting certification, you are expected to have an in-depth understanding and knowledge of the finance industry. You should also be a strong communicator to deal with clients and senior colleagues.
The job role is quite self-explanatory. This role demands the proper tracking of financial reports, preparing reports, and analyzing results. Based on the analysis and report, a financial analyst has to provide measures for improving the productivity of the company. The career opportunities in this field are vast. If you want to make a space of your own in this role, you need to have the skills and confidence to make decisions based on available insights.
This role, in a true sense, is everything finance. You have to know everything you can about the finance industry and be a financial lifeline for your department. As a Financial Controller, your daily tasks include analyzing books, internal analysis/review, carrying out administrative tasks, formulating financial strategies, and so on. You need to possess multi-tasking, analytical, and communication skills to become successful in this particular role.
In case you have a good business understanding and willingness to organize numerical reports, then you can climb the ladder of success as a cost accountant. You are expected to monitor costs and perform margin analysis as a cost accountant.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Chief Financial Officer or CFO is the highest designation one can be awarded within their financial career. It is one of the most popular jobs for a certified management accountant since they have a major say in the company. CMA will offer you all the required education credentials in finance and management to manage the financial performance of a company. Other important skills a CFO should possess are accounting, communication, leadership, and presentation.
CMA is a great career-enhancing option. The competencies and skills it offers to aspiring candidates are valuable. Many career options open up once you achieve the CMA certification.
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