CMA after CPA?

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  • #1621654

    Hello everyone,

    I am wondering what everyone thinks about taking the CMA after the CPA. I want to pursue another creditional and I am stuck between the CFA and CMA. I think CMA is what I am leaning to because it is still in the accounting background. Interested to hear everyone’s thoughts.

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  • #1621700

    It depends on what you want to do in the future and what kind of industry you want to work in…


    Brickell is correct, but I’ll expand and add my two cents. I have passed both the CMA and CFA. Understand, of course, that the CFA has a pretty specific work requirement, so I will never be a CFA and if you don’t plan on working as an analyst or fund manager, even if you pass the exam, you won’t either.

    If you’re working in accounting, the CMA work requirements should be much easier for you to satisfy. However, understand that the CMA is a global certificate and the majority of new members are coming from outside the United States (China, India, and the Middle East). The certificate isn’t growing as rapidly stateside. The problem with this is, very generally speaking and from anecdotal experience, managers/directors tend to value the certifications they have, and you’re not going to find as many people with the CMA, so it may not be a value add for you.

    I, like a lot of people on this site, sat for my certifications right after school and when I didn’t have a full understanding of what was important to hiring managers. I was lucky in that I didn’t have to pay for any of my certifications and my company pays to maintain any memberships I have, so aside from lost time, I didn’t really miss out on anything.

    I would strongly advise against getting a certification for the simple fact of having another certification. You should be able to draw a direct line between getting a certification and promotion, bonus, or pay raise. If the certification does not directly lead to one of these things, than it is not a value add. Having a certification that a hiring manager does not care about is useless from a job security/promotion standpoint and simply takes up space on a resume.

    As Brickell mentioned, if you plan on specializing in an industry, this could dictate what certification you may want. Most people would argue, and I would agree, that the CMA is easier than the CFA. More than that, though, is you need to ask yourself why are you getting or wanting another certification? The fact that you are deciding between the CMA and CFA means neither are required for you to get and they are certifications for very different demographics. If you are looking to get another certification because of boredom or a lack of purpose since you are used to constant studying, I would suggest getting a hobby – though I guess one could argue that getting certifications is a hobby, in which case, have at it.


    If you meet the CFA experience qualification, go the CFA route. It's universally understood that you've got the accounting knowledge covered once you passed the CPA. CMA won't make that any more true nor will it create any additional opportunities that weren't available after passing the CPA.


    Did you like management & cost accounting?
    Did you enjoy your finances classes?

    Depends on the route you want to go.

    Go to a local IMA chapter meeting or two. Talk to some people.
    Go to a local CFA society networking event or conference and talk to people there as well.

    Ask what they do, how they got there, and if they enjoy it. People love to share their experience.

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