CMA or CPA or Both?

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #2948646 Reply
    John CPA
    Participant

    I have not heard of CMA before so I did a quick google search and it sounds very interesting. I work with CPAs mainly tax accounting and currently studying for my CPA exams. Can someone break CMA down for me? Do CPAs with CMA work on different things? Make more money? Why would a CPA go for CMA?

    #2948991 Reply
    Anthony
    Participant

    Because CPA is simply more recognized as the gold standard in accounting. CMA is a certification and CPA is a license.

    AUD - 82
    BEC - 80
    FAR - 81
    REG - 82
    FAR - 74 first attempt
    #2949006 Reply
    vbmer
    Participant

    CPA first, CMA on top of that if you want to.

    AUD - 79
    BEC - 88
    FAR - 89
    REG - 80
    Manager, Big 4 Corporate Finance, CPA (WA)
    #2950151 Reply
    NoName
    Participant

    I agree with Vbmer. The only exception would be for someone who lacks the prerequisites to get a CPA (eg non accounting majors), foreign educated folks, etc. In that case I would go for the CMA first.

    I have gone through the full CMA process at this point. In fact, I found the CMA exams more challenging in some aspects compared to the CPA exams.

    I'm still waiting on my score for part 2 (hopefully it is a pass)

    Overall, I have enjoyed my CMA studies. I understand much more about finance topics than previously.

    There is no surprise here but it is very geared toward the skills you would need performing accounting/finance in a corporation (and much less of the stuff needed for public accounting). It would be major value added for someone who is a Director of Finance but much less so for someone who is a Controller.

    Imagine BEC expanded ten fold and that will give you an idea of of the CMA blueprint topic materials.

    FAR type topics of covered minimally and at a much less detailed level. AUD and REG (tax topics) topics are basically non existent during your studies.

    REG - 93 90% Gleim MCQ/book + 10% Wiley MCQ

    BEC - 79 100% Wiley MCQ/book

    FAR - 88 100% Gleim MCQ/book + Ninja Audios

    AUD - 85 100% Wiley MCQ/book + Ninja Audios

    Licensed CPA as of 2019

    CMA Pt 1  400  100% Gleim MCQ/book

    CMA Pt 2  Pending Score

    #2950520 Reply
    Biff Tannen
    Participant

    How about CPA CMA CFA MBA CIA CFE CISA. Might as well get em all.

    AUD - 78
    BEC - 84
    FAR - 79
    REG - 85
    “An investment in knowledge pays the best dividends” - Benjamin Franklin
    #2951048 Reply
    NoName
    Participant

    @ Biff When I would read the list of authors/contributors in the CPA exam prep books you would occasionally com across people like that. It was always fascinating (or comical) to see so many letters.

    REG - 93 90% Gleim MCQ/book + 10% Wiley MCQ

    BEC - 79 100% Wiley MCQ/book

    FAR - 88 100% Gleim MCQ/book + Ninja Audios

    AUD - 85 100% Wiley MCQ/book + Ninja Audios

    Licensed CPA as of 2019

    CMA Pt 1  400  100% Gleim MCQ/book

    CMA Pt 2  Pending Score

    #2951072 Reply
    Biff Tannen
    Participant

    @cpaguy I’ve seen a few of those people too. all jokes aside, I wonder if it paid off for them in the long run. I can’t foresee how one can be great at so many different trades.

    AUD - 78
    BEC - 84
    FAR - 79
    REG - 85
    “An investment in knowledge pays the best dividends” - Benjamin Franklin
    #2952239 Reply
    12tang
    Participant

    @cpaguy, curious on your thoughts for why the CMA isn't as good for a controller? What if the controller is the the CFO as well?

    I'm sure having multiple certifications has a diminished return for paying off but nonetheless, you're increasing your knowledge of business topics. I relate it to reading different books on the same topic. You capture different perspectives, different ways of thinking and different solutions to the same problems. Of course, I don't have multiple certifications/licenses, so there's that, lol. But if one has the time and money to spend, then why not?

    BEC - PASS

    FAR - PASS

    AUD - PASS

    REG - PASS

    BOOM!  JUST LIKE THAT, I GOT MY LIFE BACK!  =D

    #2954309 Reply
    thunderlips
    Participant

    i say both but start with cpa first. it holds more value cma i find as a complement to cpa

    #2955431 Reply
    Mercenary
    Participant

    I passed my CPA exams last year and took part on of the CMA exam the end of last month.

    I'd definitely recommend CPA first and then CMA second. And yes, as others have said CMA exam is like super BEC. I felt it was more challenging than the BEC exam. There were a few FAR/AUD topics but it was mostly things you'd see on BEC but then more in depth and more similar topics. Lots of IT/Data Analysis stuff.

    I think it depends what you want to do. In my case I took a long break from accounting and so I felt I needed every bit of help I could to break back into the field. The CPA helped more with that but I think the CMA will give me a bit of an edge when I want to go into industry later.

    AUD - 85
    BEC - 86
    FAR - 91
    REG - 84
    CMA Part 1 - 420

    CMA Part 2 - June 2020

     

    #2962028 Reply
    T
    Participant

    I took the CMA exams back in 2017 before tackling the CPA exams in 2019/2020. The four exams vs two definitely makes the CPA exams feel like a marathon, but I think the content of the CMA exams can be very difficult for many because typical accounting curriculum in most US universities do not emphasis cost accounting the way they do GAAP and standard financial accounting. For this reason I found the material to be more challenging, as I was not that familiar with many of the topics, such as flexible budgets and transfer pricing. The benefit of this (and why I would HIGHLY recommend the CMA exam to any motivated accounting/finance professional working in industry or consulting roles) is that by studying for the CMA you learn highly applicable concepts and skills that many traditional accountants do not possess. In my opinion, to say BEC is a slightly slimmed down version of the CMA exam is an understatement as the depth of the testing is far greater on the CMA exam.

    All that being said, the CPA is not to be taken lightly. FAR tests on a wide range of topics that even those working in public accounting are likely to not have encountered. Tax is a technical field that does not always follow the logic that GAAP follows which makes REG challenging. Auditing is fairly conceptually, but without real life experience to apply these concepts to, I can see how the exam would be extremely challenging. I am confident that if I did work in tax and auditing while studying for REG and AUD, I would not have done as well as I ended up doing no matter how much more I studied. For this reason I don't necessarily agree with studying for these tests before gaining hands on experience, but different things work for different people.

    Another item to keep in mind when looking at pass/fail rates is that many more people who take the CMA than CPA exam do not have English as their first language. We all know how are difficult these tests are. Now imagine trying to decipher the multiple choice questions in a language that is not your first…I can't even speak a second language, yet alone take an exam in one, so I suspect language alone drags down the pass/fail rate for the CMA being as the CPA is taken by mostly US based applicants.

    Anyways this has become a long post, but in summary: I would not underestimate the CMA exam as it tests concepts that your average CPA applicant is likely to not have much exposure to. I went to work in private industry out of school and then switched to public accounting after 7 years to get licensed after having the CMA. After working hard to pass both exams, I respect those who pursue either one or both credentials!

    AUD - 91
    BEC - 95
    FAR - 97
    REG - 93
    -TJPHsu
Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
Reply To: Reply #2948991 in CMA or CPA or Both?
Your information:




Return to Forum Home