How To Fulfill Your CPE Requirements as a CMA

Unlike your bachelors degree or most post secondary/certification programs, the Institute of Management Accountants requires that Certified Management Accountants log continuing professional education hours.

These additional hours are known as Continuing Professional Education hours – or CPE’s – and are required yearly. 

CPE credits are enforced and regulated to ensure that Certified Management Accountants are continually educated and up to date in the profession.

It might seem like a lot of extra work, but what it basically means is that you always remain up to date on practices and procedures, which is a good thing. Fulfilling your CPE requirements is critical and we’ll go over how many hours are needed next:

How Many Hours Will I Need to Fulfill CPE Requirements? 

Thirty hours of CPE’s are required by the end of each year. Luckily there are plenty of topic courses to choose from such as accounting, financial management, business applications of mathematics, computer science, economics, management, production, marketing, business law, organization etc.  

Though you have plenty of topics to choose from, you will be required to complete a minimum of two hours in ethics courses. 

Gleim has a fantastic catalog of CPE courses you can take. Don’t forget to check it out after reading this article. 

Keeping Track of  CPE Hours

There are several different ways you can go about logging your CPE hours. The IMA has allowed for a lot of flexibility in that aspect so you can keep things fresh. 

College courses, webinars, workshops, seminars, technical meetings, examinations, take home study courses, speeches etc are all different ways in which you can get your hours in. 

Registered CMA’s must be diligent when it comes to logging their hours.  You will be required to keep documents such as records of attendance and certificates to support your progress.

The reason for this is simple, you could be randomly selected to submit your records, as the IMA performs regular audits. 

It is highly recommended to keep all documents for at least three years, but just to play it safe it’s better to start a folder and the filing cabinet and keep them around for up to 5.   

Ten CPE credits are awarded for each hour of the exam, so 40 hours for each  exam part that you pass. These hours are not applicable CPE hours for your CMA, rather only beneficial to someone with another certification who is trying to earn applicable CPE hours. 

Additionally, the CPE requirement does not start until the calendar year after you earn your CMA designation. For example, if you earn your CMA in November of 2016, the CPE requirement would not start until calendar year 2017. It is always the calendar year after earning the credential.

What Happens When You Don’t Complete Your Hours

In the event that you are unable or simply do not complete your required thirty CPE hours over the course of the year, you will fall out of good standing with the IMA. 

Before you panic, you should know that it is more than possible to get back in their good graces. You can do this by completing sixty hours of CPE by the end of year two.

Any shortfalls in the year must be made up in the next year; however, if the hours are not made up, your account will become inactive.

Getting Extra Hours Carried Over

If you are a bit of an overachiever and make more than the standard thirty hours of continued professional education credits you are allowed to carry a maximum of ten extra hours over to the next year.  

For those of you who like to plan ahead, this option is a great way to save you time in the future. Just remember, you can only carry over ten hours.

Continuing education can seem like a never ending cycle of study, but when you look at it as an opportunity to better yourself and your expertise, you will be setting yourself up for a much stronger future. 

Like I said before, Gleim offers excellent CPE courses that will help you fulfill your CPE’s and gain valuable knowledge in the process.

Thanks for reading this long overdue post and hope you’ve learned about the CPE requirements.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to post them below in the comments section. I reply to every single comment 🙂 

Until next time,

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35 Comments on “How To Fulfill Your CPE Requirements as a CMA”

  1. What is the CPE Package offered through IMA site about ? is it articles to read and videos to watch ? and what should i do to be eligible to earn CPE If I bought one of those package ?

    1. Mansour,

      By purchasing those packages or the ones over at Gleim CPE, you will earn credits by submitting your transcripts over to IMA through your account online.

  2. Hi, I have completed my 2 part cma in October 2014. I am currently looking for a job and do not have relevant accounting experience. Plz suggest when I have to start to fulfill my cpe requirements? TIA

  3. If I’m a CMA candidate and will set for the exams at October, can I earn CPE before I pass the exam? Will be counted?

  4. I passed both parts of the CMA on August 2014, I did not do any CPE hours, recently I passed two parts of the CPA exam, do they count as a CPE hours to satisfy the CMA requirements for the first year?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Ali,

      I would suggest to call the IMA directly and inquire on that. I believe it can be counted towards your CPE units but I don’t know how many. Please call the IMA for clarification. Thanks

  5. Hi,
    I have completed both the parts of CMA and met experience requirement as well as received my CMA degree also.I also have to do CPE every year?as in a IMA mentions it is for those who did not met experience requirement.Please clarify.

    1. Hi Chetan,

      The CPE requirement is for all CMAs regardless of work experience. CPEs are there to help us stay up to date on the most current management accounting practices.

  6. I was certified in 2009 and i did not have any cpe.
    my account is now inactive. what should i do?
    How do they verify the CPE?
    Thanking you

    1. Hi Mohamed,

      Please contact the IMA to resolve it. They will work with you as long as you can provide proof of your CPE units. Thanks

  7. Dear Nathan,

    I bought Gleim CPE and completed around 6 hrs got my certificate of completion. My question is how can i submit this certificate to IMA online. Please provide me link or any other method to do it.

    Rakesh

    1. Hi Rakesh,

      Keep a copy of it for your records. Log in to your IMA account and follow the instructions found there on how to submit transcripts. Thanks

  8. Hello Nathan,

    As mentioned in your article that if I pass 2 parts of the CMA exam I can get 20 CPE hours for the calendar year. I just received my results on 11th Dec 2015 that I have passed both the exams. So can I get the 20 hours CPE credit for 2016 requirement or will it lapse in 2015 itself?

    Kindly reply. Am a bit confused.

    1. Hi Priyanka,

      I believe it’ll be counted towards 2015, but to be sure please contact the IMA to get clarification on this. Would be awesome if you could comment back after you have spoken with them.

  9. Dear Nathan,
    I pass only Part 1 & I will enter to Part 2 on Feb 29th.. I earned 60 credit when I pass part 1 on August 2014
    what shall I do now??!!!

    please advice

    1. Hi Harsha,

      IMA offers hundreds of NASBA-approved CMA CPE courses annually.

      Thanks and Regards,
      Nathan

  10. I completed my both part exam in 2016, now I looking for a job, what are things I need to done to get my certification? CPE and job experience is required for only two years,my CPE starting on 2017 need to submit in 2017itself?

    1. Hi Muhammad,

      I’ve written a blog about how to fulfill your CPE requirements, you may check it here.

      Thanks,
      Nathan

    1. Hi Yusuf,

      Usually, programs presented by organizations that are registered with NASBA meet the requirements of CPE for CMAs. Please confirm with IMA if you have a specific course in mind.

      Thanks,
      Nathan

  11. Dear Mr Nathan Liao,

    Actually, I`m CMA candidate, but I attend any event for IMA, Do these CPE hours will be counted for me as a commutative, or counting starts until both parts are clear?

    Thank You

    1. Hi Usama,

      Attending any IMA event before passing the CMA exam will not be credited. The reporting period for the CMA Continuing Education requirement starts January 1 following the successful completion of the CMA exam.

      Thanks,
      Nathan

  12. Hi,
    I Have just completed both parts of CMA and I am still figuring out the CPE system.
    I am also preparing for my CFA level 2. Will that count for my CPE for CMA?

    1. Hi Saher,

      According to the CMA CPE Experience Requirement rule, “CE credit at the rate of ten hours for each one hour of examination may be claimed for each part successfully passed. You may claim CE credit for completion of a professional designation examination if you claimed CE credit for a prep course or self-study course you used to prepare for the examination.”

      Thanks and Regards,
      Nathan

  13. For how many years do we have to fulfil the CPE requirement?
    Is it just for first 2-3 years?
    Or for however long we want to remain the member of IMA ?
    Very confused.

    1. Hi Tanvi,

      That’s for however long you want to remain an active CMA and be able to use the CMA designation.

      For more information, please click here.

      Cheers,
      Nathan

  14. Hai,

    My CMA status is inactive.If i want to activate that in future when can i do that is there any time frame to activate your inactive CMA status.In my case i am not working present so i am not taking CPE hours.if i want to work and like to use CMA in future i can activate my CMA at anytime?

    THANK YOU,
    DIVYA

    1. Hi Divya,

      You need to reach out to the IMA to get specifics on how to activate it. It’s on a case by case basis.

  15. Hi,

    why do we have to fo in the two ethica hours apart from 30 hours of CPE?
    And are the webinars free of cost to view on IMA?

    1. Hi Tania,

      When you log into your account on IMA’s website you will see various webinars that are at no cost. Some may have a fee, but you can check that in your account.

      Cheers

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