Achieving a Worthwhile Goal – Taking the Part 1 CMA Exam
For many individuals, being awarded the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation is the culmination of a lot of work and disciplined effort. It represents the achievement of a goal that few attain. Only 35% of CMA candidates pass on their first try, and many don’t retake the exam. When people in business see the CMA associated with a person’s name, they know they are dealing with a management accounting professional.
The CMA speaks to the possession of and demonstration of a knowledge and competence over the entire breadth of the management accounting profession. It also indicates an individual who is experienced in business strategy, making critical decisions, and setting policies. For many business executives, reliance on the advice of a CMA is an essential part of how they get their job done. As a CMA, this could be you.
Such achievement and recognition does not come easily. It is given to those who stand out from their peers based on effort, performance and expertise. It encompasses all aspects of management accounting and includes the critical skills of strategic planning, information management, and finding solutions to management challenges. In other words, a CMA plays a critical role in an organization.
Following the CMA Path
As with any worthwhile accomplishments, the path to becoming a CMA involves practical experience and in-depth knowledge. The Institute of Management Accountants has established a professional certification program that includes the part 1 CMA exam and part 2 CMA exam, among other requirements.
There are a number of practicing accountants that desire the CMA certification but are intimidated by the challenges of the part 1 CMA exam as a starting point. In reality, that requirement should be viewed as a reasonable challenge rather than an insurmountable obstacle. It can be viewed as a gateway to professional fulfillment and additional certifications such as CPA and CIA.
Over the years, a number of reputable firms have developed extensive review courses that can be of great use in passing the part 1 CMA exam as well as part 2. While it takes an earnest commitment of time, effort and money, tools such as comprehensive study materials, diagnostic quizzes, practice exams, reviews and peer study groups make the process much more efficient and practical.
Part 1 CMA Exam’s Ongoing Benefits
While the primary objective of taking the part 1 CMA exam is to progress towards certification, it serves a practical benefit of adding significantly to one’s professional knowledge. The focal points of the exam include:
• Planning, budgeting and forecasting
• Performance management
• Cost management
• Internal Controls
• Professional ethics
The time and effort invested in achieving the CMA designation provides a lifetime of recognition and added opportunities. Anyone committed to a career in the accounting field will benefit greatly by being included in this exclusive group of professionals. If your career is in accounting, finance, or business, pursuing certification as a CMA should be a top priority and is well worth the effort.
Until next time,
Nathan L, CMA