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CMA Part 2: Financial Decision Making

The percentages show the relative weight range given to each section in the exam.

A. Financial Statement Analysis – 25%
Principal financial statements and their purposes; limitations of financial statement information; interpretation and analysis of financial statements including ratio analysis and comparative analysis; market value vs. book value; fair value accounting; international issues; major differences between IFRS and U.S. GAAP; off-balance sheet financing; Cash Flow Statement preparation, analysis, and reconciliation; and earnings quality.

Topics Tested:

– Basic Financial Statement Analysis
– Financial Ratios & Performance Metrics
– Profitability Analysis
– Special Issues

B. Corporate Finance – 20%
Types of risk; measures of risk; portfolio management; options and futures; capital instruments for long-term financing; dividend policy; factors influencing the optimum capital structure; cost of capital; raising capital; managing and financing working capital; mergers and acquisitions; and international finance.

Topics Tested:

– Risk & Return
– Long Term Financial Management
– Raising Capital
– Working Capital Management
– Corporate Restructuring
– International Finance

C. Decision Analysis – 20%
Relevant data concepts; cost-volume-profit analysis; marginal analysis; make vs. buy decisions; income tax implications for operational decision analysis; pricing methodologies including market comparables, cost-based and value-based approaches.

Topics Tested:

– Cost/Volume/Profit Analysis (CVP Analysis)
– Marginal Analysis
– Pricing

D. Risk Management – 10%
Types of risk including business, hazard, financial, operational, strategic, legal compliance and political risk; risk mitigation; risk management; risk analysis; and ERM.

Topics Tested:

– Enterprise Risk

E. Investment Decision – 15%
Cash flow estimates; discounted cash flow concepts; net present value; internal rate of return; non-discounting analysis techniques; income tax implications for investment decisions; ranking investment projects; risk analysis; real options; and valuation models.

Topics Tested:

– Capital Budgeting Process
– Discounted Cash Flow Analysis
– Payback & Discounted Payback
– Risk Analysis in Capital Investment

F. Professional Ethics – 10%
Ethical considerations for the organization

Topic Tested:

– Ethical considerations for management accounting and financial management professionals.
– Ethical considerations for the organization.

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56 Comments on “CMA Part 2”

  1. Hi,
    i currently hold the CPA license but work as a cost accountant for the past 10 year. We are are on a job order costing method and i usually analyze all the mfg variances, purchase price variance, Gross profit margin analysis and standard cost maintainence. As a cost accountant, i also close all the jobs that were completed for the month and capture the Cost of Sales for the month.
    I really want to pursue the CMA cert. since i am interested in management accounting than taxes and auditing. i was wonder if you know if the experience i mention above will be ok for me to earn the CMA cert (if i pass the exam). PLease reply with your thoughts/comments. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks

    1. Hi Steve,

      I believe your experience will satisfy the work requirement. However, to be absolutely safe, contact the IMA’s support desk and verify it. It’s always best to be safe and sorry. Go to Let me know if you have any other questions.

  2. Hi,
    I am an Indian student and currently living in Arizona state on a dependent visa (H4). I want to know which is better CMA or CPA . I have done Bachelors of Commerce (BCom) and Company Secretary (ICSI) from India.

    1. Jyoti, if you are looking to work in private accounting and in management, the CMA is the way to go. If you prefer public accounting, taxes and audit the CPA is more relevant.

  3. Hi .I would like to know As an ACCA Affiliate would I be able to get CMA Part 1 exemption.
    thanking yours

  4. Hi Nathan !!
    Your post is very helpful. I want to ask u that I want to take CMA part 2 exam in the end of this October.I am left with only a month for the preparation.Would I be able to pass the exam If i study 8 to 10 hours a day ? Please reply me as soon as possible, I would be very thankful to you.

    1. Hi Amna,

      I would recommend that if you just began studying to postpone your exam to Jan/Feb 2016 window. To pass the exam, you need at least 3 months of preparation.

  5. Hi,Nathan
    Your post is very helpful
    I want to ask if which is better to start part one or two first… And at what time the exams held on the year
    Thanks in advance

    1. Hey John,

      I’m glad it was helpful. Thanks for your feedback.

      If you have manufacturing experience, then go for Part 2. Otherwise go for Part 2 first. The exam windows are held in Jan/Feb, May/June, and Sep/Oct. So we are in essence in the last window of 2015. Let me know if I can help with any other questions. Also feel free to check out my FAQ page to find answers to common questions about the CMA exam.

  6. hi Nathan ,

    I’d like to thank you for your great efforts , and would asking you is the basic financial statement still tested in the cma part 2 exam under the new update 2015 or its ignored


  7. Hi,

    I have attempted, CMA part 2 in Feb 2016 window. when can i expect the result, MCQ and Essays was ok for me. How the scoring will be done. Am i need to start the preparation for PART 1, or need to revise the PART 2 still the result out.

    1. Hi Shibu,

      If you’d like start preparing for the CMA Part 2 exam if you want to take it in the upcoming window.

  8. Dear Mr Nathan
    First of all i wanna say you are doing very great job.i can see here so many peoples are getting benefit from your suggestion

    I have a problem .i hope you can guide me.I want to do self study without going any coaching can you suggest me what is best thing that i can do it by sitting at home to learn & understand things by my self . I dont have any manufacturing background but I am doing accounting job.
    I dont have books so from where I can get it.

    Sarfaraz Ali

  9. Am From India I have completed and IPCC 1st group but now am interested in CMA USA can I pass in first attempt and how much salary can I get after certification and how can I get job in abroad

  10. Dear Nathan,

    I was studying CMA part 1 last year but because of load of work I did not go for paper. Now my tuition teacher will start CMA part 2 classes from Monday 28th. And I will sit in exams in June.
    Will you help me, I need tips to pass CMA part 2.

    1. Hello Sohail,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      I’d be more than glad to guide you in you preparation for the CMA exam. That’s what I’m here for.
      There are three ways I can do this for you and you can pick one or more:
      I have a lot of free content in my blog and my FAQ page. You can browse here:

      The second way is to join me in a webinar I host each week here:

      And the third way is to check out the guides and coaching programs I currently offer to candidates who are finding great success at passing the exam:

      Let me know if you have any questions after taking a few moments to check those resources out.

      Thank you,

  11. Hi ,
    Thanks for your support,

    I actually ask about the approach or for CMA 2016 it is different than 2015

    Also can I start with part 2 rather than part one

    1. Hi Shams,

      There is no difference in approach for 2016 and 2015 CMA exam. It is still the same.

      You can take Part 2 first and you can also take both within the same testing window.

      Thanks and Regards,

  12. Hello Mr. Nathan Liao,
    I want to know exactly what is the new in CMA part 2, please?! .. moreover, does part 1 in the new version contain ethics topic?! Or the new version gathered the two branches of ethics -individaul & oragnizional- in part 2 only?!

    1. Hi Ahmed,

      Here are the topics for Part 1 and Part 2:

      Part 1
      A. External Financial Reporting Decisions
      B. Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting
      C. Performance Management
      D. Cost Management
      E. Internal Controls

      Part 2
      A. Financial Statement Analysis
      B. Corporate Finance
      C. Decision Analysis
      D. Risk Management
      E. Investment Decisions
      F. Professional Ethics

      Ethics topic will only be tested in Part 2.

      Thanks and Regards,

  13. What is the difference between CFA and CMA. Which one is better considering the factor of time, money, and job opportunities/

  14. hello
    its wonderful to meet people like you
    iam examining the part 2 at the end of this October i have less than three months
    and i need some experience
    note iam a college student at my last semester
    i need advice it will be very hopeful
    thank you

    1. Hi Feras,

      Don’t worry about the experience requirement. You can complete the CMA experience requirement within seven years after passing the examination.

      For more helpful information about the CMA exam, please visit my blog at


  15. Mr. Nathan, h r u? I’ d like to tell you that I have bachelor of education E department. now I passed part1 exam of the cma and I am preparing myself for part2. My questions: is cma suitable for me? Especially, I don’t have any experience in accounting or work in it. What field can I work? And can I take part2 exam in Jan/Feb period? Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Mai,

      Congrats for passing the Part 1 of the CMA Exam! That is already a proof of your knowledge in finance and accounting. I suggest that you try applying for finance or accounting jobs after passing the CMA exam even if you don’t have prior experience in accounting. It will give you a big advantage over non-certified peers.


    2. Hi Mai,

      Congrats for passing the Part 1 of the CMA Exam! That is already a proof of your knowledge in finance and accounting. I suggest that you try applying for finance or accounting jobs after passing the CMA exam even if you don’t have prior experience in accounting. It will give you a big advantage over non-certified peers.


  16. Dear Nathan,
    Trust my email finds you well,
    Nathan I had Graduated from my University in 2015 as a Management Student, Know I am working as a Document Controller in a Construction company, however I am a little confused if I study the CMA or Study Masters in Management . Can you please advice ?

  17. Dear Nathan

    1. Kindly provide what topics have been excluded/included in CMA Part 2 in the current syllabus contents of year 2016 compared to year 2015. Example: I noticed that Basic Financial statement & their uses, Statement of BS, IS, Retained Earnings, Cash flow which were there in 2015 are not there in 2016 Gleim Edition of 2016.

    Kindly arrange to provide the list of topics which have been added/deleted in the current year.

    Thanking you with regards

    1. Hi Kersi,

      IMA added “External Financial Reporting Decisions” in Part 1.

      To know more about the changes in 2015, please check this link.

      Thanks and Regards,

  18. hello ,,, first thanks for these helpful information about cma part 2,
    i’ve took cma part 1 exam in 2016 sep\oct exam window , unfortunately i didnt pass , so i want to study for part 2 and set for part 2 exam and re-set for part 1 exam at 2017 may\june exam window, is taking both parts exam in one window is allowed ? , and if it is allowed is it attianable, if you gave me some advice about that i will be thanksful.

    1. Hi,

      Yes, it is possible to take the exam in one testing window. Although I don’t suggest to take it on just one day. For example, you may take CMA Part 2 in May and CMA Part 1 in June ( for May/June 2017 testing window).


  19. Hi Nathan, can you please tell me what topics are covered under Part-2 Section A(Financial statement analysis)-“Basic Financial statement analysis.

  20. HI
    I had done my Bachelor Degree in Mathematics and also completed Master degree in computer science since 9 year s I am working in accounting field. If I go with CMA it could be helpful for me or not? Since I didn’t do or any accounting degree it will be difficult for me or not? please advise


    1. Hi Afzal,

      Don’t worry about your degree. There’s a lot of candidates who pass the CMA exam without an accounting degree.

      You will just need some extra effort in studying accounting-related concepts that may not be familiar to you.


  21. Hasim Shaikh

    I am MS Accounting and need to know syllabus and study materials
    Is there any phone number or office address that give me entire details in Baltimore

  22. Hi,
    I am working in Dubai as accountant for past 1 and 1/2 years. I would like to know which is a most preferable accounting course for me ..I hold a MBA in finance and HR

    1. I recommend you the CMA coaching course, check it here. It includes all the study tools you need to prepare efficiently for the CMA exam and pass it with flying colors. It also comes with unlimited 1-on-1 coaching for you to ask as many questions as you need along the course to truly grasp the material.

      Let me know if you have any other questions, I’ll be happy to help.


    1. Hi Jacob,

      It’s best to start with the part you’re most familiar with. Click here to check the topics tested on each part.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.


  23. Hi,

    I applied for CMA in Aug 2016 but I appeared for the exam in 2017 May. I heard that there is a time limit for clearing both exams which is 3 years. My question is 3 years is from 1st exam or from registration/enrollment, which in my case is Aug 2016 ?

    And also I have Gliem 2015 MCQs/material, can you confirm if there were any changes in the MCQs after that ? Because I checked 2018 Ethics and found few changes in the book. I don’t have MCQs for 2017 or 2018.

    1. Hi Mr Singh,

      The 3-year countdown starts from the day you paid the CMA entrance fee.

      And yes, the ICMA introduced some changes in FASB rules and standards in Part 1 this year. Due to that, I undoubtedly recommend you to study from the latest releases.

      I currently run a promotion on our Part 1 textbook, if you’re interested, please check it here.

      We also offer a test bank with unique adaptive-learning technology at the CMA Exam Academy. It will diagnose your strengths and weaknesses by content area and then tailor your study sessions to focus on your learning needs. It’s very effective and will dramatically reduce your study time. Check it out here.

      If you have any other questions, let me know! 🙂

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