Which is a better profession/background/credential, management accounting (CMA)

Let’s Talk Business Accounting and Finance Which is a better profession/background/credential, management accounting (CMA)

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    Uttam Pai
    CPA stands for Certified Public Accountants whereas CMA stands for Certified Management Accountants. Both these certifications are sought after certifications by most finance professionals, commerce graduates, and those who want to make their careers in the finance, accounting, taxation, business law, and regulatory fields. Considering that you meet the eligibility requirement for both credentials, I will skip commenting on that. To answer which one is better, I would say neither of these certifications is better than the other.

    They both are highly respected credentials and have different career paths. One can easily distinguish between the two on the basis of various parameters like the eligibility requirement, time and efforts involved, cost of the certification, salary difference, etc. and decide which one suffice their needs. If you are interested in management accounting, strategic planning, financial planning, reporting, analysis, and decision making, then CMA is a good choice. However, if you prefer auditing, tax, reporting, and regulation, then CPA is better. While CPA certification covers a broad range of competencies ranging from core financial accounting, auditing, taxation, business law, ethics, economics, the difference between US GAAP and IFRS, etc., CMA highlights mainly on financial and accounting expertise required within the corporate world i.e. the skills required for finance managers, controller and CFO’s.

    The CPA qualification is in existence since the early 20th century and that’s why the most established qualification among the accounting industry and is good for all types of accounting jobs. It is highly recognized in the US and other parts of the world however, it comes with higher entry barriers. CMA, on the other hand, is more practical and covers the skills that are more practical and required in the corporate sector. As compared to CPA, CMA is much cheaper and less time consuming too and the exams can be taken even before completing the graduation. In fact, after completing CMA, you may consider doing CPA as well as the core curriculum of these two courses is accounting only and this dual qualification can make you stand out.

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