CMA Designation Celebrates 30th Anniversary

The Institute for Management Accountants is celebrating a milestone of sorts this month - the thirtieth anniversary of the first testing to award the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation.

It was December, 1972. President Nixon had just won a landslide victory over George McGovern. The Apollo space program was coming to an end. The Watergate scandal was just a few months old. And years of efforts started by the National Association of Accountants to create a comprehensive certification program to test the knowledge of the management accountant culminated in the first test given to over 400 management accounting candidates in 22 cities.

In the 30 years since, the Institute of Management Accountants has awarded 24,650 CMA designations. In 2002 alone, more than 4,650 candidates have taken the test in approximately 300 locations around the world.

According to the IMA Web site, the CMA certification program was designed to meet four objectives:

  • To establish management accounting and financial management as recognized professions by identifying the role of the professional, the underlying body of knowledge, and a course of study by which such knowledge is acquired;
  • To encourage higher educational standards in the management accounting and financial management fields;
  • To establish an objective measure of an individual's knowledge and competence in the fields of management accounting and financial management; and
  • To encourage continued professional development.

Happy anniversary CMA!

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