CMA Exam Content Is Relevant to Profession

The findings of a recent Job Analysis Survey conducted by the Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA), confirms that the content of the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam continues to be relevant to the on-the-job knowledge and skills performed by management accountants. The Survey was the first validation survey performed since the CMA exam content was revised in 2004.


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“We’re pleased to confirm that the CMA exam continues to represent the relevant body of knowledge used by today’s professionals. With a changing business environment and increasing demands of management accountants to perform as strategic business partners, CMA certification becomes a critical factor in building professional capabilities,” Priscilla Payne, vice president, Certification, ICMA, said in a prepared statement announcing the survey results.

The CMA exam consists of four parts and includes topics such as economics, business finance, cost management, performance measurement, financial reporting, decision analysis, and strategic planning, with a strong emphasis on ethics. In addition to passing the exams, a practitioner must have two years of relevant work experience to become certified and fulfill the education requirement. Originally introduced in 1972, the CMA certification is developed and refined using generally accepted best practices for credentialing programs, including the Job Analysis survey, psychometric testing of exam questions, and other quality control measures.

The Job Analysis Survey was conducted through Thomson Prometric who distributed the psychometric survey to more than 34,000 CMA-certified and noncertified accounting professionals, worldwide, in January 2006. The survey measured the relevance of 43 tasks and 144 knowledge/skill items tested through the body of knowledge of the CMA exam. Of the responses collected, 1,860 responses were tabulated. Mean survey results indicated that CMA exam content rated “adequate” to “well”, as compared to on-the-job duties.

“More than 90 percent of finance and accounting professionals in the U.S. work inside organizations, rather than in public accounting. The CMA is the appropriate certification for this job role, is recognized globally, and is applicable to all industries,” Payne said.

The ICMA is the certification division of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), the world’s leading organization dedicated to empowering accounting and finance professionals to drive business performance. The IMA has nearly 65,000 members worldwide.

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