ICMA Announces Enhancements to CMA Certification Program

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The Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA) Board of Regents announced this week several enhancements to the CMA and CFM certification programs, effective beginning July 1, 2004, reflecting an on-going commitment to ensure the CMA and CFM programs remain at the leading edge of the managerial finance and accounting professional's business environment.

Program enhancements include:

  • The content of the CMA examinations has been reorganized and updated to reflect the variety of relevant business skills and abilities that a managerial finance or accounting professional must possess to effectively contribute to the strategic success of an organization today. The organization of the revised examinations more closely resembles the groups of skills and abilities that these professionals uses in analyzing, managing, and evaluating business solutions, rather than reflecting the academic silos in which the skills are initially learned.

  • The first three parts of the CMA examination will continue to be in an objective format, testing the skills needed to analyze various business situations, the tools required to manage and evaluate business operations, and the knowledge required to develop future business strategies.
  • Candidates will now be required to complete the first three parts of the CMA examination before becoming eligible to sit for part four of the examination. Additionally, part four of the CMA examination will now consist of business-oriented essays and problems. Both written and quantitative responses will be required. This will facilitate more effective testing of the higher-level skills of evaluation, critical thinking, and judgment. All topics in the content specification will be included in this capstone exam. Notably, areas including organization management, behavior, and ethics, will be tested exclusively in this fourth examination part.
  • While the content and format of the CFM certification will not change, the certification will be renamed Certified Financial Manager (currently “Certified in Financial Management”), effective March 1, 2004. ICMA is conducting an analysis of the corporate financial management profession and expects to revise the CFM examination in accordance with the findings of this study.

“Both the CMA and CFM certification programs will continue to provide a rigorous and valid assessment of the knowledge and skills required for professional success in today's business climate, while also demanding that candidates demonstrate skills beyond accounting and auditing,” said Priscilla Payne, Vice President, Certifications and Examinations, ICMA.

“Those professionals who successfully complete one or both of these certification programs solidify their broad business competence and strategic financial mastery, thus positioning themselves as operations-focused ‘value creators' and decision makers within their organizations,” Payne added.

The first three parts of the new CMA examination format will be available for candidate testing July 1, 2004, and the Part 4 capstone examination will be available February 1, 2005.

Note: For candidates currently enrolled in the CMA/CFM programs, the existing examination format will continue to be available until December 31, 2007, allowing sufficient time for completion; there will be no need to change to the new exam format.

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