CMA Exam Updates

The CMA exam is updated every few years to ensure it is testing information that is most relevant to management accounting and finance professionals.

The ICMA’s most recent job analysis study showed content areas that needed adjusted based on the most in demand expertise for today’s management accounting professionals. This has resulted in changes to the CMA exam, and if you’re wondering what those changes are, you’re in luck! Read on. The most recent changes to the CMA exam took effect January 1, 2020 and are summarized here.

CMA Exam Part 1 Changes
New Title Financial Planning, Performance, and Analytics
New Content Technology and Analytics
Integrated Reporting
Reduced Content Planning, Budgeting
Forecasting, Cost Management
Deleted Content Internal Auditing, Off-Balance Sheet Financing


CMA Exam Part 2 Changes
New Title Strategic Financial Management
New Content Business Ethics
Sustainability and Social Responsibility
Reduced Content Financial Statement Analysis
Investment Decisions
Deleted Content Bankruptcy

Changes to Part 1

Technology is transforming the management accounting profession, and that is now reflected in Part 1 of the CMA exam with the addition of a new section on Technology and Analytics.

This new section accounts for 15% of the Part 1 exam and will cover:

Information Systems
Data Governance
Technology-enabled Finance Transformation
Data Analytics

With the addition of this new section, the Planning, Budgeting, and Forecasting section of the exam has been reduced from 30% to 20% of the Part 1 exam, and the Cost Management section has been reduced from 20% to 15%.

Other changes include the addition of testing integrated reporting in the External Financial Reporting Decisions section and removing off-balance sheet financing.

Part 1

Changes Summary:

  1. 1. New Title: Financial Planning, Performance, and Analytics
  2. 2. New Content: Technology and Analytics, Integrated Reporting
  3. 3. Reduced Content: Planning, Budgeting, and Forecasting, Cost Management
  4. 4. Deleted Content: Internal Auditing, Off-Balance Sheet Financing

Changes to Part 2

Being able to apply an ethical and strategic framework to decision making in a complex, digital world is a skill every accounting and finance professional needs.

In light of this, updates to Part 2 of the exam will expand the Professional Ethics and Decision Analysis sections by 5% each. To make room for this expansion, the Financial Statement Analysis and Investment Decisions sections will be reduced by 5% each.

Other changes include no longer testing bankruptcy, tax implications of transfer pricing, or the distinction between reorganization and liquidation in the Corporate Finance section and no longer testing methods to monitor ethical compliance or requirements of SOX Section 406 – Code of Ethics for Senior Financial Officers in the Professional Ethics section.

Part 2

Changes Summary:

  1. 1. New Title: Strategic Financial Management
  2. 2. New Content: Business Ethics, Sustainability and Social Responsibility
  3. 3. Reduced Content: Financial Statement Analysis, Investment Decisions
  4. 4. Deleted Content: Bankruptcy, Tax Implications of Transfer Pricing

More Resources on Taking the CMA Exam

We have an entire section of our site dedicated to resources about the CMA exam. You can check it out here, or you can choose from a few of our favorite articles below. Each tackles a specific pain point related to taking the CMA exam. 

Free eBook: Your Essential Guide to the CMA Exam

CMA Certification Requirements

How to Register for the CMA Exam

Start Your CMA Exam Journey Today

Now you know what to expect as far as current changes to the CMA exam, but do you know what to expect from your CMA exam prep course? Get to know the ins and outs of the best CMA exam test prep, Wiley CMA, with a free 14-day trial. The trial gets you access to the study text, practice questions, video lectures, and more.