Certified Management Accountants (CMAs) are globally recognized leaders in the financial service industry. With expertise in corporate finance and management accounting, a few common roles they fill are financial analysts, risk managers, and cost accountants. However, their problem-solving skills often lead to high-level job titles like chief financial officer or chief operating officer.
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The CMA certification outfits candidates with in-depth knowledge about financial planning, cost management, and internal controls, but also prepares them to use that knowledge to support strategic decisions regarding corporate finance, risk management, and investments. This makes CMAs particularly adept at supervising teams and managing projects.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow 7 percent from 2020 to 2030. When you throw a CMA certification into that mix, the number of job opportunities only grows.
The 2021 IMA Global Salary Survey showed that those holding the CMA are more likely to hold specific job titles compared to non-CMAs. With that said, let’s explore some examples of the jobs you may encounter throughout your CMA career…
Let’s say you’ve passed your exam and are officially a certified CMA. Congratulations! You’re ready to begin your CMA career. These initial few roles are solid starting options for those who are freshly certified and ready to utilize their new skills.
All about analysis and forecasting, a financial analyst carefully studies market trends and microeconomic factors to help a company make smart investments with its capital.
This role may also provide advice to executives on issuing corporate bonds, splitting stock, and other areas of concern. The CMA certification prepares future financial analysts to provide financial recommendations based on their compiled data.
A financial risk manager analyzes data, financial markets, and world events to determine potential threats to an organization’s financial success. Through planning and problem solving, it’s their responsibility to recommend strategies to counteract potential risks.
The second CMA exam covers key areas helpful to this role such as risk management, investment decisions, decision analysis, and more.
A mid-career professional with experience under their belt is typically qualified for the following roles.
Management accountant is a CMA job that specifically focuses on delivering financial information to assist the executive staff of a company in making decisions.
A management accountant must not only be an expert in accounting, but they also must be able to present the data in a practical way that addresses management’s challenges. The main CMA skills applied in the managerial accounting field are risk management, budget planning, strategic planning, and financial data analysis.
Cost accountants analyze a business’ production costs to find ways to minimize financial waste and maximize profit. CMA certification will make you a desirable job candidate because cost accounting is a type of management accounting.
Senior accountants utilize accounting principles and company practices to lead reporting costs, margins, expenditures, and productivity for companies and organizations. Unlike junior accountants, senior roles perform fewer administrative tasks such as updating journal entries, gathering data, and balancing sheet population.
A CMA career leaves plenty of room for professional development and job growth. If you’re later in your career, here are a few roles that could use your expertise.
A corporate controller is a senior leadership role that typically oversees a company’s financial and accounting functions. The Controller manages staff responsible for all financial reporting and accounting operations, including internal and external financial statements and regulatory reporting requirements. Depending on how many years of experience the candidate has, other duties for Controllers include implementing internal control systems, evaluating the effectiveness of accounting systems, and monitoring business performance metrics.
CFOs are key members of the senior leadership team in charge of capital requirements for the entire business, overseeing financial reporting, company investments, financial forecasting, and making the final call regarding major business decisions.
It’s often a step just below or to the right of the CEO of a company. To reach high-level management positions in accounting, you must have a CMA or MBA. Controllers often work right below CFOs.
CMAs have the skills necessary to work across various settings from government agencies to academic institutions. Among those settings are several industries. The most common, according to the IMA 2021 Global Salary Survey, include:
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected a 7% growth rate for the accounting profession between 2020 and 2030. With a growing need for managerial professionals, a CMA certificate is highly desired by prospective employers.
In conclusion, it’s safe to say the CMA job market is booming with potential for major professional growth and a six-figure salary. With more professional freedom, higher earning potential, and global relevance, this is a very promising career move for those looking to take their work to the next level.