What is the CMA course about

The CMA certificate

The CMA certificate is awarded exclusively by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), the world's largest association of accounting professionals with over 72,000 members.

Numerous large companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Hewlett Packard and IBM, support this training opportunity for their employees.

The CMA certificate is proof of:

• Comprehensive skills in internal and external accounting (e.g. preparation of financial statements, cost accounting, planning, success analysis),

• Practically relevant knowledge in other areas of management (e.g. control system, decision theory),

• Technical English at the highest level: the exam is taken in English; Knowledge of all technical terms for accounting and controlling must be applied.

For everyone who has to do with business partners or corporate management abroad, this professional qualification brings additional recognition and proof of competence. Unfortunately, in the USA and other countries, people often do not take the trouble to find out about the content of German professional qualifications and to recognize their competence. Qualifications that are also known abroad, on the other hand, open doors and secure jobs.

Content of the exam:

The exact content descriptions can be found as Content Specification Outlines of the IMA (20 pages), the List of recommended literature (3 pages) and as Learning Outcome Statements (70 pages).

In contrast to the CPA exam, the CMA exam does not contain detailed questions about US tax law, budgetary management of municipal companies or foundations.

Part 1: Financial Planning, Performance and Control:

a) Planning, budgeting & forecasting (30%)

b) Performance Management (25%)

c) cost management (25%)

d) Internal control (15%)

e) ethics (5%)

Part 2: Financial Decision Making:

a) Balance sheet analysis (25%)

b) Corporate Finance (25%)

c) risk management (25%)

d) Investment & Financing (20%)

e) ethics (5%)

The exam fee is USD 350 per part if both parts are completed in one test window USD 300 per part.

The preparation can be done in self-study, but there are also providers of face-to-face courses in German-speaking countries.

Structure of the exam:

The exam consists of two parts. Each exam takes a total of 4 hours, with 100 multiple choice questions to be answered in 3 hours and two essays of 30 minutes each. At least 50% of the multiple choice questions have to be answered correctly in order to get to the essay.

The overall performance from open and multiple choice questions is decisive for the result. A total of 500 points can be achieved, with 360 points being necessary to pass. The questions are weighted according to their difficulty - two correctly answered multiple choice questions can therefore earn a different number of points. This ensures that all candidates receive a different exam, which, however, are comparable in difficulty.

Approx. 40% of the candidates pass the tested part.

There are 3 test windows per year (January & February, May & June, September & October), in which the test date can be freely chosen. A part of the examination may only be taken once within a test window. Both exams must be completed within three years, otherwise older parts must be repeated.


Admission to examination:

These steps are necessary for admission to the exam:

a) Membership in the Institute of Management Accountants (USD 225 p.a.)

b) Paying the "Certification Fee" (USD 250)

c) Registration & payment of the exam fee (USD 350 per part)

d) Receipt of the confirmation

e) Make an appointment with Prometric

f) Writing the exam

Including the documents for self-study, costs of around USD 2,500 are to be expected.

The following exam locations are offered in German-speaking countries:

· Vienna

· Munich

· Frankfurt

· Berlin

· Hamburg

· Geneva

Requirements to be recognized as a CMA:

In order to be allowed to use the title CMA, candidates must meet the following requirements:


a) Membership in the Institute of Management Accountants

b) Proof of the educational requirements (at least a Bachelor's degree from a recognized university / technical college)

c) Proof of practical work (2 years in the field of Management Accounting / Financial Management - this can be done before or up to 7 years after taking the exams. Part-time work is credited aliquot. Work that only requires the sporadic application of management accounting knowledge will be not acknowledged.)

d) Passed both exams

e) Compliance with the professional rules defined by the IMA


The exams themselves can be taken before all requirements are met.


Further education:

Each CMA has to complete 30 hours of advanced training per year, of which at least 2 hours must be devoted to ethics.


Club activities:

The Institute of Management Accountants maintains local associations in all German-speaking countries, which regularly organize networking and training events. An overview can be found on the Internet at



Chapter Switzerland:



Chapter Austria:

This chapter is located at the Austrian Controller Institute.


Chapter Germany:



Course in Switzerland: www.controller-akademie.ch/studiengaenge/cima/