The CMA Exam

Preparing for the CMA Exam at Lynchburg College

The certified management accountant (CMA) designation is a professional certification designed to recognize accounting and financial management skills that drive business performance. Achieving the CMA credential demonstrates your mastery of financial planning, analysis, control, decision support, and professional ethics.

The CMA credential is:

  • Focused - On critical skills you use in business.
  • Respected - Leading employers seek to hire and promote CMAs.
  • Valued - CMAs earn higher compensation than noncertified professionals.
  • Convenient - CMA exams are offered electronically in hundreds of locations.

The CMA is designed for finance professionals at all levels, whether you want to enhance your value to your current organization or expand your career potential.

Most accountants work inside organizations, where expertise in decision support, planning, and control over value-adding operations are crucial elements of operational success. In earning the certified management accountant designation, you will master a comprehensive body of knowledge directly related to operational and strategic management as well as the skills and abilities required to build quality business practices inside organizations.

The CMA Program has four objectives:

  • To establish management accounting as a recognized profession by identifying the role of the management accountant and financial manager, the underlying body of knowledge, and a course of study by which such knowledge is acquired;
  • To encourage higher educational standards in the management accounting field;
  • To establish an objective measure of an individual's knowledge and competence in the field of management accounting; and
  • To encourage continued professional development by management accountants.

CMA Educational Requirement

To be certified as a CMA, you must earn a bachelor's degree, in any area, from an accredited college or university. You need not, however, complete your degree before you take the CMA exam.

To pass the CMA exam, you must learn and understand the subject matter tested, which includes preparation of financial statements, business economics, time-value of money concepts, and statistics and probability. Questions on both parts of the CMA exam will assume that you can effectively integrate and synthesize this knowledge with the specific topics covered in the content specification outline.

CMA Content Specification Overview

(Each part allows 4 hours to complete 100 multiple-choice questions and 2 essay questions)

Part 1: Financial planning, performance, and control

  • Planning, budgeting, and forecasting
  • Performance management
  • Cost management
  • Internal controls
  • Professional ethics

Part 2: Financial decision making

  • Financial statement analysis
  • Corporate finance
  • Decision analysis and risk management
  • Investment decisions
  • Professional ethics

You can start to acquire much of the requisite knowledge to pass the CMA exam in your classes at Lynchburg College. Relevant courses include financial accounting, cost accounting, management accounting, auditing, information systems, business statistics, finance, operations management, and legal environment of business. It is possible for you to complete both parts of the CMA exam by the time you earn your undergraduate degree. The examination fee for students is one-half the regular fee.

For more information about the CMA exam, visit the webpage of The Institute of Management Accountants.