For any accounting student, it is crucial to decide whether to pursue a career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or a Certified Management Accountant (CMA). Both work as accountants, but their approaches differ. The main distinction between the two is that a CMA often works as a management accountant in charge of cost and financial analysis, whilst a CPA typically works in tax and audits.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is for students who have an interest in auditing, management accounting, account managing, and taxation. They provide strategic advice for an organization’s growth and compliance and are helpful to businesses in every industry. Both experienced and new accountants are able to enhance their abilities, put their knowledge to the test, and broaden their understanding of the field through the CPA certification process. CPA examines day-to-day accounting processes with a significant focus on taxation and auditing, certified CPA employees acquire the capacity to analyse numbers at will.
Certified Management Accountant (CMA) Course is pursued by students interested in budgeting and management accounting. CMA teaches you all you need to know about corporate governance and other critical business, financial, and accounting topics, such as responsible accounting. Candidates with CMA certification have the ability to make business decisions or participate in group business decisions. Certified CMA workers, on the other hand, gain competence in analyzing and interpreting data, which is then used to produce financial changes in the organization. CMAs must be able to think strategically in order to develop forward-thinking plans.
CPA vs CMA which is better?
The answer to this question is that both of these credentials are equally good and well-regarded in the accounting sector. The crucial point is that they direct potential applicants toward various professional pathways. Any candidate who is interested in taxation, reporting, regulations, and auditing should pursue Certified Public Accountants (CPA). For those interested in management, strategic analysis, and decision-making, CMA is a better option. So, let us take a deeper look at some of the distinct advantages of each of these certification courses before making a decision.
Top Differences between CMA and CPA
|Organized by||American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)||Institutes of Management Accountants (IMA)|
|Eligibility||· Bachelor’s degree or related professional certification|
· 2yrs of Public accounting experience
|· Bachelor’s degree or related professional certification|
· 2 years of management accounting / financial management experience
|Exam Pattern||The exam is divided into 4 parts|
· Business Environment and Concepts
· Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR)
· Audit & Attestation (AUD)
· Regulation (REG)
|The exam is divided into 2 parts|
· Part 1 – Financial Planning, Performance, and Analytics
· Part 2 – Strategic Financial Management
|Course Duration||18 months||3 years|
|Syllabus||· Corporate Governance|
· Economic Concepts and Analysis
· Professional Responsibilities
· Ethics & General Principles
· Financial Statement Accounts
· Entity Federal Taxation
· Individual Federal Taxation
|· Planning, Budgeting, and Forecasting|
· Performance Management
· Internal Controls
· Cost Management
· Decision Analysis
· Professional Ethics
· Financial Statement Analysis
|Passing rate||50 %||45 %|
To help you comprehend the advantages that come with these professional paths, Quadra Plus has listed the top benefits. Read on to learn more!
Career Benefits of a CPA:
- More Job Opportunities:
The CPA designation provides a world of opportunity in a variety of businesses, specializing in particular talents, and having a globally recognized designation.
CPAs have greater career freedom since it allows for the possibility of engaging, purpose-driven work that suits your interests.
- High Growth Potential
When it comes to changes in the field, CPAs are always in the front and are constantly updating their skill sets. As a result, CPAs are able to advance within their organizations and boost their earning potential.
- Greater job stability
Regardless of the industry, CPAs will always be in demand and necessary for a company, making it a somewhat safe and secure career path.
Career Benefits of a CMA:
- Professional Advancement
Stand out amongst other accountants with CMA certification for new roles, as it adds more credibility to your qualifications. It also demonstrates your expertise in financial management processes.
- International Acclaim
CMA certification is accepted and recognized globally, and you can easily seek jobs in Western, European, and Middle Eastern countries, where pay ranges are substantially higher.
- Valuable Employee
CMA prepares you for understanding business, finance, and accounting better. You will become the primary contact for major issues. Your input will be valued, and you will quickly become an important member of the management team. Many CMA-certified candidates have gone on to work as chief financial officers. As a result, with CMA certification, you will be considered as a more valuable employee and will always be valued.
- Growth Opportunities
With a CMA certification, you can advance swiftly into a managerial position and take advantage of several growth prospects.
Career Opportunities of CPA & CMA
CPAs typically work as accountants or financial advisors, public accountants, management accountants, internal auditors, and other job categories are among the most common.
CMAs on the other hand, work for large organizations, and some of their usual job profiles include cost accountants, consultants, and financial risk managers.
Salary Difference between CPA & CMA
In terms of figures, an experienced CPAs earns roughly $ 120,000, but a CMAs earns around $100,000. Nevertheless, there are other factors that influence salary are –
- Company size & and whether it’s public or private accounting,
- Experience level
- Age of a candidate
- The industry of a company
The fact of the matter is that regardless of where you stand on the CMA vs CPA issue, you will need to invest significantly. CMA can get you a place at the table where important business decisions are made. A CPA can also help you play an important part in the operations of financial institutions and organizations of all sizes. Unless you have a definite career aim, one is not superior to the other.