Preparing for the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) exam takes a lot of dedication and discipline. Studying on your own can feel overwhelming and even isolating, and it can be helpful to have the support and structure that is offered with a group study format.  

If the idea of studying as part of a group setting sounds appealing, there may be a chance to get your employer involved. IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) offers a program called the CMA Guided Study Program, something that’s currently available through U.S.-based employers. 

The program starts with a kick-off presentation to introduce finance and accounting employees to the CMA. If a company has 15 or more CMA candidates ready to study for the exam, IMA will provide a virtual instructor to help the candidates prepare for the exam. If your company doesn’t have a group of 15 but will offer the kick-off session, IMA may be able to include your group in another cohort.

Randall Kurtz, IMA strategic account manager who works with companies that offer the program, said, “It’s called a Guided Study Program, because the goal is to provide a schedule, structure, and cohort for members of a company to study for the CMA exams both together and on their own.”

Each week, there is a two-hour session with the instructor to review key material and problems from the topic covered that week. Each participant is expected to study 10-12 hours each week on their own (outside of the class time) to prepare for the session.

Explained Kurtz, “We typically take the first week of each month off because many of the participants are involved in the month-end closing of the books. This also provides a break and opportunity to catch up in studying.”

Usually, those who participate in the program are able to get ready to take each exam part with 16 weeks of preparation or about 150 hours.

The CMA Guided Study Program is being offered at several large companies in the U.S. and there are also some “blended” cohorts that include groups of CMA candidates from a few different companies. 

Carrier Global Corporation (NYSE: CARR) is among those companies that offers the Guided Study Program. “Carrier is excited to work with IMA to provide this program to our finance and accounting teams. We look to enhance our employee experience by providing training opportunities where our team members can upgrade their skillsets, and we’re pleased that many of our team members are taking advantage of this great opportunity to prepare for the certification exams,” said Ivette Zuniga, CFO of Global Commercial Fire & Controls who is also Carrier’s Finance Learning & Development Committee sponsor. 

For more information about how to get your employer to sponsor a CMA Guided Study Program, contact Randall Kurtz at or +1 (201) 474-1687.