Those currently preparing to take the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) exam could become part of a select group: among the second 100,000 to earn the certification since the program’s inception in 1972. In late August, IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) crossed a major milestone by certifying its 100,000th CMA.

Said IMA President and CEO Jeff Thomson, CMA, CSCA, CAE, “To put things in perspective, it took 44 years to reach 50,000 CMA certificates in 2016, but only five years to reach the 100,000th in 2021. This is an amazing achievement and reflects the global demand for our certification. The fact that IMA accomplished this during such a turbulent time in our world is even more noteworthy.”

IMA reached this milestone through strong growth across all its regions—the Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe, and Middle East/India. International markets, especially, were high-growth areas in recent years. 

Dennis Whitney, CMA, IMA senior vice president, certifications, exams, and content integration, noted that while some of the content, format, and way the exam is administered have changed over the years, its purpose remains unchanged—to equip accounting and finance professionals with the skills they need to become valued business partners. 

“Around the world, earning a CMA enables accounting and finance professionals to advance their careers and make a difference within their organizations and communities,” he said. “We’re proud of certifying our 100,000th CMA, and we look forward to continuing to grow the program—and to certifying the next 100,000 CMAs!”

Whitney also participated in a Count Me In podcast about the topic, titled “Celebrating 100,000 CMAs.” In addition, IMA’s storyteller, Margaret Michaels, recently published a blog, “Building a Stronger Finance and Accounting Workforce with Certification,” to celebrate the milestone. 

Global Ad Campaign

In other CMA news, IMA this fall launched its latest global, integrated marketing campaign. The campaign, now in its sixth consecutive year, uses TV, digital, social media, radio, and search-engine marketing, including three TV spots, and has global extensions in IMA’s regions.

Continuing the theme of last year’s campaign, the ads emphasize that the CMA “makes all the difference” and on the rising demand for professionals who can turn data into strategic insights. While last year’s campaign struck a serious note, this year’s campaign takes a humorous approach to the lengths that recruiters, finance teams, and CEOs would go to in order to hire and keep the best accounting and finance staff—that is, those who have earned the CMA. 

The ads are accessible here: 

“We’re currently looking at a tight job market amid an economy rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Thomson. “Hiring managers are looking for finance and accounting talent with the ability to look beyond the numbers and gain insights where others cannot, and mounting job vacancies show they’re not finding that talent easily. The CMA equips professionals to fill these roles, which is why this campaign focuses on the rapidly rising premium on certified finance talent and how the CMA can give an enormous boost to one’s employability and career prospects.” 

All IMA members are invited to help spread the word about the new ad campaign. Members are encouraged to share a link to the lead commercial on social media, which can help to raise the brand awareness and credibility of the CMA. 

To learn more about the CMA, visit