The IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) newly released Global Salary Survey for 2016 once again reveals accountants who earn the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification make more in base salary and total compensation than their noncertified peers. The Global Salary Survey is the cover story of this month’s edition of Strategic Finance. The survey and an accompanying U.S. country report are also available on IMA’s website –

Based on responses from more than 2,500 respondents across 81 countries, the survey reveals that finance professionals with CMA certification earn 45% more in median salary and 50% more in median total compensation than non-CMAs. This suggests employers view the skills developed in the CMA program as invaluable to their business’ success.

More than 80% of finance professionals worldwide believe the CMA creates career opportunities and strengthens their ability to move across all areas of the business. This is especially true for young accountants. CMAs in their 20s boast a 50% higher base salary and 50-61% more in total compensation when compared to their non-certified peers.

“Accountants who earn the CMA certification early in their career are reaping the benefits,” said Kip Krumwiede, CMA, CPA, Ph.D., director of research at IMA and author of the survey. “These results suggest that many individuals who have earned the CMA are being rewarded for their effort and dedication to professional development.”

In the last year alone, more than 70% of survey respondents report receiving a pay raise, and 76% are confident they will receive one in the coming year. In addition to compensation, the survey also finds that work-life balance is critical. In fact, 73% of respondents across all regions rank work-life balance as the second-most vital factor in job satisfaction.

U.S. respondents with CMA certification have a 28% higher median total compensation than those without any certification. This percentage rose to 46% when accountants paired both CMA and CPA certifications together.

Gender Pay Gap Decreasing
In the past year, the median gender pay gap narrowed for IMA members in their 20s. Specifically, the Mid-Atlantic and Plains states had the smallest pay gaps for women, sitting at 4-8%. Also, young female IMA members had 98% and 93% of men’s median base salary and total compensation, respectively.

“Each year we hope to see some improvement in the pay gap between men and women,” Krumwiede said. “The gap remains pretty small for those members in their 20s, but it continues to be about 20% after that. We did find that women in top and senior management positions average about a year less experience in the field and with their employer than their male counterparts.”

Additional country and regional Salary Survey reports for KSA, China, UAE, and Middle East/Africa will be forthcoming. Check IMA’s website in the coming months for these new reports.