IMA’s 2019 Global Salary Survey revealed some great news for holders of the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant): CMAs globally earn 57% more in median salary and 55% more in total compensation than non-CMAs. Young accountants particularly reap the benefits of becoming certified, as CMAs in their 20s earn 70% more than their peers and those in their 30s earn 67% more than those who do not have the CMA.

According to responses from more than 5,200 IMA members, the survey also found that the CMA empowers finance professionals as the Digital Age makes its way into accounting and finance. For example, 72% of respondents agree the CMA strengthens their job security and 78% agree that the CMA strengthens their ability to move across all areas of the business. Further, more than 76% agree that certification provides additional career opportunities.

“The CMA has long provided a way for individuals to hone their management accounting skill set to create value for their organizations, which in turn enables greater career and earning potential,” said Kip Krumwiede, CMA, CPA, Ph.D., IMA director of research. “We’re particularly encouraged this year to see that CMAs feel the credential is strengthening their job security, especially as the age of AI and machine learning is beginning to have an impact in finance.”

Closing the Gender Pay Gap
In the last year, the global gender pay gap in both median salary and total compensation became virtually nonexistent, according to survey respondents. This is up from last year, when women earned 90% of men’s median salary and total compensation. The gap for respondents in their 20s improved significantly this year, with women’s median base salary exceeding their male counterparts by 25%.

“After years of slowly shrinking the gender wage gap, we’re happy to see the overall improvement in the global 20-29 age group,” Krumwiede said. “Of course, this global report combines many different countries with very different gender pay gaps, so we must be careful not to celebrate the end of the pay gap. Yet, the most recent year is a good indicator of women’s continued upward mobility in the workplace. This marks the third year in a row we have seen the global gender wage gap shrink.”

Europe, Asia, and the Middle East/Africa showed little to no overall salary gap for at least one age group, while the U.S. showed noticeable gaps in all age groups. The largest gap for U.S. women exists in the 50 and older age group where they make 81% of their male counterparts’ pay.

IMA’s Global Salary Survey, authored by Shannon Charles, CPA, is the cover story of this month’s edition of Strategic Finance, IMA’s award-winning flagship publication. The global and U.S. data is available on IMA’s website where additional regional reports are forthcoming.