IMA Global Salary Survey Reports Substantially Higher Salaries for Certified Management Accountants

Marc Gerrone
(201) 474-1502

Anjelica Sena
Stern Strategy Group
(908) 325-3873

Results reveal impact on compensation from certification, education and more 

Montvale, N.J., March 3, 2016
 – Results from the IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) Global Salary Survey reveal that accountants – who earned certification through the Certified Management Accountant (CMA®) program – receive more in base salary and total compensation than their non-certified peers. The data collected from over 2,500 respondents across 81 countries is now available online

Globally, CMA-certified finance professionals across the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa earn 61 percent more than their non-CMA counterparts. This finding signals the value global employers place on the skills possessed by CMAs as traditional accounting and finance roles continue to evolve. 

U.S. Findings
In the U.S., CMAs earn 31 percent more in median total compensation than professionals without certification ($127,200 vs. $97,000). The median annual total compensation for all respondents in the U.S. is $120,000, up 6.2 percent from last year’s number ($113,000).

Compensation Advantage
In addition to a higher total compensation, this year’s survey shows a positive outlook for raises in the accounting profession. Like the 2014 Salary Survey, more than three-fourths of survey respondents expect to receive a raise this year, with a median expected increase of 8 percent.  

However, salaries and total compensation vary considerably by responsibility area. Internationally, those working in education, information systems, government accounting and corporate accounting will demand the highest salaries. Public accounting remains the lowest-paid area globally.

Global Outlook
For the first time in Salary Survey history, the number of Chinese respondents (28.6 percent) exceeded the number of US respondents (26.3 percent), reflecting the increased emphasis on management accounting and the CMA in China. Asia also saw the largest increase in CMA credentials and increase in female respondents. While global salaries are lower than last year overall, the decline is largely due to lower salaries in regions such as the Middle East and North Africa. 

“CMAs across all regions feel that their certification enhances their ability to move across areas of the business,” said Kip Krumwiede, CMA, CPA, Ph.D., director of research at IMA and author of the survey. “Certified professionals report substantially higher salaries and total compensation than their non-certified counterparts. This salary premium, along with the greater career opportunities available to CMAs, attests to the ongoing value of this program.”  

While CMAs in all age categories earn more than their non-certified counterparts, CMA professionals in the 30-39 age group outearn their non-certified components by a whopping 40 to 50 percent. This is indicative of the value of obtaining the CMA earlier in one’s career and leads to better benefits in the long-term. Additionally those aged 50 and older with CMAs receive more than $23,000 more in total median compensation than non-CMAs ($138,413 vs. $115,000).

About IMA® 
IMA®, the association of accountants and financial professionals in business, is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. Globally, IMA supports the profession through research, the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) program, continuing education, networking and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices. IMA has a global network of more than 80,000 members in 140 countries and 300 professional and student chapters. Headquartered in Montvale, N.J., USA, IMA provides localized services through its four global regions: The Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe, and Middle East/ Africa. For more information about IMA, please visit

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