CMA (Certified Management Accountant) Certification Exam to Be Updated With an Increased Focus on Technology in January 2020

Giuseppe Barone
(201) 474-1681

Taylor Fenske
Stern Strategy Group
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Montvale, N.J., January 3, 2019 – ICMA® (The Institute of Certified Management Accountants), the certification division of IMA® (The Institute of Management Accountants), announced today that it is making changes to its CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) exam. The updates to the exam are being made to ensure the CMA remains relevant in the ever-evolving environment of the management accounting profession. The changes will be effective January 1, 2020.

The updated exam will continue to be two parts, with each part containing 100 multiple-choice questions and two essays. ICMA found an increased need to include the impact of technology on the profession on the exam, and as a result, 15 percent of Part 1 will feature a “Technology and Analytics” section. Part 1 will now be titled “Financial Planning, Performance, and Analytics” and include content focusing on external financial reporting decisions, planning, budgeting and forecasting, performance and cost management, and internal controls.

The revisions to Part 2 of the exam will include greater emphasis on ethics and strategic decision-making. Part 2 will now be titled “Strategic Financial Management” and include content on financial statement analysis, corporate finance, risk management, and investment decisions.

In 2018, ICMA and its Board of Regents conducted an independent Job Analysis Study and developed a survey on the knowledge required of management accountants on the job. The global responses from more than 2,000 professionals will be reflected in the updated exam in January 2020.

“We are always tracking changes in the profession to keep the CMA exam relevant,” said Dennis Whitney, CMA, ICMA senior vice president, Certifications, Exams & Content Integration. “This Job Analysis showed that the current exam is comprehensive but needs more coverage in technology and data analytics. We are making the adjustment as both areas are becoming more important for management accountants.”

“The CMA is the preeminent management accounting certification in the world and is experiencing incredible global growth. With advancements in technology and ongoing changes in the profession, it is natural that the exam that awards our certification adapts to these changes to benefit our stakeholders as best as possible,” said Paul E. Juras, CMA, CPA, Ph.D., chair of the ICMA Board of Regents.

The current version of the English language exam will be offered through October 31, 2019. The current version of the Chinese language exam will be offered through November 2019.

For more information about the CMA exam changes, please visit IMA’s website here.

About IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants)
IMA®, named the 2017 and 2018 Professional Body of the Year by The Accountant/International Accounting Bulletin, 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 100,000 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/India. For more information about IMA, please visit