Certified Management Accountants Are Earning 55 Percent More in Compensation According to IMA?s 2019 Global Salary Survey

Giuseppe Barone
(201) 474-1681

Taylor Fenske
Stern Strategy Group
(908) 325-3866

Montvale, N.J., March 4, 2019 IMA's® (Institute of Management Accountants) 2019 Global Salary Survey, shows that CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certified professionals globally earn 57 percent more in median salary and 55 percent more in median total compensation than non-CMAs. Young accountants particularly reap the benefits of becoming certified, as CMAs in their 20s earn 70 percent more in total compensation than their peers who do not have the CMA and those in their 30s earn 67 percent more.

According to responses from more than 5,200 IMA members, the survey also finds that the CMA empowers finance professionals as the digital age makes its way into accounting and finance. For example, 72 percent of respondents agree the CMA strengthens their job security in the digital age and 78 percent agree that the CMA strengthens their ability to move across all areas of the business. Further, more than 76 percent agree the 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., director of research at IMA. “We’re particularly encouraged this year to see CMAs feel the credential is strengthening their job security, especially as the digital age of AI and machine learning is beginning to have an impact in finance.”

U.S. CMAs Earn More and Are More Satisfied
U.S. respondents with the CMA certification have a 31 percent higher median total compensation than those without the certification.

Earning the CMA improves more than just salary for financial professionals in the U.S. Eighty-three percent of CMAs agree their certification creates career opportunities, while 76 percent agree it strengthens their ability to move across all areas of the business.

Respondents in the U.S. also describe being more satisfied with their jobs, reporting a 76 percent satisfaction rate. Women tend to be more satisfied with their jobs than men but are less satisfied with their salaries due to a persistent – but shrinking – wage gap in the region.

Gender Pay Gap
Globally, there’s a different story. 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 percent 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 percent.

“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. We must be careful not to celebrate the end of the pay gap. The demographics of the respondents have much to do with the median results. But 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 percent 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 Survey website where additional regional reports are forthcoming.

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 www.imanet.org.