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Choosing whether to become a CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) or CPA is one of the first career decisions accounting professionals make—but why confine yourself to one or the other? Dual credentials can be extremely rewarding. Here’s why:

1. Double Up and Stand Out!

If you already have your CPA, adding the CMA can set you apart from your colleagues and with employers. Dual certification shows that you’re highly motivated and ambitious and possess varied skills and expertise.

2. Real ROI

According to IMA’s 2021 Global Salary Survey,* when compared to those without the CMA or the CPA certification, 

  • CMA holders earn 59% more in median total compensation; and
  • Dual CMA and CPA holders earn 149% more in median total compensation.

3.   Drill Down to the Details

CMAs typically serve management functions such as planning, control, analysis, and decision support. CPAs, meanwhile, operate more within the finite details of producing the reports that CMAs use to make decisions. The two naturally overlap, which is why one person with both credentials can be particularly marketable (not to mention successful). 

4.   Pave a Path to Management

If you’re a CPA with deep knowledge of the financial accounting details, by adding a CMA, you’ll gain more big-picture insights, making you more equipped to make informed, confident decisions for your organization. Likewise, many CMAs serve in leadership positions, so the CMA who adds CPA to their resume can gain the advantage due to the foundational training that CPAs receive.
5. Content Overlap and CPE

If you already have either the CMA or CPA, preparing for the exams of the other credential will be easier since some of the content overlaps. In addition, after you obtain both credentials, most continuing professional education (CPE) credits will work for both organizations’ continuing education requirements. 

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*IMA’s 2021 Global Salary Survey surveyed IMA members in 79 countries in four regions: the Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe, and Middle East/Africa/India.