US CMA Or US CPA Which is the Real Deal

US CMA Or US CPA: Which is the Real Deal?

Students who are studying accounting are often concerned about certification! How do I become certified? Does it serve a purpose? If yes, which one?
One's decision regarding certification may have a profound impact on their future, so it is imperative to consider all the details before making a final choice. 

US CPA course versus US CMA Course

The Certified Public Accountant (US CPA) license and the Certified Management Accountant (US CMA) certification are two of the most popular accounting certifications.
The term CPA refers to a certified public accountant qualified to practice public accounting and the US CPA course is administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The Certified Management Accountant (US CMA) is a certification offered by the Institutes of Management Accountants (IMA) which focuses on Financial Accounting and Strategic Management.

The eligibility criteria

A bachelor's degree or similar certification is required to apply for both US CPA and US CMA. In addition, CPAs must have two years' experience in public accounting, whereas CMAs must have two years' experience in management accounting or financial accounting. Once certified, a CPA must complete 40 hours and CMAs must complete 30 hours of continuing education every year.    

The Curriculum

In US CPA course, there are four core sections: Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), Audit & Attestation (AUD), and Regulation (REG).The BEC focuses primarily on management related themes, while the remaining topics are related to tax and auditing. A broad range of topics is covered in the CPA program, including corporate governance, economics, ethics, taxes, and other topics. Nevertheless, US CMA course places a strong emphasis on developing analytical skills, such as data reporting and critical thinking. CMA USA emphasizes planning, budgeting, in addition to many other topics.

Defining the duration

An applicant for US CPA certification has 18 months to complete all four parts of the US CPA course and starts counting down from the day they pass the first part whereas a candidate has three years to pass both parts of the US CMA exam, and the time starts on the day of registration

Skills Acquired

Certified CPAs are required to analyse day-to-day accounting activities and taxation with a particular focus on auditing. In contrast, certified US CMA personnel are capable of analysing and interpreting data, which then is used to improve the company's financial health. A US CMA's primary function is to drive strategic growth for a company, while a CPA's primary function is taxation, auditing, and the day-to-day accounting activities

Choosing a career

CMAs develop corporate financial strategies and work in management positions, such as Cost Accounting, Corporate Controllers, Senior Accountants, Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), and Vice Presidents of Finance. A CPA can oversee accounting departments and succeed in a variety of accounting roles as public accountant, tax accountant, forensic accountant, internal auditor, and financial planner.


Enrolling for US CPA training or CMA USA training is one of the best decisions to make. The investment of one's time and effort will not be wasted since they are both extremely lucrative. So choose the right course for you to stay ahead of the curve.

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