Is CMA Tough for Indian Students?

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CMA (Certified Management Accountant) is a professional certification credential in the management accounting and financial management fields. the certification signifies that the person possesses knowledge in the areas of financial planning, analysis, control, decision support, and professional ethics. To date, there are more than 40,000 active CMAs with more than 80,000 candidates in the current pipelines hence, CMA is having a huge scope in India. Before elaborating on whether CMA tough or not for Indian students let us go through the syllabus first.

The US CMA which is accredited by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) is the highest credential one can earn as a management accountant.

The CMA USA syllabus is organized into the following parts:

Part 1 - Financial Reporting, Planning, Performance and control

  • External Financial Reporting decisions
  • Planning, Budgeting, and Forecasting
  • Performance Management
  • Cost Management
  • Internal Controls

Part 2- Financial Decision Making

  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Corporate Finance
  • Decision Analysis
  • Risk Management
  • Investment Decision
  • Professional Ethics

Is CMA really hard?

Indian students are usually used to study from thick books and syllabus in the Indian education system which is more theory-oriented. So, preparing for US CMA exams may not be such a tough proposition.

While the CMA subjects may look a little challenging but, it is important that you maintain and dutifully follow a plan of action when you decide to take the CMA course. There are three testing windows of two-months duration in a year to take the exam.

Hence, CMA is not very difficult for Indian students as most of the questions in both the papers are multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and they only need to devote 200 hours to study over a duration of six months to clear the CMA examination.

Give attention to the below tips to find CMA easy. Because, despite all exemptions, non-grouping examination pattern, and flexible schedule to attend exams, many Indian students feel tough to clear CMA. This is because of the following reasons:

  • Less Time- As most of the people giving this exam are working professionals, and they are not able to devote the required time to study.
  • Penny wise, pound foolish- A lot of professionals don’t invest in study materials, lectures, videos, books, question banks, mock tests, etc., they don’t realize that one extra exam attempt will cost them approx. 25,000 to 30,000 as exam fees. Hence it is wise to invest in study material that will ensure to pass the exam.
  • Weak fundamentals- A lot of people do not have strong financial acumen which is a must for this course. they may be good at one aspect of accounts-but this course requires you to have a management perspective to accounting. Hence due to a weak foundation, they are unable to grasp advanced concepts despite having the required experience.

Given all this, it is equally important to pick a good CMA course. Once you have selected a good training institution, give as many mock tests as possible. this will help to gauge where you stand. Only when you are thorough with your preparations, you should plan the exam.

What are the skills needed to be an Accountant?

The most sorted job after clearing CMA is Accountancy and there are certain skills needed to be an accountant.

An Accountant is a professional who performs accounting functions such as audits or financial statement analysis. This is also known as account analysis. Accountants can either be employed with an accounting firm or a large company with an internal accounting department, or they can set up an individual practice. Accountants are given certifications by national professional associations after meeting state-specific requirements, although non-qualified persons can still work under other accountants or independently.

Accountants must abide by the ethical standards and guiding principles of the region where they practice, such as International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) or Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). A certified accountant doesn’t need to receive any license in order to practice, and neither do Certified Management Accounts.

Following is the list of few skills or technical expertise that every management accountant should be well-versed with:

Interpersonal Skills:

There is a misconception that an accountant's work involves purely number crunching. But along with strong quantitative skills, an accountant should also possess great interpersonal skills such as empathy, client management, negotiation skills, etc.,


Taxation is a very volatile and dynamic subject. It requires advanced knowledge, which is only possible through rigorous reading and strong experience. An accountant should have a depth understanding of various taxes, tax income limits, taxable items, tax rates, etc.


CFO next To become an accountant, he/she also needs to conduct variance analysis, price and value analysis, capital budgeting, strategic planning, forecasting, allocation, etc., To ensure the best allocation of resources and achieve management goals.

Accounting basics

An accountant should know how to prepare financial statements an accounting reporter for planning, controlling, budgeting and decision-making. The three Key financial statements are balance sheet, profit & loss, and cash flows accounts. The above three financial statements are interlinked with each other. An accountant needs to understand the correlation and interlinkage between these statements

National certification:

An accountant needs to earn certification from authorizing body to enjoy lucrative monetary rewards and to sustain in the market. A CPA i.e. Certified Public Accountant courses curriculum includes 30 hrs. of accounting study. Similarly, in the market, there are many certifications available in the realm of accounting space. One must search for the course most appropriate as per his requirement.

Accounting software:

Accounting is mainly concentrated around computations, data mining, developing and interpreting complex models, etc. A software-based application enables more accurate and efficient financial record keeping. Accounting software such as tally ERP, Zoho, Books, MARG ERP, and more are getting used on daily basis.

The word knowledge is infinite, which means that there is no end to learning, unlearning, and relearning new skills that are in sync with the changing times. The same in the case of accounting where managerial accountants need to have varied basic accounting skills and to need to develop themselves abreast of the new development in the domain. It is essential to manage the balance of software skills along with the basic accounting skills, communication, and customer service skills. An impeccable combination of all these skill sets is important to become successful. Contact us for guidelines and to get the details on training sessions.


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