What Training Is Needed for a Certified Managerial Accountant Career?

A certified managerial accountant (CMA) works with an organization to advise the executive management team on a variety of areas, including taxes, budgeting, corporate spending, and financial planning. Read to learn more about how to become a certified managerial accountant. Schools offering Managerial Accountancy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Certified managerial accountants are primarily concerned with financial data used for internal communications, decision-making, and monitoring for compliance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Many CMAs have at least a bachelor's degree, in addition to their certification.

Important Facts About Managerial Accountant Training

Degree Levels Undergraduate degree
Prerequisites High school diploma or GED
Online Availability Many schools offer relevant degree programs fully online
Continuing Education Master's degree in accounting or finance
Median Salary (2019)$59,670* (Management Accountants)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)10%** (Accountants and Auditors)

Source: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Formal Training

Individuals who are interested in becoming certified managerial accountants should seek out bachelor's degree programs in accounting or finance. These programs cover computer applications, business organizations, principles of economics, money and banking, business law, and information technology. Training in federal and state tax laws should be included as well.

Core Competencies

As a consultant to executive management teams that make key operational decisions, including production schedules and expenditures, certified managerial accountants must have the competency to make the appropriate recommendations. Relevant bachelor's degree programs, such as the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Managerial Accounting, cover the specialized knowledge required for a CMA career. Core courses include:

  • Accounting Information Systems
  • Financial Accounting
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Federal Taxation
  • Internal Auditing


The CMA designation is undeniably the professional credential most sought by employers looking to hire managerial accountants. It proves that an individual has mastered the knowledge and skills for corporate operations and strategic planning. Candidates must pass the CMA examination and meet the state requirement where they will be working. The following are the four key knowledge areas covered by the exam for prospective CMA candidates:

  • Business Analysis
  • Management Accounting and Reporting
  • Strategic Management
  • Business Applications

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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