ICMA to Update CMA Exam Content to Reflect Management Accountants’ Evolving Role
In its ongoing effort to ensure that the CMA®
(Certified Management Accountant) exam accurately reflects the evolving
role of accountants as strategic business partners, ICMA® (Institute of Certified Management Accountants) will soon implement changes to the content of the exam.
changes will become effective beginning with the January/February 2015
testing window (English language version). For the Chinese-language
version, the changes will commence in March 2015.
are based on a recent Job Analysis Study that polled CFOs, controllers,
and other accounting/finance professionals from around the world. The
purpose of the study, which ICMA conducts every five to seven years, was
to identify the in-demand knowledge, skills, and tasks currently needed
by management accountants.
Based on the results of that study
and a year-long assessment process, ICMA will change approximately 10%
of the CMA exam content. The most significant changes include:
- Part 1 of the exam will include one new section, financial reporting, and additional questions on strategic planning.
- To make room for these new questions in Part 1, the ethics section will be combined with the ethics section in Part 2.
- Part 2 of the exam will split the topics of decision analysis and risk management, currently a single section. There also will be more questions in the risk management topic area.
CMA exam format will remain as two, four-hour parts. Each part will
still include 100 multiple-choice questions and two 30-minute essays.
the role of management accountants is rapidly evolving because of a
variety of factors, such as technology and globalization,” said Dennis
Whitney, CMA, CFM, CAE, ICMA senior vice president. “It’s essential that
the CMA continues as the most relevant and valid assessment for
management accountants so that it serves professionals and enables
organizations to find the most qualified talent.”
“ICMA wishes to thank the members of both the Job Analysis Task Force
and the ICMA Board of Regents for their hard work and guidance in
helping develop and implement these changes to the exam. Candidates and
employers can be assured that the process of changing the exam was a
rigorous one and that the new exam will accurately assess the critical
skills that are required for today’s accounting and finance
In July 2014, ICMA will release new Content
Specification Outlines (CSO), Learning Outcome Statements, and a
supplementary bibliography to assist candidates with preparing for the
Changes to the exam will automatically coincide with
the testing window schedule, and any completed exam parts under the
current CSO will transfer to the new CSO. Current CMA candidates have
the option of taking the English exam (or finish remaining parts) under
the current specifications through October 31, 2014, or taking the exam
under the new specifications beginning January 1, 2015. Candidates
sitting for the Chinese-language version may take the exam under the
current specifications on August 2, 2014, and on November 15, 2014, or
under the new specifications beginning March 2015.
For more information or questions about the changes, please contact IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) Member Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (800) 638-4427 or +1 (201) 573-9000 (if outside North America).