All about CMA Courses, Eligibility, Fee and Career Scope

All about CMA Courses, Eligibility, Fee and Career Scope

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Abhishek Dhawan
Senior Executive – Content
Updated on Oct 12, 2023 13:34 IST

CMA course completion not only opens up an exciting world of financial management opportunities but provides the required experience to meet the demands of the ever-changing corporate world. Read all about CMA course here.

CMA Course Details

CMA Course: The Institute of Cost Accountants, commonly known as ICMAI, offers CMA course. Some people term the course with CMA full form, that is Cost and Management Accounting. Earlier, the CMA course was known as CWA. CWA full form was Cost and Works Accounting. The course administering body in India was the same back then; however, ICMAI was formerly known as the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI). If a student is interested in managing the accounts of numerous departments in a company, and integrating them to help streamline costs, then the ICWA course is just right for an individual. The CMA course duration is three years with or without formal training.

This article provides CMA course details, including the eligibility criteria, fees, syllabus, salary prospects, etc.

What is CMA Course?

CMA, or Cost and Management Accounting, is a certificate course providing CMA designation to the qualifiers. The designation is a gateway to a lucrative career in business accounting. The CMA course functions on four pillars of knowledge, including Management, Regulatory Framework, Strategy, and Financial Reporting. The designation of a CMA is provided after a candidate qualifies the CMA exam conducted at three levels mentioned below:

CMA Full Form

Cost and Management Accountant is abbreviated as CMA. Earlier, CMA was known as Cost and Work Accountant (CWA). ICWAI awarded CWA designation to all the qualified candidates. Later, with the change in name, ICWAI became ICAI, and CWA became CMA. The change came into existence to compete with the similar level of designations in other countries. Most countries had a similar designation and addressed the same CMA's, i.e. certified management accountants. To provide equal status to the CWA qualifiers, the change in name was proposed. Additionally, the curriculum of the course is more management than works accountancy to provide knowledge at par with the growing technologies.  

Difference Between CWA, CMA, ICMAI, and ICWAI

As discussed, ICAI offers the CMA course at three levels. CMA or Cost and Management Accountant was formerly known as Cost and Work Accountant (CWA). The institute offering the course remained the same from the initial stage. However, ICAI was then termed as the Institute of Cost and Work Accountants of India (ICWA). ICWAI was later renamed as the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants (ICMAI).

Thus, there is no difference between CWA and CMA. Both are the same courses, only the name has been changed in the previous years. Similarly, ICWAI, ICMAI, and ICAI are the same institute with changes in names over the years. Besides the nomenclature, there is no change in the literal meaning.

CMA Course Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria to apply for CMA exam at all three levels vary. Space below mentions the CMA course eligibility criteria for all three levels

CMA Foundation Eligibility Criteria

  • Have passed Class 10 or equivalent followed by Class 12 or equivalent
  • If they have received National Diploma in Commerce Examination (AICTE or by any recognised board)

CMA Intermediate Eligibility Criteria

  • Passed SSC or equivalent
  • Foundation or entry level of Common Admission Test (CAT) by Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI)
  • Graduation in any stream (except Fine Arts)
  • Even students who are awaiting results would pass CMA course eligibility

CMA Final Eligibility Criteria

  • Students who are done with their Intermediate level at school
  • Graduation in any stream (except Fine Arts)
  • Have passed all eight papers of the Intermediate course

CMA Course Fees and Duration

The entrance examination, the CMA exam, is held twice a year, once each in June and December. If a student wishes to apply for the June exam, they can apply before January 31 of the same year. For the December exam, the last date of application is July 31.

CMA Course Fees

CMA Fee Type CMA Fee Amount
Cost of prospectus INR 250
CMA course fee

CMA Foundation course fee: INR 6,000

CMA Intermediate course fee: INR 23,100 or INR 12,000 at the time of registration and remaining to be paid before January 31 and July 31 for June and December term exams

CMA Final course fee: INR 25,000 or INR 15,000 at the time of registration and remaining to be paid before January 31 and July 31 for June and December term exams

CMA Course Syllabus/Subjects

All three levels of the CMA course has different subjects. Candidates need to qualify the exam for all papers to get the CMA designation. Overview of entire CMA course structure is mentioned below:

  • First stage is CMA Foundation; candidates must pass four papers to clear the course level. Candidates can appear for the test of these four subjects in term of CMA exams
  • Second stage is the CMA Intermediate; the course level has two groups with following features 
    • Group 1 has four papers; students can appear for all four in one term exam
    • Group 2 has four papers; students can appear for all four in one term exam
    • In some cases, candidates can also appear for both groups of CMA Intermediate exam in one term
  • Third stage is the CMA Final; similar to the intermediate level, Final course has two groups
    •  Group 3 has four papers; 
    • Group 4 has four papers. Candidates get to choose among three elective subjects for the last paper of Group IV. 

Lately, ICAI has revamped the syllabus for all three courses by introducing the CMA syllabus 2022. The syllabus for all three courses of CMA designation are as follows:

CMA Syllabus for Foundation Course

Paper Number Subject Name
Paper 1 Fundamentals Of Business Laws and Business Communication (FBLC)
Paper 2 Fundamentals of Financial and Cost Accounting (FFCA)
Paper 3 Fundamentals of Business Mathematics and Statistics (FBMS)
Paper 4 Fundamentals of Business Economics and Management (FBEM)

CMA Syllabus for Intermediate Course

Paper Number Subject Name
Group 1
Paper 5 Business Laws & Ethics (BLE)
Paper 6 Financial Accounting (FA)
Paper 7 Direct and Indirect Taxation (DITX)
Paper 8 Cost Accounting (CA)
Group 2
Paper 9 Operations Management and Strategic Management (OMSM)
Paper 10 Corporate Accounting and Auditing (CAA)
Paper 11 Financial Management and Business Data Analytics (FMDA)
Paper 12 Management Accounting (MA)

CMA Syllabus for Final Course

Paper Number Subject Name
Group 3

Paper 13

Corporate and Economic Laws (CEL)
Paper 14 Strategic Financial Management (SFM)

Paper 15

Direct Tax Laws and International Taxation (DIT)
Paper 16 Strategic Cost Management (SCM)
Group 4

Paper 17

Cost and Management Audit (CMAD)
Paper 18 Corporate Financial Reporting (CFR)

Paper 19

Income Tax Laws and Practice (ITLP)
Paper 20 (one of the following) Strategic Performance Management & Business Valuation (SPMBV)
Risk Management in Banking and Insurance (RMBI)
Entrepreneurship and Start-Up (ENTS)

CMA Course: Career, Scope and Salaries

Students are placed both through campus as well as off-campus. Students are equipped not just to pursue strictly accounting profiles on organizations, but can also leverage their knowledge and experience to venture into consulting and management.

CMA Job Roles

Students can explore and take up multiple roles in a company post their course completion. These include:

  • Internal Auditor
  • Cost Accountant
  • Finance Manager
  • Assitant Finance Manager
  • Chief Financial Officer

CMA Salary Expectation

As of now, IT, ITeS and Telecommunications happen to be the industries that offer most in terms of remuneration. The average salary offered to freshers starts at INR 22,000-25,000 per month. With experience and exposure, this, of course, would rise. The table below mentions the average salaries of top job positions in organisations offered to candidates holding a CMA designation

CMA Salary

Job Title Average Salary (In INR)
Cost Controller 6.94 LPA
Finance Manager 10.86 LPA
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) 36.98 LPA
Senior Financial Analyst 8.17 LPA
Accountant 2.92 LPA
Certified Management Accountant 5 LPA
Cost Accountant 7.05 LPA
Financial Controller 24.35 LPA
Internal Auditor 5.85 LPA
Finance Analyst 5.40 LPA

CMA course exam not only opens up an exciting world of financial management opportunities but helps provide the necessary experience so that the aspirant can take on the demands of the ever-changing corporate world.

Read More:

FAQs on CMA Course

Q: What is CMA full form?

A: CMA course stands for Cost and Management Accountant. This was formarly known as Cost and Work Accountant.

Q: Is CMA better than CA?

A: Cost and Management Accounting is expected to grow in future. However, considering the recent monetary obligations, job prospects, and knowledge held by a CMA and CA; CA is considered a better option than CMA.

Q: What is CMA salary?

A: In recent campus placements, candidates who became CMA were picked up by regulators and reputed companies on an average pay-package of INR 8.8 LPA.

Q: Is CMA easier than CA?

A: CMA is considered slightly easier than CA. CMA has a fewer number of chapters as compared to CA. All chapters/subjects in CMA are easier to understand and to make calculations, as it doesn't have a complicated syllabus. Although the pass percentage in CA is higher than CMA, the number of candidates taking the CA Final exam is relatively higher than the candidates taking CMA Final exam.

Q: What is the role of a CMA?

A: Cost and Management Accountants provides their expertise managerial decisions, sustain budgets and standards, guage operational efficiency and effectiveness, accountability for revenue and profit. Major responsibilities of a CMA include:
  • Implementation of effective management information
  • Planning overall costs
  • Inventory management
  • Analysing investments
  • Project management
  • Internal audits
  • Cost audits
  • Fund management

Q: Is CS better than CMA?

A: Considering the scope, CS has more scope in India. Candidates with CS designations have better job opportunities and can get better pay as compared to a CMA.

Q: Is CMA equivalent to a degree course?

A: Yes. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has accepted Cost and Management Accountant (CMA), Company Secretary (CS), and Chartered Accountant (CA), as equivalent to a PG degree. CA, CS or CMA students can pursue higher education including a PhD.

Q: What is the CMA syllabus?

A: Candidates enrolled on the CMA course need to pass as manas 20 subject papers to obtain the designation. There are four subjects in the CMA Foundation course, eight subjects each in CMA Intermediate and CMA Final course levels. CMA subjects with groups and course levels are available on the page above.

Q: I have completed a BCom degree, do I need to take the CMA foundation course?

A: No. Candidates who hold a graduation degree, in any discipline other than fine arts are eligible for direct entry to the Intermediate course.

Q: What is the eligibility criteria to apply for the CMA Foundation course?

A: Candidates who have passed Class 10 are eligible to apply for the CMA foundation course. However, to appear for the foundation exams, candidates must qualify Class 12.

Q: What is the CMA course duration?

A: CMA course duration is three years to three and a half years. 

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About the Author
Abhishek Dhawan
Senior Executive – Content

With a creative soul, Abhishek is inclined towards anything in the creative space be it drawing, painting, craft, or writing. He has been working in the ed-tech industry since he started his career. Besides creative... Read Full Bio




ramulu ch

a year ago

i completed degree open university and regular in without inter can i eligible CMA COURSE

Reply to ramulu ch

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