CMA vs. CPA

 

The CMA credentials differ significantly from the CPA designation, and the decision to pursue one over the other depends entirely on one’s career goals. For a career in public accounting, the CPA designation is appropriate – and required by state law. However, more than 80% of accounting professionals in the U.S. work inside organizations, building quality financial practices into the organization through decision support, planning, and control over the organization’s value-creating operations. For these managerial finance and accounting professionals – who represent the majority of the profession – the appropriate certification is the CMA.

 

 

CMA

CPA

Credentials:

Designation:

 

 International recognition

 

 

 Limited to U.S.; a state designation

 

 

 Targeted to corporate financial professionals

 

 

 Targeted to public accounting

 

 

 Broad-based, industry-related content

 

 

 Content for public practice

 

Knowledge-Based Professional:

Skills-Based Professional:

 

 Preparer/user of accounting information

 

 

 Auditor of accounting information

 

 

 Concept-based

 

 

 Rule-based

 

 

 “Inside” corporate professionals

 

 

 Public practice licensure

 

 

 Higher-quality, lower-cost “beans”

 

 

 Attesting to the accuracy of the “beans”

 

 

 “Player”

 

 

 “Referee”

 

 

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