CMA USA vs CMA Australia Course - An Ultimate Guide


Whenever it comes to becoming an accountant or pursuing a profession in financial planning, most individuals wonder which certification to pursue. If you earn an international degree and receive exposure worldwide, your career will reach its full potential. This is where global qualifications such as US CMA (Certified Management Accounting) play an important role. It is one of the important accounting certificates that will help you gain more success and recognition with better working opportunities. 
The US CMA is widely regarded as the gold standard in management accounting, and it is intended to combine accounting procedures with business understanding. Those who wish to become US CMA professionals must first pass its two-part exam to obtain the certification. People with CMA USA certification can work in various countries and continents, including the United States, Australia, Canada, and Asia. From a professional standpoint, this qualification offers a high income and complete job satisfaction. 
There is another certification of the same name but in a different country, i.e., CMA Australia. The qualification has a different authorizing organization with some other nuances that we will discuss further in this blog. This post will concentrate on the major points of CMA USA v/s CMA Australia for you to understand clearly.

CMA USA vs CMA Australia - an Insight

The CMA Australia is the ICMA's (Institute of Certified Management Accountants, Australia) flagship program. After completing the course, participants will have advanced analytical, evaluative, and synthesis abilities in strategic cost and management accounting and business analysis. They will also have acquired a thorough understanding of the current trends in the field. The program is exclusively open to Graduate or Associate members of the Institute and student members who have completed the program's prerequisite admission requirements.
The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) offers an advanced professional program in finance known as CMA USA. IMA was created in 1919 and now has 90,000+ members with a global reach of 140 countries via 300 professional and student chapters. A globally recognized credential, CMA USA enables candidates to pursue a career in finance anywhere in the world. The Big 4 auditing companies highly value this certification. They consider the CMA USA certification as a standard for choosing the most qualified applicants for their hiring process.
Now let us see how to become the CMA USA vs CMA Australia.

How to be a CMA Australia?

Candidates in Australia who want to become Certified Management Accountants (CMAs) need to possess the necessary education, experience, and training. The steps that applicants should take are listed below.
  • CMA Educational Requirements - To be accepted into the training program, candidates must meet the CMA's educational criteria. They must have earned a degree in business or finance or possess recognized professional accounting credentials.
  • CMA Experience Requirements - Candidates must have a minimum of 5 years of experience in financial management, accounting management, or any other senior business role.
  • Eligibility Assessment - Candidates must provide transcripts, CVs, educational qualification certificates, and work experience documentation for eligibility review.
  • Join the CMA Program - Select a suitable educational institute or service provider accredited by the Australian Accounting authority to deliver the required qualifications.
  • Give the Exam - Candidates must show up for the exam after finishing the program and clear it to get certified as CMA Australia.
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How to Become a CMA USA?

Here are the steps to becoming a CMA USA.
  • Get a Degree - Getting a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting, Finance, or a related discipline is the primary need for becoming a certified management accountant (CMA).
  • Enroll in IMA Membership - The application for IMA membership involves filling out an application and paying the yearly membership cost.
  • Sign up for the CMA program - When you enroll in a CMA program, you will have access to the CMA exam support package. You must take the CMA test within 12 months of enrolling in the CMA program.
  • Get Training- Prepare well with the top CMA USA institute.
  • Pass the CMA test - You must take and pass the two parts of the CMA test in any convenient sequence.
Now we will discuss all the major points of USA CMA vs CMA Australia, explained above in detail.

Program Structure - CMA USA vs CMA Australia

The ICMA Qualifying Workshop consists of two post-graduate level courses over seven days and is required for anyone pursuing a Certified Management Accountant (Australia) membership. The CMA Australia offers three program structures for applicants: Professional finance and accounting degrees, MBA or similar credentials, and partial accounting qualifications.
All graduate candidates at the CMA USA follow the same curriculum format, regardless of their field.

Eligibility - CMA USA vs CMA Australia

Candidates must have completed grade 12 to sit for the CMA USA exam but to receive the final certification, they must also hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and at least two years of experience in the field of accounting or management.
Candidates seeking the CMA Australia certification must have at least a diploma-level accounting education and five years of work experience to be eligible.

Syllabus - CMA USA vs CMA Australia

The CMA Australia program's curriculum comprises two post-graduate level topics. They are as follows: 
Subject 1 Strategic Cost Management (SCM)
This subject covers the following topics:
  • Management Control Systems
  • Strategic Performance Management Systems
  • Environmental and Social Management Accounting
  • Lean Manufacturing and Quality Control
  • Process Control and Activity-Based Management 
  • Cost Accounting & Cost Management in a Lean Environment
  • Implementing Cost Analysis and Control Systems
  • Life Cycle Costing Systems
  • Customer Profitability Analysis
  • Activity-Based Cost Allocation Systems
  • Benchmarking
  • Strategic Governance and the Strategic Audit
Subject 2 Strategic Business Analysis (SBA)
This subject includes the following topics:
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Strategic Marketing Analysis and Budgeting
  • Financial Analysis in Product Portfolio Management
  • Pricing Methods & Strategies
  • Performance Valuation & Strategic Financial Structures
  • Strategic Value Analysis
  • Financial Dimensions of Pricing factors in International Business Strategies
  • Promotion: Human Resource Management & Push Strategy
  • Risk Management: Corporate Radar & Early Warning Systems
  • Promotion: Pull Strategy and Integrated Marketing Communication
  • Supply Chain Management and the Place-Distribution Decision
  • Strategic Scorecards
The US CMA Exam Syllabus 2022 is separated into Parts 1 and 2, each of which has two parts. Alongside the topic, the marks weighting determined by IMA is displayed as a percentage.
  1.  Financial Reporting Decisions Made by Others (15 % ) 
  2. Budgeting, planning, and forecasting (20% )
  3. Managing Performance (20% )
  4. Management of Costs (15% )
  5. Internal Controls (15% )
  6. Analytics and technology (15% )      
  1. Examine the financial statements (20% )
  2. Business Finance (20% )
  3. Make a decision (25% )
  4. Risk Assessment and Management (10% )
  5. Investment Choices (10% )
  6. Professional Code of Conduct (15% )
Big 4s with CMA USA

Exam Structure - CMA USA vs CMA Australia

CMA Australia
Within two years after finishing the workshop, those who desire to apply for CMA (Australia) Membership must pass the following evaluations based on their professional experience. 
  • Case Studies throughout the courses for applicants with more than 20 years of experience.
  • Candidates with between 10 and 20 years of experience should submit an assignment and participate in the case studies throughout the modules.
  • Candidates with five to ten years of experience may expect case studies throughout the courses and three-hour open-book exams for each module.
  • Candidates with fewer than five years of experience should wait until they have at least five years of professional experience.
  • The Certified Management Accountant course must be finished within three years of the aspirant's registration date, per the Institute of Management Accountants' regulations.
  • Because the CMA Exam is computer-based, the US CMA course is adaptable to applicants taking multiple levels of examination.
  • There are two sections to the CMA exam (Part 1 and Part 2), and applicants are not required to take them in any particular order.
  • Candidates have six months out of a year to take the CMA Certification test.
  • The CMA Exam is divided into four parts, each taking four hours and consisting of 100 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) with a weighted average of 75% and two essay scenarios with a weighted average of 25%.

Salary - CMA USA vs CMA Australia

The remuneration of CMA USA and CMA Australia degree holders is determined by a variety of criteria, including the type of job, location, government or private employment, and so on. The incomes of the two professionals are not much different. CMA Australia certification holders, on the other hand, may earn competitive pay since they may work in both the public and private sectors. The average CMA Australia salary is around $90,502, whereas CMA USAs in the United States make $105,302 on average.

CMA Australia Exemptions for CMA USA

Candidates with CMA USA certification are excused from some requirements while applying for the CMA Australia program. Exemptions are granted depending on prior experience. Following are some examples:
  • Accountants with more than 20 years of experience are exempt from taking assessment examinations.
  • Candidates with five years of experience are excused from the exam but must complete assignments and assessments.
  • Assignments are not required of professionals with ten years of experience.


1. What is the difference between CMA USA and CMA Australia courses?

The major difference between the two CMA certificates, CMA USA vs CMA Australia, is the regulatory certification body. The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) offers the CMA USA certification, whereas the Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA) offers the CMA Australia certification (ICMA). The CMA USA course structure is the same for all graduate applicants in any subject. CMA Australia, on the other hand, offers three program types for candidates: partial accounting qualifications, MBA, and professional finance and accounting qualifications.

2. How do I pass CMA USA on my first attempt?

If you want to become a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), you must study such that you may pass both exam portions in three years while meeting the other qualifying requirements. A well-planned preparation method can assist students in passing the CMA USA exam on the first try. Choose the best study materials that will assist you in comprehending the principles of financial and accounting management. To understand your weak areas and also the exam format, practice numerous sample papers and do mock examinations. It is almost mandatory to enroll in the best CMA USA program to receive help from professional mentors in order to pass this difficult exam.

3. Is CMA USA worth it in Australia?

Yes, CMA is acknowledged in Australia, but only in the private sector. For people who want to work as a business professional in Australia, CMA certification is a good and relevant credential. CMA USA and CMA Australia both concentrate on teaching students management accounting and financial abilities. Individuals can get both degrees and develop the skills and information needed to make business choices and support an organization's management team in executing strategic plans. Even though CMA USA is a worldwide recognized credential, this degree is only accepted in the private sector in Australia. This implies that CMA USA experts can only work in private organizations as management accountants. However, in order to qualify for government employment, individuals must re-evaluate their qualifications by CMA Australia guidelines.

4. What is the US CMA salary in India?

The CMA USA is a high-level professional certification that assesses the accounting and financial management abilities that drive corporate performance. A US CMA typically earns between Rs. 2.4 and 3.6 lakhs per year in India. However, this number can change based on location, experience, and level of expertise. For instance, persons with greater experience or those who work in major cities may be paid more. Similar to this, persons with specialized knowledge or abilities, such as healthcare management, may be paid more. However, in general, new hires may anticipate making between Rs. 2.4 and 3.6 lakhs annually.

5. Which is best, CMA USA vs CMA Australia?

Both CMA USA and CMA Australia are esteemed accounting programs that provide a variety of prospects. However, US CMA would be the best option for you if you're seeking international prospects with a shorter course length. Also, by being accredited by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) in the USA, CMA USA gained more credibility.

6. What are the exemptions available to a certified CMA USA?

The following are the exemptions available to a certified CMA USA.
Full exemption from IPA
Three ACCA papers are exempted.
CMA USA will receive exemptions from nine ACCA papers if they have five years of work experience.
Full Exemption from IFA
Complete exemption from CIPFA
Full exemption from ICWAI
Full exemption of FIA
50% exemption of ICMA
Exemption from 6 papers of CIMA

So, if you have completed the US CMA or CMA Australia, you get a lot of benefits in the form of exemptions.


CMA USA vs CMA Australia accreditation, are well-known. Regardless of the country, they are applying to, CMA USA experts can find employment possibilities globally. These professionals have a wide range of employment options in both the public and commercial sectors. To further their careers, anyone seeking employment abroad, particularly in western nations like Australia, must get this qualification.
Attend the top CMA USA course to be ready for the exam and get high exam grades if you want to become a certified US CMA professional. At NorthStar Academy, mentors have years of knowledge that we can use to help students learn more about the curriculum. NSA offers all the support a student needs, from first handholding to individualized instruction to study materials to pass the CMA USA examination. NSA has established itself as the most popular and preferred CMA USA training partner in the nation, with an 83% passing rate.
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