CMA USA vs CMA India: Which Certification is Better?


Professionals who want to enhance their careers in finance and account management and boost their employment opportunities can focus on the Certified Management Accountant program(CMA USA).
The corporate world is always on the lookout for CMAs for accurate forecasting and decision-making to attain the future goals of the organization. Due to the high demand, this professional certification leads to higher pay and better job opportunities. The world will be at your feet!
Taking the Comprehensive CMA US program will help you advance in your finance or accounting job. have you been stuck in making the Decision about which course to choose CMA USA vs CMA India? let�s have look at the side-by-side course Comparison.

What is the difference between CMA USA and CMA India?

There are many advantages to getting the CMA certification. Here are a few of them:

1. Professional Appeal

CMA USA is one of the top certifications in Finance and Management Accounting. They get the opportunity to work with business leaders because of their aptitude to make financial decisions for businesses. Being a CMA USA will fast-track your Finance career.
After clearing your exams, you get the opportunity to be a Financial analyst, Financial controller, Finance manager, or even a Chief Financial Officer (CFO), etc. The CMA candidates get high pay packages at entry-level jobs as compared to their peers. The promotions are always high for CMA certified compared to Non-CMAs in MNCs and Big 4s.

2. Increased Knowledge

A CMA is a more specialised certification in the field of Finance. It helps you gain a deeper understanding of a company�s Financial workings.
The knowledge gained will allow you to understand the intersection between accounting and financial management along with organisational goals. Your educational qualification, expertise, and practical aptitude in the field will allow you to work with the top leadership in the company.

3. Salary Benefit

The average income for CMAs is 28% higher in the U.S. compared to their non-certified peers. At the global level, CMAs make 62% more in median salary and 67% more in median total compensation than non-CMAs. Such trends show that the money spent on CMA certification can be easily earned back.

4. International Acclaim

A CMA USA certification not only results in high-paying roles but also has an international appeal. To get a reputable job in other countries, you need to get the best education, and CMA can be one of the best choices. A basic degree in India may not carry the same value in Europe, but a degree in CMA USA is recognized globally and has great value across the world.
CMA USA vs CMA India

CMA USA vs CMA India:

Students trying to take up the Certified Management Accounting (CMA) may be confused about which of the CMA is the best one to pursue. Whether CMA USA or CMA India would help their career?
We are here to help you make that all-important decision with an informed choice.
The major difference between the CMA USA vs CMA India are :

Regulatory Body

The CMA USA is regulated by the Institute of Management Accounts in the US (IMA), a forum for research, practice development, education, knowledge sharing, and the advocacy of ethics and best business practices in Management Accounting and Finances.
CMA India is regulated by the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICWA)  to promote, regulate, and develop the profession of cost accountancy.


A candidate has to be an undergraduate or 12th pass in CMA USA. Additionally, they need a two-year work experience in the field of Finance and Accounting domain to get the final CMA USA certification. The candidate has to score a minimum of 360 marks out of 500 individually in both parts. Aspirants from any background are eligible for CMA USA.
In CMA India the candidate should be a 12th pass with 6 months of articleship. The candidate also has to score at least 40% for individual papers and 50% in aggregates of the Intermediate groups.


CMA USA is a short-duration course and can be completed in 6-9 months, whereas CMA India takes a minimum of 3 years to complete the course which is an ample amount of time.

Course Format

The CMA USA has an exam consisting of 2 parts:
Topics Percentage
External Financial Reporting Decisions 15%
Planning, Budgeting, and Forecasting   20%
Performance Management   20%
Cost Management 15%
Internal Controls 15%
Technology and Analytics 15%
Topics Percentage
Financial Statement Analysis 20%
Corporate Finance 20%
Decision Analysis 25%
Risk Management 10%
Investment Decision 10%
Professional Ethics 15%
CMA India is tougher as it has three levels, which comprise of 20 exams listed below:

Foundation Level 

  1.   Fundamentals of Accounting
  2.   Fundamentals of Business Mathematics & Statistic
  3.   Fundamentals of Economics and Management
  4.   Fundamentals of Laws & Ethics

CMA Inter Level has 8 papers 

  1.   Company Accounts & Audit
  2.   Cost Accounting and Financial Management
  3.   Cost and Management Accounting
  4.   Direct Taxation
  5.   Financial Accounting
  6.   Indirect Taxation
  7.   Law, Ethics, and Governance
  8.  Operation Management Information System

CMA Final Level 

  1. Advanced Financial Management
  2. Business Strategy and Strategic Cost Management
  3. Corporate Financial Reporting
  4. Corporate Laws and Compliance
  5. Cost and Management Audit
  6. Financial Analysis and Business Valuation
  7. Strategic Performance Management
  8. Tax Management and Practice


CMA USA is a globally recognized and one of the highest certifications in Management Accounting that leads to jobs in any developed country with higher pay, better job designation, and more global exposure. CMA USA focuses on US GAAP and IFRS.
However, the CMA India certification has its value only in India and is based on IND AS (INDIAN GAAP).

Career Prospects

A CMA USA professional is qualified to work in fields related to finance, accounting, and internal auditing, around the globe, without any restriction. But a CMA India professional is restricted within India and for companies of Indian origin only.

Cost of examination 

CMA USA Exam fee costs only  INR 40,000 for students and INR 70,000 for professionals whereas, CMA India costs around INR 1 Lakh.

Job opportunities for CMA USA vs CMA India

The job opportunities for both CMA USA vs CMA India are almost the same. The only difference is the market that they can cater to. CMA USA can work in Big 4s or Fortune 500 companies in India as well as across the Globe. While CMA India can only work in the Indian market.
If one plans to work outside India or for an international company, then CMA USA is definitely a preferred option.
Here are a few roles that you can get after completing your CMA USA:
Financial Planner: Financial Planners advise their clients on managing their money. They work for insurance or finance companies to make investments, future financial plans, etc.
Cost Accountant: They focus on reducing financial waste and increasing profit from production costs. To reach executive positions like Senior Cost Accountant and Financial Controller, you need to be qualified as a CMA USA.
Financial Analyst: They display expertise in where and when to buy and sell investments. You can get roles like investment partner, financial consultant, or portfolio manager to fast-track growth.
Corporate Controller: Corporate Controller is responsible for converting data into information that includes financial reports and income statements. He/she directly reports to the CFO.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO): CMA USA certification can eventually open up the doors to climb the corporate ladder to become the CFO.
Major differences between CMA USA vs CMA India
Globally recognized certification Recognized only in India
Course duration is 6-9months Course duration is 3-4 years
Course costs 120k-150k Course costs 100k
It contains 2papers with single level exams It contains 20papers with 3levels of exams
Credential issued by IMA, USA Credential issued by ICWAI, India


1. How much will I earn through a CMA USA in India?

As per IMA�s Salary Survey, CMAs in India earn higher salaries - even more than 60% of the median total compensation than non-CMAs. Generally, qualified CMA USA in India earns up to 6 Lakhs per annum.

2. Which is better, CMA USA vs CMA India?

The choice between a CMA USA and CMA India depends on one's requirements. If a person wants a long-term course of 3-4 years with 20 papers and wants to work only in India they can choose CMA India.
If a person wants global recognition with a short-term course of 6-9 months with 2papers they can opt for CMA India

3. What are the job opportunities after CMA USA?

There is a huge demand for CMA USA in Fortune 500companies and Big 4s. The job opportunities that CMA USA qualified can get are
  • Financial Analyst
  • Financial controller
  • Cost accountants
  • Financial manager
  • VP Finance
  • CFO

4. How can I prepare for CMA USA?

Enroll in the best CMA USA Comprehensive CMA program to learn from the basics, access a global cohort, and experienced faculty, and pass the exam on your first attempt.

5. What is the duration of CMA USA vs CMA India?

 CMA USA is a globally certified course in Finance and Accounting course which takes 6-9 months to complete. Whereas CMA India is recognized in India and takes 3-4 years to complete.  

6. Who is the best CMA USA online faculty?

M. Irfat sir is often referred to as the God of Costing. He won the Teaching Excellence Award for his contributions to education. He is a certified CA., CMA USA, CPA, and CIMA UK. his only mission in life is to guide the students' aspirations to excellence.

7. How can I enhance my visibility in the CMA circle?

LinkedIn is an important social media platform that can guide you in your journey as a USA CMA aspirant. You can read more about how to increase your Linkedin visibility here.

8. Which CMA Certification is Better?

CMA USA Certification of the IMA (Institute of Management Accountants) is the better career choice.

9. Is CMA USA or CMA India which one to choose?

CMA USA is a better option than India.

10. How many exams are there in CMA USA and CMA India?

CMA USA has just 2 exams and CMA India has 20 exams to qualify.

11. What's the Salary difference between CMA USA and CMA India?

Generally, a CMA USA earns 6-8 lakhs per annum. And CMA India earns 5-6 lakhs.


The way ahead:

The choice between a CMA USA vs CMA India depends on you completely. Basis your personal preferences, current situations, and future plans � you need to make your decision wisely. If you want to join Big 4 and Fortune 500 companies in India as well as abroad definitely you must consider doing CMA USA.
More than 15000+ students and professionals have benefited from NorthStar Academy and excelled in their careers in Finance and Management Accounting. You can check some of our student�s success stories here who have passed the CMA USA exam on their first attempt with flying colours. Call us now to get started at +918147470707.
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