CPA CMA Dual certification:What is the Best Combination with a US CMA

CPA CMA Dual certification

Accounting is one of the most challenging and lucrative fields. Pursuing a long-term career in this field can be difficult but highly beneficial. Therefore, improving skills and increasing accounting proficiency through an advanced training course is important for all financial professionals. 
Many accountants opt for various advanced courses related to the accounting and financial field. Pursuing multiple courses such as CMA USA, CPA, CA, or ACCA  from a reputed institute like NorthStar Academy can help develop the required skill sets. 
Further, a credential like CPA CMA dual certification can prevent accountants from uncertain economic times as they will get adapted to the challenges and strengthen their abilities.
A double accounting credential like CPA CMA dual certification can widen the knowledge base or foundation of accounting skills and concepts, increase marketability, and opens the door to numerous other benefits. 
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What are the important certifications for accountants? 

There are numerous accounting courses and certifications for candidates who want to pursue their careers in the accounting or financing field. These certifications can be used at the time of promotion, appraisals, etc. Here are some of the most popular and well-known certifications and licences. 

CMA USA (Certified Management Accountant)

CMA USA checks the competency of accountants in terms of Decision Analysis, Cost Management, Forecasting and Internal Control Auditing. It showcases the mastery of financial management skills and Management Accounting from a generalized or managerial perspective.
The certification is issued by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). Many accountants choose a CPA CMA dual certification if they are planning for a long-term career in big cooperates. As far as the CPA exam is considered, CMA USA determines practical applications of theoretical concepts. To meet the eligibility requirement, a candidate must have a bachelor�s degree and a minimum of two years of experience in accounting and financial management. The exam has two levels of four hours each.

CPA (Certified Public Accountant)

CPA is an international accounting certification issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). It determines an accountant's abilities in risk management, forensic accounting, tax management, compliance and other skills required to get top accounting positions. The CPA credential is globally accepted, and candidates having this certification can work as internal auditors, public accountants, finance and tax analysts, finance manager, etc. Aspiring CPAs are expected to have a Master�s degree equivalent to 150 credential points. They must have at least two years of work experience. Further, they have to clear all four levels of the exam. 

CA (Chartered Accountancy)

CA is a practice of auditing, taxation, accounting and financial assessment at an organisational or individual level. A chartered accountant is an accounting professional who looks into the matters related to financing, taxation and accounting for a business followed by receiving a certification from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), the statutory authority of accounting. The role of a CA is to audit financial statements and business practices, file tax returns, maintain investment records, and prepare and review financial documents and reports. 

ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)

ACCA is a more internationally recognized certification than CPA and focuses on topics such as auditing, taxation, reporting, financial management, etc. The certification helps increase knowledge and gain relevant skills in the finance field. It is given by the certification authority by the same name ACCA global

Why pursue CPA after CMA USA? 

CPA certification is a good career-building certification for those interested in understanding taxation, auditing, regulation, reporting, etc. On the contrary, the CMA USA certification is helpful for people interested in learning management, decision making and strategic analytical skills. Now, the question arises of whether one can pursue CPA after CMA USA. 
Well, a candidate can apply for the CPA exam only if he fulfils the eligibility criteria as described above. A CPA CMA designation can add advantages to the accounting space and increase job opportunities in the market. 
Here are some reasons why you should pursue US CMA CPA dual certification. 

Employment Advantages

A CPA license comes with numerous job opportunities. However, candidates looking for more diverse options in the accounting space including national and international jobs can get a CPA CMA dual certification. As the demand for international accounting knowledge is increasing in the Indian accounting sector, many companies are looking for professionals having CPA CMA dual certification. 

Less Time-Consuming

This course can last for 14 months if proper training is provided. However, people going for CPA CMA dual certifications may need to invest some extra time for completion.

Job Stability 

People looking for a stable accounting job can choose a CPA certification after acquiring a CMA USA certification as the demand is always increasing. Nonetheless, the chances for stability increase for people pursuing CPA CMA dual certifications. 

What are the exemptions in CPA after CMA USA? 

A candidate can appear for the CPA certification after CMA USA. However, most state boards or conducting bodies have stopped providing exemptions to aspiring CPAs after professional certifications. If a candidate has an advanced accounting training certification, then he might meet the CPA education requirements and work obligations. 
On the other hand, if a candidate is a member of some accounting bodies that have signed agreements with the USA bodies and other counterparts, then he may meet the CPA exemption eligibility. Members of these bodies can take short versions of the BannerCPA exam. Therefore, pursuing CPA after CMA USA will not have exemptions. Infact CPA certification needs to have a Master�s degree. Pursuing dual certifications like the CPA CMA dual certification can enable candidates to get more exposure and opportunities. 
To make it attainable without any hassle, you can get your enrolment in the NorthStar Academy. They provide well-organized study plans with guidance from top mentors in India.
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What is the CPA and CMA combination salary in India?

Having CPA CMA dual certification has its own benefit of increased salary. A person having this dual certification enjoys an increment in salary in India. 
Below is the salary range of CMA certification, CPA certification and CPA CMA dual certification:
  • In India, the CMA salary is around INR 17 LPA. This is the average salary paid to the CMA-certified. The highest salary paid is around INR 21 LPA and the lowest salary paid is around INR 6 LPA.
  • In India, the salary of an entry-level CPA is around Rs 6 lakh per year. The average salary of a US CPA is around 9.25 LPA. A US CPA's income in India varies from Rs 12.5 LPA to Rs 20.4 LPA in the Big 4 Multinational Corporations.
  • The experienced professionals can have the dual certification CPA CMA salary around 25 LPA.

What is the salary of CPA and CMA accountants abroad?

Both CPA and CMA certifications are designed for Finance and Accounting. These certifications have their own distinct characteristics. A CPA-certified person is responsible for working in Auditing and Tax, while a CMA-certified person works as a Management Accountant. A person having CPA CMA dual certification enjoys a lot of job opportunities in India as well as in foreign countries.
The scope of a CMA degree in foreign countries can be judged by the annual salary package offered to them. 
Below is the list of annual salary packages offered to CMA's by some of the foreign countries:
  • Australia - AUD 146,000
  • Canada - CAD 42,000-93,000
  • Dubai - AED 72,000
  • The United Kingdom - GBP 62,000
  • The United States of America - USD 67,591
Here is the list of annual salary packages offered to CPAs by some foreign countries:
  • USA - USD 85,221
  • Australia - AUD 111,035
  • Canada - CAD 95,291
  • Japan - JPY 7,724,249
A person having CPA CMA dual certification can earn an average salary of $132,000 in abroad countries.
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1. Can a candidate get both CPA and CMA certifications? 

Yes, a candidate can get both CPA and CMA certifications. But it is not possible to earn both certifications together. CPA-certified students can apply for CMA USA certification if they are interested in learning management accounting and budgeting. This certification helps when a student does not get benefitted from the CPA certification and audit job in the management field. Hence, a candidate can pursue CPA CMA dual certification. 

2. Who earns more CPA or CMA?

Both accounting credentials are unique in their own way. But these certifications differ in respect of salaries. A CMA-certified accountant earns more than a CPA-certified. Here is the breakdown of how much a person earns with these credentials:

A CMA-certified earns an average of $113,000 a year
A CPA-certified earns an average of $105,903 a year
An accountant with both the certifications earns an average of $130,000 a year

3. Which is harder, CMA or CPA?

The answer to this question depends on the opinions of the candidates. Some will say that CPA is a bit harder than CMA. Some say that CMA exam part 1 is harder, while for others, CMA US is easy to pass. Both the certifications have their own difficulty level. Without proper study, it is not easy to pass both examinations. If a candidate is specialised in management accounting, then the CMA exam will be easy for him. Otherwise, he can opt for the CPA exam. Therefore, no exam is difficult if a candidate prepares well for it.

4. Can CMA become CPA?

If a CMA-certified accountant is interested in auditing and taxation, then he can definitely do CPA after CMA. If the accountant is interested in pursuing CPA USA after CMA USA, then he must fulfil the eligibility criteria. The CPA USA can be pursued after the completion of 4 years of graduation or 3 years of graduation along with a certain course.

5. Can a candidate do CPA after CMA India?

If a candidate is willing to have CPA CMA dual certification, then he can do CPA after CMA India. The candidate can do this to widen his career opportunities. But for pursuing a CPA, a candidate must meet all requirements.

6. What is the best combination with CMA USA?

The best combination with CMA USA can be CPA. If a managing accountant is willing to learn taxation or auditing and wants to help an organization to reach its financial goals, then he must opt for CPA. Also, he can do MBA with CMA USA as this combination provides lots of advantages.

7. What is the difference in the examination structure of CMA USA and CPA?

The examination structure of CMA USA
The exam paper is divided into 2 parts
Part 1 - Financial Planning, Performance and Analytics
Part 2 - Strategic Financial Management
Both parts have 100 MCQs and 2 essay-type questions.
The examination structure of CPA
There are 4 sections in the exam paper. These are AUD, BEC, FAR and REG. The questions asked in the paper are MCQs, task-based simulations and written communication tasks.

8. What are some common job opportunities for a CPA and CMA?

Some job opportunities for a CPA are:
  • Finance Analyst
  • Finance Controller
  • Financial manager
  • Internal auditor
  • Public accountant
Some job opportunities for a CMA are:
  • Finance Analyst
  • CFO
  • Financial risk manager
  • Cost accountant 


In today's world, competition in every sector is increasing day by day. Due to the competitive environment in the accounting and management field, many accountants desire to earn several certifications. In this situation, the CPA CMA dual certification can help an accountant a lot. 
For training, a candidate must choose a well-known training centre like NorthStar Academy (NSA). Northstar Academy is one of the leading online institutes providing the best training for certification courses, like CMA USA and CPA
NSA helps students in preparing for the US CMA and CPA exams through their top-tier study materials from Gleim. It is the most preferred and oldest study material which has been updated based on the current syllabus. Here, the students are taught by experienced mentors like M Irfat Sir. This academy also offers interactive sessions where students can take the help of their teachers for doubt solving. The academy provides end-to-end support to the students.