Cost and Management Accountancy has not been a popular course in India. It is considered almost equivalent to Chartered Accountancy, but has been struggling for a long time when it comes to scope and salaries. This is because a CMA is primarily required in large production or services companies. Small business and startups don’t usually need CMAs and often can even afford one. A CA is a more versatile role and can adjust to any setting. However, an experienced CMA has the potential to earn better than other CAs. In short, CMA is a niche field, but it has a lot of scope in India and abroad.
Over the last few years, the importance of a CMA has been on the rise. This is due to India’s economic growth, large foreign businesses entering its market and the Make in India movement. If you are aiming to become a CMA, here’s what you need to know.
What do CMAs do
Cost wizards: CMAs plan, monitor, and control the cost and price of any product or service. In simpler words, they help large corporations by understanding the exact cost of production and price at which it is sold. This helps corporations minimise expenses and utilise their resources better.
Ops evaluators: They collect, organise, analyse, and verify information from various departments. They use this data to evaluate how efficient operations and production management is.
Demand-supply controllers: They analyse the sales trend to strike a balance between the demand and supply. This prevents overproduction.
Performance monitors: They also monitor performance of various departments involved in production. They spot and report problems and prevent them from occurring in the future.
How to become a CMA in India?
If you want to become a CMA, you must pass the three stages of the CMA course.
The first stage is the Foundation Course. If you have passed your 10+2 or equivalent exam, you can apply for this level. You must be at least 17 years old. The duration for this course is approximately 8 months
Once you complete the Foundation Course, or graduate with a recognised Bachelor’s degree, you can apply for the Intermediate course. You should be at least 18 years old to apply for this course.
If you pass all 6 papers of the Intermediate course, you can apply for the Final Stage. Once you pass this, you are a recognised CMA.
When are exams held and when does registration start?
Exams are held twice a year in June and December. According to latest data on the official website, you must apply for the June exam before January 31st of the same year. For the December exam, you must apply before July 31st of the same year.
What skills do you require as a CMA?
Negotiation: These are required to finalise deals with limited budgets and convince organisations to improve production methods.
Computer literacy: This is important to be able to use various accounting softwares.
Decision making: This is used to make strategic decisions and independent judgements in crucial situations.
What is practical training? Is it compulsory?
Every student must complete 3 years of practical training in certain organisations and roles recognised by the ICAI. However, you only need 6 months of training before being eligible to apply for the Final Stage. Moreover, if you already have 6 months of work experience in any of these organisations and roles , you can apply for the Final Stage directly.
What are the employment avenues for a CMA?
Unlike pure accounting professionals, the demand for CMA cuts across functions in all organizations. In the marketing department, they prepare quotations. In the production department they advise on the profitable product mix. In the purchase department they consult on make or buy decisions. In top management they identify business risks and their mitigation.
The ICAI offers placements in various PSUs and private organisations. These include ONGC, BHEL, Nestle, Vedanta, Genpact, Castrol, ICICI, IDBI, and many more.
A large number of companies are looking for specialists who can analyse their costs and find a way to reduce expenditures. If you want to venture into an avenue for which demand is on the rise, you should definitely consider this course.