Is the CMA certification worth it? I am Accounting major in my senior year of college. I have been contemplating taking the CMA exam since management accounting is my favorite part of Accounting. Several people strongly recommend either getting the CPA certification instead or in addition. I really don't see myself enjoying the CPA side of Accounting but I also don't want to waste time and money on a certification that won't add much value to my life.
Have an Answer?
I am unsure about the CMA designation and I personally have not known anyone that has it. It appears to be a less costly than the CPA. However, I would like to understand more about your idea of the type of job you want after you graduate. Do you want to work in private accounting? That would most closely align with management accounting. I'm concerned that by going into private accounting, you will severely limit your potential for growth because you will only have a couple bosses that can teach you.
What do you think you will not like about the CPA side of accounting? In my opinion, the CPA is one of the most widely known designation for accounting professionals. In public accounting, you are exposed to a wide variety of industries in a short amount of time, which is great because it allows you to see which areas you like and do not like. You will also have multiple bosses who will guide and teach you. A very common career move after working in public accounting is private accounting. Most of the time, it is because you audit a company you like and then go work for them. In addition, you don't need to go work for the Big 4, and I would advise against going to work for them, unless you are graduating with a 4.0 in Accounting, absolutely love accounting and auditing, and just want a brand name on your resume. However, if you want experience, I would recommend working at a regional firm since you'll be exposed to multiple industries and learn more by auditing several different areas of accounting. Accounting Today magazine has a list of the top regional firms by region of the United States, called T100, which could help in your decision process of where to work.
I see the CPA as an investment in yourself rather than a waste of time and money. The potential for career and earnings growth definitely outweighs the cost. The trick to passing the CPA is putting in the time and effort to study for them. Most people don't put in the hours needed to pass the exams and try to do it after they start working, which makes it more difficult. Plus, a future employer (public accounting firm) will pay for the exams, and most likely give you a bonus!
Let me know if you would like to discuss further. Best of luck in your decision.
Credentials matter in some public companies,and in government jobs. most private company accounting only values all of the following; neatness and personal organization skills,speed, reliability, constant improvement. if you can translate your time into learning on the job instead of adding initials you will be better off. lee anthony cpa.