CMA INDIA Course details
May 31,2022

How to be a Cost Management Accountant?

 Cost Management Accounting, also known as CMA, is a well-reputed certification conducted by the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI). This is not to be confused between various terms like CMA, ICMAI, CWA, and ICWAI. Its governing body the Institute of Cost Management Accountants of India (ICMAI)changes its official name from The Institute of Cost & Works Accountants of India (ICWAI). This means that both the ICWAI and CMA courses are one and the same. 

Cost Management Accountants are a well-reputed course which is also a tough and challenging course. The course is gaining wide acceptance and popularity amongst commerce students who are looking to pursue their careers in the field of accounting and finance due to its immense industry recognition.

 In this article, we will do a deep dive into the course, the course details, syllabus and more. 

  1. CMA Structure
  2. CMA Eligibility
  3. CMA Exam Dates
  4. CMA Syllabus
  5. CMA Job Roles
  6. CMA Career Opportunities
  7. Other FAQs

CMA structure

The CMA exam is split into three levels namely:

  • CMA foundation
  • CMA intermediate
  • CMA final

CMA Eligibility

Before delving into deeper topics, let us first look at the eligibility criteria for each level of the CMA exams. 

CMA Foundation eligibility criteria and exam details

To clear the foundation level of the Cost Management Accountant exam, one should complete the following criteria.

  • Students are required to have cleared the 10th and +2 exams in order to be eligible for the CMA Foundation exams

More info:

    • The CMA exams are conducted twice a year by The Institute of Cost Accountants of India in the months of June and December.
    • Students who have cleared the CMA Foundation exams are eligible for CMA intermediate.
  • Exemption: if you are a graduate then you are exempted from ICMAI Foundation exams. You can directly appear for CMA Intermediate.

CMA Intermediate eligibility criteria and exam details

In order to be eligible for the intermediate level of the Cost Management Accountant exam, one should complete these criteria.

  • A candidate should have cleared their(10+2) and Foundation Course of the Institute of Cost Accountants of India
  • Any graduate from any stream except fine arts is allowed to attend the exams
  • Qualified in ICSI Foundation or ICAI Intermediate.
  • ICAI has made it mandatory for students to complete Communication and Soft Skill (CSS) Training for 3 days and Complete Computer Training for 100 hours before appearing for the exam.

CMA Final eligibility criteria and exam details

  • Any student who has cleared the CMA intermediate level is eligible to attend the CMA final exams. 

CMA Exam dates

Here are some important dates that CMA students have to keep in mind. Keep a note of the dates to fill for the June and December term examination respectively.

For students appearing for the June exam, registration has to be taken by the 31st of January.  

For students appearing for the December exam, admissions have to be taken by the 31st of July.

CMA Syllabus

The Institute of Cost Accountants of India has the current syllabus which was published in 2016. Below are the CMA Subjects as per the 2016 Syllabus.

CMA Foundation Syllabus

Here are the subjects included in the CMA foundation



Paper I -

Fundamentals of Economics and Management

Paper 2 -

Fundamentals of Accounting

Paper 3 -

Fundamentals of Laws and Ethics

Paper 4 -

Fundaments of Business Mathematics & Statistics


CMA Intermediate Syllabus

Here are the subjects included in the CMA Intermediate

CMA Inter Group 1



Paper 5 -

Financial Accounting

Paper 6 -

Laws & Ethics

Paper 7 -

Direct Taxation

Paper 8 -

Cost Accounting


CMA Inter Group 2



Paper 9 -

Operations Management & Strategic Management

Paper 10 -

Cost & Management Accounting and Financial Management

Paper 11 -

Indirect Taxation (Including Customs Act)

Paper 12 -

Company Accounts & Audit


CMA Final Syllabus

Here are the subjects included in the CMA Final

CMA Final Group 3



Paper 13 -

Corporate Laws & Compliance

Paper 14 -

Strategic Financial Management

Paper 15 -

Strategic Cost Management – Decision Making

Paper 16 -

Direct Tax Laws and International Taxation


CMA Final Group 4



Paper 17 - 

Corporate Financial Reporting

Paper 18 -

Indirect Tax Laws & Practice (Including Customs Act)

Paper 19 -

Cost & Management Audit

Paper 20 -

Strategic Performance Management and Business Valuation


CMA Training
Training to be undertaken During CMA Inter Course (Mandatory)
  1. Complete Computer Training – 100 hours.
  2. Complete Communication and Soft Skills Training (CSS) – 3 days
Training to be undertaken During CMA Final Course (Mandatory)
  1. Complete Industry Oriented Training Programme (IOTP) – 7 Days
  2. Practical Training (Mandatory). Practical training has to be undergone by all students for a duration of 15 months. Students can undergo practical training after registration into the Intermediate course or before appearing for CMA final examination.

CMA Job roles

Let's look into the job profiles one can look into once there are a certified CMA professional

  • Improving cost-efficiency
  • Direct and indirect taxation
  • Resource and performance management
  • Cost audit and assurance
  • Financial reporting and strategy
  • Internal audit and management audit


CMA Career opportunities

Getting a stable and secure job once you have completed your courses is the ultimate objective for any aspirant. CMA certifications open up a wide array of job opportunities that are well remunerated. Research suggests that compared to non-certified employees, CMA certified professionals earn 30% more for the same designation. 

Being a certified professional also gives you the opportunity to venture into various domains in an organisation from planning, decision support and control function. They can leade the organisation from various roles such as  CFO, CTO, Treasurer, VP (Finance), Controller, Finance Manager, Internal Auditor, Budget Analyst, Financial Analyst, Corporate or division planner, Senior Accountant, Cost Accountant, Staff Accountant, etc.

For those looking to climb up the corporate ladder, CMS is a great choice as top fortune 1000 companies across the globe have CMAs in their key management roles. They have a diverse set of opportunities to work both in and out of the country. The average salary of a CMA usually starts at around 5 LPA, this number goes up based on the seniority and exposure to 50 LPA. 

One of the most attractive aspects of the job is that you can start your career at a very young age, so while others are doing their degree and post-graduation, CMAs will already have started working. They are also preferred due to the specific skill set they possess. 


Other FAQs

  • What is the duration of the CMA course?

The course duration for CMA India is 3-4 years, provided you clear all the papers in the first attempt. 

  • Can I study CMA along with my job?

Yes, students can pursue their education along with their job, but it is very important to be consistent and dedicated while doing the course. 

  • How many attempts do I have for the CMA Inter exam?

ICAI doesn't impose any restriction on attempts. They can attempt the exams as many times as they like. 

  • Can I appear for the CMA course before class 12th?

Candidates offered provisional admission will not be allowed to take the exam. Candidates must fulfil the eligibility criteria to be able to give the exam.

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