FAQs

These are our responses to the MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS regarding ICMA.
Is ICMA (Australia) linked to other accounting bodies or to IFAC?

ICMA is not linked to any other professional body like IMA (USA), CIMA (UK), CPA (Canada), etc., although as a post-graduate level professional body, it recognizes the certified/chartered membership of such bodies as entry pathways to its CMA advanced professional qualification. It is a charter member of the International Management Accounting Collaborative (IMAC) that consists of member CMA organizations in Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East. It has chosen not to seek membership of IFAC, which is now primarily a body for the financial accounting profession.

What are the other professional accounting bodies in Australia?

The Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA) is the only specialist professional accounting body in Australia. As ICMA members do not offer public accounting services or issue such compliance based certificates; the ICMA does not fall under the s88B of the Corporations Act; and therefore its members do not need to be protected by professional indemnity schemes.

There are three generalist professional accounting bodies who have members that provide public practice services in Australia; and are recognised in s88B of the Corporations Act (Australia) to issue a certificate under paragraphs 708(8)(c) or 761G(7)(c) after compiling or auditing a financial report in public companies. These three bodies are the Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ); CPA Australia (CPA) and the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA). Members of these 3 bodies, who have a practicing certificate to provide such certifications as defined by the Corporations Act, need to be protected by Australian limitation of liability professional indemnity schemes.

ICMA is also the only specialist body operating at the post-graduate (Master’s Degree) level. Its education programs mainly consist of a Graduate Conversion Program for non-accounting graduates and a Certification (CMA) program for accountants. In Australia and other countries, these subjects are taught within university Master’s degree programs such as the MBA and Master of Professional Accounting (MPA) programs. In fact, most CMA members have masters’ degrees or are already qualified as CA or CPA, and must have at least 5 years relevant professional experience.

How recognised is the ICMA?

The ICMA was registered in 1996 under the Associations Incorporations Act 1981 (Vic.). It is a non-profit organisation; with the beneficial owners being the member’s themselves. The ICMA is accredited by the Commonwealth of Nations under the category of Civic Organisations. Members entitled under its Rules to use the post-nominals Fellow Certified Management Accountant (FCMA); ‘Certified Management Accountant (CMA)’, ‘Associate Management Accountant (AMA)’, ‘Graduate Management Accountant (GMA)’, ‘Registered Cost Accountant (RCA)’, ‘Registered Business Accountant (RBA)’, Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) and ‘Management Accounting Affiliate (MAA)’ membership categories.

The CMA, RBA, RCA and CAT post-nominal’s are also Registered Trade Marks of the ICMA. True “recognition” is, however, only earned in the market. As a relatively new body (now in its second decade of operations), having just over 10,000 members (with over 2,500 CMAs), it is already well recognised in its niche market, as a specialist qualification for already qualified 'generalist' accountants who which pursue a professional qualification undertaking two advanced subjects at the Masters Degree level. Its CMA education program now runs within a number of Masters Degree programmes in numerous Australian and overseas universities.

Tell me more about the Grades of Membership?

The highest grade of membership, the CMA, is only available to individuals who complete the CMA preparatory program. CMA preparatory program is conducted by Accredited Universities; or Recognised Provider Institution (RPIs) of ICMA; or Online. To undertake the CMA preparatory program individuals must have a degree in accounting, commerce or finance, or an MBA* from a recognised university (see FAQ) or a recognised Professional Qualification in Accounting (see FAQ).

There are seven grades of membership within the Association. Information regarding the other membership categories and grades of membership are available from the Membership section at www.cmawebline.org

If I have a recognised accounting qualification, do I still have to become a GMA or AMA first?

No, you may wish to undertake the CMA subjects as a student member, and upon completion, apply for CMA membership directly if you have over 5 years relevant experience.

Do I have the relevant experience?

All information regarding the relevant experience is available from the Membership section at www.cmawebline.org

How do I qualify to become a CMA?

Those with an "Accounting" background (such as an accounting degree, CA or CPA) need to do 2 specialist electives to get the CMA certification as follows:

  • Strategic Cost Management
  • Strategic Business Analysis

What do you mean by “recognised” accounting qualification?

A recognised accounting qualification is either:

- An undergraduate degree with an accounting specialisation (at least 25% of the degree must be accounting and finance subjects) from an “accredited” university, or

- An postgraduate degree (e.g. MCom, MBA) with an accounting specialisation (at least 25% of the degree must be accounting and finance subjects) from an “accredited” university, or

- A professional accounting qualification from a body granted a Royal Charter or Government Charter. Most “Certified” bodies are also acceptable, however, in some countries, as the word “Certified” is not a restricted term, there are some accounting bodies using “certified” in their title that would be unacceptable to the ICMA as a recognised accounting qualification, or

- Those holding membership of the following accounting professional bodies HAVE been recognised in the past by the ICMA as having a recognised accounting qualification.

• All Chartered Accounting bodies worldwide
• AICPA (USA)
• CPA Australia
• MIA (Malaysia)
• MICPA (Malaysia)
• ICPAS (Singapore)
• ICA (formerly ICWA) (India)
• ICMA (Pakistan)
• ICMA (Bangladesh)
• CIMA (UK)
• CACA (UK)
• ICSA (UK)
• CGA (Canada)
• SMA (Canada)
• CPA (Philippines)
• ICMA (PNG)
• CPAC (China)
• LACPA (Lebanon)
• CPA Ireland
• Saudi Organisation of CPAs (Middle-East)

What do you mean by an “accredited” university?

In most countries the word University is a protected name, and granted to institutions after significant demonstration of academic rigor and research scholarship. However in some countries the word “University” is registered as a business name and degrees are granted for “life experience”. A majority of such universities are in the USA and UK, but there are some in Asia, Europe and Africa. The ICMA considers as “accredited” only those universities accredited by the 5 regional accrediting agencies in the USA, or those that have a Royal Charter as a university in the UK. In most other countries, as the word “University” is strictly controlled, the ICMA will recognise all such institutions registered in their countries as universities.

Students should ask a university the following questions before making their choice of an education:

- Does the university provide an address of a campus location (many unaccredited universities have only PO Boxes or mailing addresses)?

- If the university states that it is an online university, does it clearly provide its authority (licence) to issue degrees?

- If a campus location is given, do they have students at that campus? If so, how many? Do not be afraid of asking such questions.

- Is the university a private university? Does the university have accreditation? Does the university have license or accreditation to issue degrees? Who has provided this license or accreditation? Is the licensing or accrediting agency recognised by a government authority?

- Is the university claiming to give degree purely for "Life Experience" without any formal coursework? Some students may actually want such an institution, but should be vary that degrees from such institutions may not carry much weight.

Note: Students holding “degrees” of the following “Universities” have not been recognised in the past by the ICMA as having a recognised university degree.

• Pacific Western University (USA)
• Columbia Pacific University (USA)
• American University of Asia (Sri Lanka)
• American University of London
• Browns International University
• Michigan International University (USA)
• European University of Ireland
• Fairfax University (USA)
• Clayton University (USA)
• Newport University (USA)
• International University (USA)
• Rushmore University (USA)
• Somerset University (UK)
• Southern Pacific University (S.P.U.) (St. Kitts & Nevis)
• Washington International University (USA)
• Preston University (USA) and affiliated campuses around the world
• Sussex College of Technology (UK)
• Rochville University (USA)
• Calamus International University
• Royal International University (Virgin Islands)
• Wisconsin International University
• Wessex University
• Canadian College of Professional Management
• Cosmopolitan University, Chile
• Atlantic International University, USA
• Pebble Hill University, USA
• Mist University
• Irish University Business School
• Novus University (USA)
• Canadian School of Finance and Management (Postgraduate Diploma in Management Accounting)
• American College of Computer & Information Sciences
• American International University
• American University of Science and Technology
• Al Arab University

[Please see http://unidegree.com/accreditation.html for a full list of unaccredited universities] harum ad accusantium inventore id, quas volupt

Which Universities and other providers conduct subjects accredited by ICMA in the CMA Program?

From time to time, the Institute grants Recognised Provider Institutions (RPI) status to organisations in Regional Office locations in Australia and overseas. The following organisations have been authorised to provide training to both prospective and current members of the Institute.

• Wharton Institute of Technology and Science (WITS), Australia
• Academy of Finance, Sri Lanka
• IPMI (Indonesian Institute for Management Development), Indonesia
• Business Sense, Inc. , Philippines
• HBS for Certification and Training, Lebanon
• SMART Education Group, UAE
• Institute of Professional and Executive Management, Hong Kong
• AFA Research and Education, Vietnam
• TOP Academy, East Malaysia
• Segal Training Institute, Iran
• Ruwan Hulugalle & Co., Mekong Delta (Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar)
• [To be Appointed], Pakistan
• PT Angka Bisnis Indonesia (Business Number Consulting), Indonesia
• Inspire Consulting, Indonesia
• ManAcc Consulting, New Zealand
• STRACC Learning LLP, India

The Certified Business Analyst (CBA) Program (run by AFMA) in CANADA only, is fully accredited by ICMA as meeting all of the education (attendance) requirements of the Institute’s CMA program. Participants would also need to successfully complete the required assessments (conducted by ICMA Australia) to be given the CMA (Aust.) designation.

The following countries run the CMA Australia program:

• CMA Global
• CMA Australia (this site)
• CMA Africa
• CMA China
• CMA Dubai
• CMA Europe
• CMA Hong Kong
• CMA India
• CMA Indonesia
• CMA Iran
• CMA Lebanon
• CMA Malaysia
• CMA New Zealand
• CMA Pakistan
• CMA Philippines
• CMA PNG
• CMA Singapore
• CMA Sri Lanka
• CMA Vietnam
• CMA Mekong (Cambodia, Thailand, Laos & Myanmar)
• CMA Pakistan
Is there a membership category for those who don’t have an accredited degree or approved professional qualification, but still interested in managerial accounting?

Due to overwhelming interest in managerial accounting in recent times, there are many individuals who may not have formal qualifications in managerial accounting, but either practice as such, or wish to have an interest in the field.

As such, the Institute has a new membership category for such individuals, Management Accounting Affiliate with the use of the post-nominal MAA, with open entry for those with either 2 years supervisory managerial experience or 3 years of running one’s own business. This category of members would be required to undertake an approved continuing professional development (CPD) program within 2-years of being granted such membership.

Is the AIPA, MIPA or FIPA Qualifications of the IPA (Australia) recognised as an accounting degree equivalent qualification by ICMA?

As a member of the Institute of Public Accountants, Australia, you may have an accounting degree. If so, you only need to do the 2 CMA subjects. If however, you have obtained your PNA under a “grandfather” clause without an accounting degree, then you would need to undertake the 4 GMA conversion program subjects for GMA and AMA status, and the two CMA subjects for CMA status.

Do I have to sit exams to become a CMA?

If you are a qualified accountant, and have over 20-years relevant experience you be exempted from having to sit for exams (under ICMA’s 20-year rule). However you still have to attend and follow the CMA course and do the assessments within it when it runs, even though you then do not have to sit the exams. Those having between 10-20 relevant experience have a choice of sitting the 2-paper exams OR writing a 2,000 word assignment. They too have to attend and follow the CMA course and do the assessments within it when it runs.

Where do the Courses run?

Courses run in Universities (as university subjects in Masters Degree Programs) and via ICMA accredited Recognised Provider Institutions. Courses run in Australia, Singapore, HK, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, India, Dubai, Hong Kong, The Philippines, Lebanon, China, Vietnam, Cyprus and Sri Lanka. Details are posted on www.cmawebline.org.

Can I do the CMA program by Distant Education?

The following providers run the CMA subjects via the internet.

• Wharton Institute of Technology and Science (The Global Business School)
• Calwest University
• Central Queensland University
• Deakin University
If I don’t have an accounting degree, can I still become a CMA?

Those with degrees in fields other than accounting need to do four prerequisite (conversion) subjects, before they do the above two, i.e.:

• Financial Modelling (Accounting with Excel modelling)
• Financial Management
• Management Accounting
• Financial Statement Analysis

Completion of these four subjects will give you Graduate Management Accountant (GMA) status, and if you have three years relevant experience, Associate Management Accountant (AMA) status.

If I have an MBA (but don’t have an accounting degree), can I still become a CMA?

Most MBAs have to undertake “financial and management accounting” and “corporate finance” subjects as part of their core subjects in the MBA. As such, most MBA graduates will be eligible to undertake the two CMA program subjects in order to obtain their CMA qualification.

These subjects are:

• Strategic Cost Management
• Strategic Business Analysis

Those with specialised MBA degrees that may not cover the “financial and management accounting” and “corporate finance” subjects (and whose first degree is in a field other than accounting) will need to do two prerequisite (conversion) subjects, before they do the two CMA subjects.

These subjects are:

• Financial Modelling (financial and management accounting with Excel modelling), and
• Financial Management

Some MBA graduates may have done one or both of these as electives. Evidence of completion of the following four subjects (via your MBA or via an ICMA Educational provider) will give you Certified Management Accountant (CMA) status, provided you have five years relevant experience.

• Financial Modelling (financial and management accounting with Excel modelling), and
• Financial Management
• Strategic Cost Management
• Strategic Business Analysis
If I am a part qualified accountant, can I still become a CMA?

Those who are part qualified students of recognised professional bodies (such as those only needing to do the final stage of CIMA or ACCA) need to do four prerequisite (conversion) subjects, before they do the above two, i.e.:

• Financial Modelling (Accounting with Excel modelling)
• Financial Management
• Management Accounting
• Financial Statement Analysis

Completion of these four subjects will give you Graduate Management Accountant (GMA) status, and if you have three years relevant experience, Associate Management Accountant (AMA) status.

Those who have less than the one but the final stage in a recognised professional exam will need to contact the Recognised Provider Institution in their countries to determine which extra subjects from the Graduate program they would need to undertake.

If I have an Australian TAFE Advanced Diploma, can I still become a CMA?

Those holders of Australian TAFE Advanced Diplomas in Accounting need to do the GMA conversion subjects, before they do the above two, i.e.:

GMA Stage 4:

• Financial Modelling (Accounting with Excel modelling)
• Financial Management
• Management Accounting
• Financial Statement Analysis

Completion of these four subjects will give you Graduate Management Accountant (GMA) status, and if you have three years relevant experience, Associate Management Accountant (AMA) status

Will I get University Credit for the subjects I do with ICMA in an MBA Program?

Most Australian and overseas MBA programs do the following two subjects as part of their core:

• Accounting [i.e. Financial Modelling (Accounting with Excel modelling)]
• Corporate Finance [i.e. Financial Management]

In most circumstances only two further electives are required for a non-accounting degree holder to complete the CMA program subjects. Thus a non-accountant can get an MBA, CMA by doing two electives, in addition to their two core MBA units, as follows:

• Strategic Cost Management
• Strategic Business Analysis

If you have completed the CMA program by examination, then most MBA programs will give between 2-4 credit exemptions in the MBA. For this reason it has been extremely popular since 1997, and over 400 master’s degree students in Australia, Singapore, HK, Indonesia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka have taken advantage of this stream to obtain the CMA certification along with their Master’s degree.

Is the CMA qualification recognised for immigration into Australia?

The ICMA was not formed as a body for members to apply for immigration to Australia. Instead, it was set up for already qualified accountants (CAs, CPAs, CIMA, ACCA etc.) to obtain post-graduate level specialisation in managerial accounting. As such, the institute does not enter into correspondence as to if CMA is a recognised qualification for purposes of migration requirements to Australia. It is aware, however, that some CMAs have obtained migration to Australia on a case-by-case basis

Where can I get more information?

ICMA provides all information on its website, www.cmawebline.org. If you have any other queries, you can direct your questions to our executive director at info@cmawebline.org, who will in turn forward your email to the relevant section/person.

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