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January 7, 2019

CMA exam to have increased focus on technology

By Joe Pickard

The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) is updating its exam to have a greater focus on technology to reflect the evolving environment of the management accounting profession.

The updated exam will continue to be in two parts, with each part containing a 100 multiple choice questions and two essays. In part one of the exam, 15% of the questions will belong to a ‘Technology and Analytics’ section.

Part one will now be called ‘Financial Planning, Performance, and Analytics’ to reflect the changes.

Part two of the exam will include a greater emphasis on ethics and strategic decision making.

In 2018, the Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA), the certification division of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), and its board of Regents conducted an independent job analysis study and developed a survey on the knowledge required of management accountants. The responses, which came from more than 2,000 professionals, will be reflected in the updated exam.

ICMA senior vice president of certifications, exams & content irrigation Dennis Whitney said: “We are always tracking changes in the profession to keep the CMA exam relevant. This Job Analysis showed that the current exam is comprehensive but needs more coverage in technology and data analytics. We are making the adjustment as both areas are becoming more important for management accountants.”

Chair of the ICMA Board of Regents Paul Juras said: “With advancements on technology and ongoing changes in the profession, it is natural that the exam that awards our certification adapts to these changes to benefit our stakeholders as best as possible.”

The changes to the exam will become effective 1 January 2020.

The current version of the English language exam will be offered through October 31, 2019. The current version of the Chinese language exam will be offered through November 2019.

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