I have been studying for the CMA exam for the past few weeks. I have not left enough time to study as I signed up for the earliest exam. It was then I realized how much studying I should be doing. It will all come to a head later this month. I thought I would go through some of the basics and then further develop some concepts later.
First of all, this is the CMA exam and not the CPA. There is a difference. One of the issues in getting the CPA is that I would need to be working under a CPA for some time. Whereas with the CMA I just need my experience for the past 20 years to accommodate the experience requirements. I am also not interested in learning about audits and taxes. That is not to say that I don’t in the future, but for now, I will skip it and concentrate on the CMA. This is the million dollar question though, so each person should identify what is best for them, but real quickly CPA’s core strengths are in taxes, compliance, reporting, and audit. The CMA’s are in business analysis, strategy, and corporate financial management. The CPA is a License while the CMA is issued by an Association.
There are two parts of the CMA test. The first part deals with 13 items. They are:
- Financial Statements
- Cost Management
- Accumulation Cost
- Cost Allocation
- Operational Efficiency
- Analysis and Forecasting
- Types of Measures
- Internal Controls
This is only twelve. I combined some for just the generalities.
The second part of the CMA covers
- Financial Markets
- Valuation Methods
- Managing Assets
- Corp Restructuring
- Ratio Analysis
- Financing and Activity Measures
- Investment Decisions
- CVP Analysis
- Marginal Analysis and Pricing.
The second only has 10 sections versus the 13 in the first part. Dare I say that the second part seems more difficult though.
I decided to use a course. There are numerous ones out there and I would rank the Wiley and the Gleim as some of the better ones. Personally, I chose the Gleim. They had an individual person call me after I decided to take the trial. This is the kind of service I reward with business. No disappointment with the program so far. The program documents its sections well. You can track your progression as well. This means I can see how crappy I do on the pre-test, then run through the examples and have that “Aha” moment and then take the sample tests again and do significantly better.
It is something to know how to do things in the day to day because you can always just google something to figure it out, but these test rely on your memory so you better be ready for some memorization. The multiple choice and the True and False are damn near easy. However, when you need to quote passages from the Foreign Corruption Act you better know what the hell you are talking about for the Essay.
In the coming days I will start to outline things that I have been studying on the exam in generalities.