Cost and Management Accounting (CMA) Course

A Brief Introduction

The Institute of Cost Accountants, also known as ICMAI, provides the CMA course. This course is widely accepted and respected globally. The CMA course is structured around four key areas of study: Management, Regulatory Framework, Strategy, and Financial Reporting.

Previously, CMA was recognised as a Cost and Work Accountant (CWA). The ICWAI has granted the CWA designation to all candidates who have successfully completed the qualification. Subsequently, the name ICWAI was changed to ICAI, and CWA was changed to CMA. The change was implemented to align with designations in other countries.

The CMA course is aimed at developing young minds into future business leaders, making it a good career choice. CMA professionals play a key role in financial management, assisting with budgeting, analysis, risk management, and other financial tasks.

Career Scope in Cost and Management Accounting

career Scope for career as a CMA

The Cost and Management Accounting course provides numerous career opportunities. Candidates have the opportunity to explore career options in various industries like manufacturing, banking, healthcare, finance, technology, and consulting firms.

Some common job roles for CMA professionals include Cost Accountant, Chief Financial Officer, Finance Manager, Cost Advisor, Financial Controller, etc. The course is in high demand due to the increasing need for financial planning and analysis in businesses.

Furthermore, CMA professionals have the opportunity to collaborate with multinational corporations and gain experience in international business. Obtaining this skill may lead to a high-ranking managerial position. Students can be placed in both on-campus and off-campus locations.

Role & Responsibilities of Cost and Management Accounting

A CMA plays a significant role in managerial accounting. They provide logical reasoning for statistics, analyse project proposals, and offer insights on potential future profits.

CMAs also assess department performance by comparing actual results to budgeted figures within an organisation.

Some of the other responsibilities include:

  • CMAs can assist with financial decisions and investment strategies by analysing capital structure.
  • They assist in identifying and managing risks related to financial decisions by offering organisations important insights.
  • CMAs also help organisations with cost management and efficiency through different costing methods.


Employment Scope Career Options for Cost Management Accountant

The employment scope for CMAs is vast and diverse. Since the course is globally recognised, CMAs have the opportunity to work with multinational corporations and gain valuable experience in the field of international business. This opportunity can result in securing managerial roles at high levels within the organisations.

CMAs are often recruited by top companies like Reliance, Deloitte, Accenture, ONGC, Tata Group, PwC, EY, KPMG, Infosys, Indian Oil, Cognizant, Schneider, Capgemini, etc.

Career scope for Cost and Management Accountant in Govt & PSU sector

The government and public sector also offer excellent career opportunities for CMA professionals. Government agencies, public sector undertakings (PSUs), and regulatory bodies like SEBI, RBI, IRDA, etc., often hire CMAs for various roles related to financial management and analysis.

Several Indian Government Ministries also approve CMA professionals. They are eligible to work for the Indian Cost Accounts Service. In addition, they can also apply for all central government services, including UPSC.

Salary Range

salary range of certified internal auditor

Cost Management Accountancy is widely regarded as a high-paying profession in India. The average starting salary of a fresher CMA is typically between 6 to 8 lacs per annum. While those with adequate experience can earn between between 10 to 18 lacs per annum. The salary for a CMA can vary depending on factors like job role, location, and experience.


Cost and Management Accounting Course Level

CMA course consists of 3 levels – Foundation, Intermediate, and Final. The duration of the course is around 3 years. Students are required to pass all three levels of the CMA exam for certification. Graduate students who are exempted from the Foundation Level take a minimum of 2.5 years to become a CMA.


CMA Foundation (Level 1)

The first level introduces students to the basics of Cost and Management accounting. The foundation level lasts for 8 months. A passing grade for this exam is 40% in each subject and 50% overall.


CMA Intermediate (Level 2)

It is the second level. This level covers advanced topics in financial and cost accounting, as well as taxation. There are eight papers in total, divided into two groups. The Intermediate level lasts for 10 months.


CMA Final (Level 3)

The third and final level of the CMA course is the Final level. This level focuses in-depth on various laws, reporting, auditing, and financial management. It lasts for 18 months.

Practical training is also essential for CMA aspirants to develop communication, analytical, and problem-solving skills.

Students enrolled in the CMA course must complete a 3-year full-time practical training requirement at an organisation listed in Appendix A and in areas specified in Appendix B for reorganisation. 


How to Enroll for Cost and Management Accounting Course?

CMAI administers the CMA exams biannually. Candidates must register for the CMA course to take the exam.

Applicants must secure admission by January 31, 2024, to sit for the CMA exams in June 2024. The deadline for admission to sit for the CMA December 2024 exam is July 31, 2024. The complete schedule for taking CMA exams is outlined below.

  1. Fill up the CMA Application form

Applicants must complete the CMA application form by the deadline for each term. They should review the eligibility criteria for each course before completing the CMA 2024 application form. The CMA application form can be accessed online. Candidates must pay the application fee for their course or their application will not be accepted by the institute.



  1. Fill out the CMA Exam Form

The CMA exam form submission process begins with the release of the CMA exam dates by ICMAI each year. CMA students must complete the CMA exam form to take the exam associated with their course.


  1. Downloading of the CMA Admit Card

The next step is to download the admit card. The admit card is available one week before the CMA exam. Candidates can obtain their admit cards online from the official website. You are required to input your Registered ID and password to download the admit card for CMA exams.


  1. Appear for the Exam

Candidates are required to take the exams according to the designated schedule for each course. The exam dates and timings for each course are provided on the candidates’ admit cards.

Candidates are required to take the exam in person at the designated CMA exam center. The CMA exam center information is mentioned in the admit card.


  1. Check CMA Result

The last step is to check your results. The institute will release the results of CMA courses within 60 days after the examination has taken place.

The results are published on the official website of ICMAI only. The official website is

Candidates can access their CMA results by logging in with their Roll Number/Registration Number and Password. Those who achieve the minimum qualifying marks for each paper will be deemed to have passed and are eligible to move on to the next course or become a CMA graduate upon completion of the final course. 

Eligibility Criteria for Cost and Management Accounting Course

eligibility criteria about certified internal auditor

Candidates seeking to enrol in courses offered by CMA must begin immediately after completing Class 12 by enrolling in the Foundation courses. Additionally, the eligibility criteria for each course are as follows:

Candidates who have obtained the National Diploma in Commerce Examination (AICTE or from any recognised board) are also eligible.


CMA courses

Eligibility Criteria

CMA Foundation course

Candidates who have completed Class 12 or its equivalent from a recognized board of education can take the CMA foundation exam. However, candidates with a 10th-class qualification are eligible for admission to the course.


Candidates who have obtained the National Diploma in Commerce Examination (AICTE or from any recognized board) are eligible.

CMA Intermediate course

Candidates who have passed class 12 or an equivalent examination and the Foundation course of CMA are eligible to enroll in the CMA Intermediate course.


Candidates with a Bachelor’s degree in any field, excluding performing arts, are eligible to register for the intermediate course.


Candidates who have passed the ICSI Foundation Examination, Inter CA Examination, or qualified CAT CMA are eligible.

CMA Final course

Candidates who have successfully passed both groups of the CMA Intermediate exam are eligible to enroll in the final course.



Subjects and Syllabus for each year

ICMAI has updated the syllabus for all three courses. The latest syllabus for all three CMA designation courses is as follows:

CMA Syllabus for Foundation Course

Paper Number

Subject Name

Paper 1

Fundamentals Of Business Laws and Business Communication (FBLC)

Paper 2

Fundamentals of Financial and Cost Accounting (FFCA)

Paper 3

Fundamentals of Business Mathematics and Statistics (FBMS)

Paper 4

Fundamentals of Business Economics and Management (FBEM)




CMA Syllabus for Intermediate Course


Paper Number

Subject Name

Group 1

Paper 5

Business Laws & Ethics (BLE)

Paper 6

Financial Accounting (FA)

Paper 7

Direct and Indirect Taxation (DITX)

Paper 8

Cost Accounting (CA)

Group 2

Paper 9

Operations Management and Strategic Management (OMSM)

Paper 10

Corporate Accounting and Auditing (CAA)

Paper 11

Financial Management and Business Data Analytics (FMDA)

Paper 12

Management Accounting (MA)



CMA Syllabus for Final Course


Paper Number

Subject Name

Group 3

Paper 13

Corporate and Economic Laws (CEL)

Paper 14

Strategic Financial Management (SFM)

Paper 15

Direct Tax Laws and International Taxation (DIT)

Paper 16

Strategic Cost Management (SCM)

Group 4

Paper 17

Cost and Management Audit (CMAD)

Paper 18

Corporate Financial Reporting (CFR)

Paper 19

Income Tax Laws and Practice (ITLP)

Paper 20 (one of the following)

Strategic Performance Management & Business Valuation (SPMBV)

Risk Management in Banking and Insurance (RMBI)

Entrepreneurship and Start-Up (ENTS)


CMA Exam Pattern

The CMA exam is administered semi-annually in June and December. Students must submit their applications for the June exam before January 31 of the same year. The deadline for applying for the December exam is July 31st.

The below table outlines the CMA exam pattern for Foundation, Intermediate, and Final exams.

CMA Exam Features

CMA Foundation Exam Pattern

CMA Intermediate Exam Pattern

CMA Final Exam Pattern

Exam Mode

Offline Centre-Based Test

Offline Centre-Based Test

Offline Centre-Based Test

Question Type




Total Marks

100 (each paper)

100 (each subject)

100 (each subject)

Exam Duration

120 minutes

180 minutes

180 minutes

Number of Group



Number of Subjects


4 (in each group)

4 (in each group)


The exam is held in two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon for the Foundation level. Each session lasts for 2 hours and 12 minutes, with the option of taking a break in between. The question paper contains subjective as well as objective questions. The exam will last a total of 4 hours and 24 minutes, with equal time allocated for two sessions.

The question paper will include both descriptive and objective questions. The objective part is 60% and the subjective part is 40%.

Students need to get at least 40% in each subject and 50% overall to pass the CMA Foundation exam.

The Intermediate and Final level CMA course exam carries 100 marks for each paper. The duration of the exam is 3 hours and there is no negative marking.

Again, to pass both levels, students need to get at least 40% in each subject and 50% in aggregate.


CMA Exam Dates

CMA Foundation Level Exam Date


Shift 1 (10 am to 12 noon)

Shift 2 (2 pm to 4 pm)

June 16, 2024

Paper 1: Fundamentals of Business Laws and Business Communication

Paper 2: Fundamentals of Financial and Cost Accounting

Paper 3: Fundamentals of Business Mathematics and Statistics

Paper 4: Fundamentals of Business Economics and Management

CMA Intermediate and Final Level Exam Dates


Final Level (Time – 10 am to 1 pm IST)

Intermediate Level (Time – 2 pm to 5 pm)


June 11, 2024

Corporate and Economic Laws (Paper – 13)

Business Laws and Ethics (Paper – 05)


June 12, 2024

Cost and Management Audit (Paper – 17)

Operations Management and Strategic Management (Paper – 09)


June 13, 2024

Strategic Financial Management (Paper – 14)

Financial Accounting (Paper – 06)


June 14, 2024

Corporate Financial Reporting (Paper – 18)

Corporate Accounting and Auditing (Paper – 10)


June 15, 2024

Direct Tax Laws and International Taxation (Paper – 15)

Direct and Indirect Taxation (Paper – 07)


June 16, 2024

Indirect Tax Laws and Practice (Paper – 19)

Financial Management and Business Data Analytics (Paper – 11)


June 17, 2024

Strategic Cost Management (Paper – 16

Cost Accounting (Paper – 08)


June 18, 2024

Electives (Any one of three Papers) :

(i) Strategic Performance Management and Business Valuation (Paper – 20A)

(ii) Risk Management in Banking and Insurance (Paper – 20B)

(iii) Entrepreneurship and Start up (Paper – 20C)

Management Accounting (Paper – 12)



Exemptions While Clearing the CMA Exams

To clear a group in CMA exams, a student is required to obtain a minimum of 40% marks in each of the subjects of a group and an aggregate of 50% or more in the group. However, there are certain rules regarding exemptions and carrying forward of marks, which are outlined below.

If a candidate does not pass a group but achieves 60% or more in any paper, they will not need to retake that paper on their next attempt. However, the marks for the exempted paper(s) will be considered as 50 when calculating the aggregate in the next attempt.

In other words, if a candidate fails to pass a group but scores 60% or more in any paper and at least 40% in the remaining papers of that group, they will not have to retake those exempted paper(s) in the next attempt and can carry forward the actual marks obtained in those paper(s) to the next attempt.

Fees for Cost and Management Accounting Course

The CMA course duration is 3 years, with fees varying depending on the course level. The fee for the foundation course is INR 6,000, and for the intermediate course, it is INR 23,100. The final level Certified Management Accountant course costs approximately INR 25,000.

The fees can also be paid in instalments for the intermediate and final level. You can pay Rs. 12,000 + Rs. 11,100 for intermediate level and Rs. 15,000 + Rs. 10,000 for the final level.


The Cost and Management Accounting (CMA) course provides an in-depth curriculum covering accounting and management topics to help students succeed in their future careers. With the growing need for skilled professionals in the field of accounting and management, pursuing a CMA course can open up various career opportunities.

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