US CMA | CMA USA Study Tips
US CMA | CMA USA Study Tips- The American Institute of CPAs is the world’s largest member association representing the accounting profession, with more than 418,000 members in 143 countries, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting.
The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, nonprofit organisations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination, and offers speciality credentials for CPAs who concentrate on personal financial planning; forensic accounting; business valuation; and information management and technology assurance. Through a joint venture with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, it has established the Chartered Global Management Accountant designation, which sets a new standard for global recognition of management accounting.
The AICPA’s founding established accountancy as a profession distinguished by rigorous educational requirements, high professional standards, a strict code of professional ethics, a licensing status and a commitment to serving the public interest.
US CMA | CMA USA study tips
Financial Reporting, Planning, Performance, and Control
A.External Financial Reporting Decisions (15%) (Level C)
study of financial statements: balance sheet, income statement, statement of changes in equity, statement of cash flows; valuation of assets and liabilities; operating and capital leases; impact of equity transactions; revenue recognition; income measurement; major differences between U.S. GAAP and IFRS.
B. Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting (30%) (Level C)
Strategic planning process; budgeting concepts; annual profit plans and supporting schedules; types of budgets, including activity-based budgeting, project budgeting, flexible budgeting; top level planning and analysis; and forecasting, including quantitative methods such as regression and learning curve analysis.
C. Performance Management (20%) (Level C)
Factors to be analysed for control and performance evaluation including revenues, costs, profits, and investment in assets; variance analysis based on flexible budgets and standard costs; responsibility accounting for revenue, cost, contribution and profit centres; key performance indicators; and balanced scorecard.
D. Cost Management (20%) (Level C)
Cost concepts, flows and terminology; alternative cost objectives; cost measurement concepts; cost accumulation systems including job order costing, process costing, and activity-based costing; overhead cost allocation; supply chain management and business process performance topics such as lean manufacturing, ERP, theory of constraints, value chain analysis, ABM, continuous improvement and efficient accounting processes.
E. Internal Controls (15%) (Level C)
Corporate governance; internal control risk; internal control environment, procedures, and standards; responsibility and authority for internal auditing; types of audits; assessing the adequacy of the accounting information system controls; and business continuity planning.
US CMA | CMA USA study tips
Financial Decision Making
A. Financial Statement Analysis (25%) (Level C)
Calculation and interpretation of financial ratios; evaluate performance utilising multiple ratios; market value vs. book value; profitability analysis; analytical issues including impact of foreign operations, effects of changing prices and inflation, off- balance sheet financing, and earnings quality.
B. Corporate Finance (20%) (Level C)
Types of risk; including credit, foreign exchange, interest rate, market, and political risk; capital instruments for long-term financing; initial and secondary public offerings; dividend policy; cost of capital; working capital management; raising capital; managing and financing working capital; mergers and acquisitions; and international finance.
C. Decision Analysis (20%) (Level C)
Relevant data concepts; cost-volume-profit analysis; marginal analysis; make vs. buy decisions; income tax implications for operational decision analysis; pricing methodologies including market comparable, cost-based and value-based approaches.
D. Risk Management (10%) (Level C)
Types of risk including business, hazard, financial, operational, strategic, legal compliance and political risk; risk mitigation; risk management; risk analysis; and ERM.
E. Investment Decisions (15%) (Level C)
Cash flow estimates; discounted cash flow concepts; net present value; internal rate of return, discounted payback; payback; income tax implications for investment decisions; risk analysis; and real options.
F. Professional Ethics (10%) (Level C)
Ethical considerations for management accounting professionals and for the organisation. A detailed content spec is available from the ICMA or it can be downloaded from on our website.
US CMA | CMA USA study tips: Tips for study of exam.
- 1. Read the Institute’s study material thoroughly. Highlight points that seem new or important to you, or points that you may wish to revisit during later readings.
- During your reading, make very short notes of key words. These lists of key words for every topic would help you revise after having completed your course without having to flip through hundreds of pages of your study material.
- Download and practice all the Revisionary Test Papers (RTP’s) issued by the Institute for the past 4-5 attempts. These are easily available on the Institute’s website.
- Download and Practice all the Suggested Answers for the past 4-5 attempts.
- Revisit the RTP’s and Suggested answers repeatedly till you can answer all the types of questions covered in these papers.
- In my experience, I have noticed a number of calculation and formulae errors in the RTP’s. Therefore, it is important to have read your concepts from the study material thoroughly before starting with these papers so that you can identify all the misprints.
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