Difference Between CPA vs CMA
CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant and the degree is provided by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) which is the largest Accounting Body in the world. The Field of CMA is mainly confined within the Company Finance but CPA has the authority to guide legal matters and work in many fields of Finance. CMA stands for Certified Management Accountant which specializes in Financial Accounting and strategic management and the Degree is awarded by the Institutes of Management Accountants (IMA). CMA deals with the management and strategy areas while CPA is prioritized for the regulatory and the taxation part.
Let us study much more about CPA and CMA in detail:
Accountancy or Finance can be termed as the blood of any Business. Be it a small firm or an MNC employing million people, with its presence across the Globe, the business needs Accountants to maintain the day-to-day transactions related to money. Right from Revenue generations to all petty and Capital intensive expenditures, the Accountant is liable for the accountability of each and every transaction. Thus a whole Finance requires Accountants with special training that could summarize the procedures and train new Accountants for maintaining the books on a regular basis. Thus, a Commerce Graduate with decent knowledge in Accounts needs the extra knowledge to maintain in a procedural way so that proper interpretations can be made to know the Business flow and each & every nooks and corner of the Business. It helps the Investors, the management board to know the exact situation of the Business and the necessary steps that should be taken to improvise certain courses.
Across the Globe, all the successful Business houses implemented several procedures to identify problems within a business and apply proper module so that the Business should run properly and in longer-term improvise from its earlier mistakes.
On the other hand, CPAs are the authorized persons who could conduct Audit at Federal and State levels and guide other Business units as Consultants regarding the legal regulatory framework. They are the ones who could handle the income tax for individuals and for other small and midsized firms.
CPA’s can choose any segment in Finance to be it Management Accounting, Financial Analyst, Auditing, Taxation, Finance Controlling, etc but on the other hand, CMAs are focused on Management of Finance or Finance Controller or adopting different strategies within a Business. To pass CPA, one has to pass Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination organized by AICPA and after passing the exam the Degree holders are entitled to maintain certain ethics and abide by the regulatory framework guided by the governing bodies. In case of any breach of contracts, the degree can be canceled by the regulatory body. CMAs, on the other hand, need to follow ethics. Most of the Company management with a CPA degree is well informed by the profitability of the Business and any illegal steps for personal benefits can hamper the ethics of CPAs.
Head to Head Comparison Between CPA vs CMA (Infographics)
Below is the top 5 difference between CPA vs CMA
Key Differences CPA vs CMA
Both CPA vs CMA are popular choices in the market; let us discuss some of the major Difference :
- CPA stands for Certified Public Accountants whereas CMA stands for Certified Management Accountants. CPA is the Auditors or the Regulator of a business whereas CMA takes charge of the Management of any company.
- CMA Course deals with subjects like Financial Accounting and Reporting, Audit & Attestation, Business Environment and Concepts followed by The CMA Course includes a couple of subjects which are Financial Planning, Performance, and Control, and Financial Decision- making.
- The timeframe for the course of CMA is six months whereas CPA takes 18 months to complete.
- CPA has a wider training format as they are entitled to both Government and private bodies. The training period is comparatively less as CMAs are primarily involved in private bodies only.
CPA vs CMA Comparison Table
The primary comparison between CPA vs CMA are discussed below:
|Basis of comparison||CPA||
|Related to||CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant and the degree is provided by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). They are entitled to Auditing, taxation, Management Accounting, Handling accounts, etc.||CMA stands for Certified Management Accountant which specializes in Financial Accounting and strategic management and the Degree is awarded by Institutes of Management Accountants (IMA). The roles which can be chosen by CMA are Financial Analyst, Budgeting or internal Auditor or Management Accounting,|
|Field of Work||The field of work is related to license to accounting services to the public. To maintain the law and procedure these specialized degree holders are required to guide individuals, Small and mid-size firms and MNCs, etc. Other than Auditing, taxation, etc a CPA can indulge themselves with other Field of finance like Finance Controlling, Accounting, Financial Analysis, etc.||The primary task which a Certified Management Accountant can perform is to deal with the finance of any business and to interpret the consequence and compare with their pre budgeting numbers and several strategical steps that should be taken to improve the Business on both short-term and Long-term Perspective.|
|Tenure||The tenure of the course of 18 months.||The tenure of the course is 6 months.|
|Position||They are tasked with the rules and regulations of a company and compile with the Auditing and Taxation part.||They are entitled to the management and takes a decision on behalf of the company.|
|Experience required||The experience which is required is 1-2 work experience years of licensed CPA along with a Graduation degree and 40 Hours of Continuing Education Degree.||The minimum criteria required are a Graduation degree with Works Experience of 2 years of Financial Management. Again 30 hours of Continuing Education per year is required.|
Both CPA vs CMA are advanced modules in the Finance segment. The courses have their benefits of their own by which one can promote their own position in the workplace. The packages are offered by the companies after the completion of these courses are more or less equal. But the difference between CPA and CMA is the active role one plays after passing the Course. While a qualified CPA can handle the role of a CMA but on the other hand, CMAs are restricted within a field of strategy and management only.
This has been a guide to the top differences between CPA vs CMA. Here we also discuss the CPA vs CMA key differences with infographics, and comparison table. You may also have a look at the following articles –