#1 US CMA vs.CA – Which one to pursue?

US CMA or CA ?The most pertinent question comes to the mind of a student or working professional in accounting and finance domain is which professional course they should opt for to upgrade their career with better job opportunity and better income.

US CMA vs CA- 2021- By Uplift PRO- Best US CMA course trainer

In the present and upcoming global business development, it is obvious that one should acquire the relevant expertise and skill to cope with the on-growing areas of Financial Management, Accounting, Decision Making and Business Analysis etc. Among the various professional courses available in India, lets discuss the pros and cons of two such premier courses like US CMA and CA in a comparative perspective.

Comparison between US CMA and CA

1. The Syllabus

The CA course has an elaborate syllabus at 3 tiers of the course towards certification. The CA Foundation has 4 topics, CA IPCC has 7 topics and CA Final has 8 subjects to clear.

In contrast, US CMA course is a,2 part exam consist of Financial Planning, Performance and Analysis for Part 1 while Strategic Financial Management in Part 2. Hence, having less number of chapters and a two part exam, US CMA appears to be easier and less complicated than the CA course.

2.   Stages of Certification

US CMA course stands easier than CA because the chapters are easy to apprehend. Furthermore, US CMA is a single level certification process having a 2 part exam while the CA course is a multilevel process having Foundation, Intermediate, Final and Internship respectively.

3.  Course Duration

US CMA can be cleared in 6 month to 1 year with dedicated preparation in an average. On the same scale, one has to spend 5 years in average to complete the CA course.

4.   Exam Pattern

Here also, US CMA has an edge over CA based on the fact that US CMA has only 2 groups and most of the questions are based on multiple choice having options to tick only not available in such manner in CA exams.

5.  Exam Option

In this area, US CMA has advantage over CA because US CMA exams are conducted online through the prometric centers across the globe. Moreover, the candidate has the option to select the date/slot and place of the exam from 3 available exam windows annually, such flexibility is not available for CA exams.

6.  Entry Level

Here, the CA course has the advantage over CMA US, because, one can start studying CA after completion of 10+2 academic qualification. On the otherhand, to be eligible for US CMA, a graduation is required with 120 credit points.

7.  Pass Rate

As per July’2021 data, pass rate of CA final for both the groups stands from 1.57% to 11.97% for old and new courses respectively. On the contrary, pass rate for US CMA stands much higher in comparison having 36.25% to 50.5% for Part 1 and Part 2 exams respectively. It shows that CA exam is difficult to pass than US CMA.

8.  Cost

The overall cost of CA course excluding coaching part comes around 1.9 lakh approximatley.while for US CMA, it comes around 1.3 lakhs including coaching, study materials, fees.

For further reading follow – US CMA course fees -Breakdown on US CMA course fees.

9. Job Opportunities

Both CAs and US CMAs have good job opportunities in private and public sectors with comparable salaries. Being an internationally recognized credential, US CMAs has better acceptability abroad than Indian CAs.

US CMA salary in India: Results from IMA’s salary survey-2021:- The latest Middle East/Africa/ India (MEAI) CMA Salary Survey 2021, from IMA (Institute of Management Accountants) revealed that a median salary of a US CMA professional is above 76% higher than non-CMAs, a strong reason why a US CMA course is a career changing qualification. continue reading

10.Self Employment

This is the sole prerogative of CAs as they can practice independently in India which a CMA US can not.


In summary, upon comparison of the two courses, it is apparent that, CA is a much tougher course and takes more time to complete than US CMA. CA is a regional professional qualification while US CMA is a global professional certification. CAs are authorized to practice independently but US CMA can not. As domains are different, CA deals with chartered accounting and CMA with cost accounting, one has to choose the appropriate course as per his/her work profile and preferences.

Choose the best US CMA institute in India, Africa, and Middle East – Uplift Pro

Uplift Pro is one of the top training institutes for the US CPA, US CMA, US CIA courses in India, Africa, and Middle East. Uplift Pro is also an Indian partner of GLEIM, US and an IMA US authorized US CMA course study center. We train students for US CMA through live online classes instead of pre recorded videos.

Request for Live Demo class / contact at +91-8787088850 to book your seats now.

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