Certified Management Accounting (CMA) is an accounting degree designed to give students a detailed insight into financial management and management accounting. ICMA Pakistan carries out the degree. Individuals who have this certification have the option of working in corporate financial accounting and strategic management. During the degree, you learn essential skills like financial planning, analysis, and professional ethics.

Association of Chartered Accountants, on the other hand, is a professional program conducted by the global ACCA chapter and tends to focus more on different accounting principles to develop skills for auditing and taxation fields.

ACCA and CMA are excellent degrees in terms of opportunities if you want to choose a career in accounting. However, one degree might be better suited for different people than others. To see which certification is best for you, read this blog.

International Opportunities

If you want to shift abroad after completing your accounting degree, then ACCA is the more obvious choice for you than CMA. This is because ACCA has more international recognition and presence, with 436,000 students in about 180 countries. CMA is widely recognized in 100 countries; however, its members are limited to 40,000 people. This distinction shows that you will be better off in a foreign country if you have the ACCA qualification. In addition, having a more significant global presence means you have greater chances of finding employment more quickly and will find more growth opportunities.


The difference between the salaries of ACCA or CMA holders is quite evident. While ACCA might be ahead in terms of having a global presence, CMA offers better salaries. The average salary is around RS 15,000,000 for a year if you have adequate prior experience. The ACCA degree will get an average salary of RS 10,000,000 a year. Regarding compensation, CMA will prove to be a more beneficial degree for you.

Level of Difficulty in Exams

Another factor you need to remember while deciding which degree to pursue is the effort you are willing to put in. CMA is comparatively a more complex degree than ACCA. This can be shown by comparing the passing percentages for both. About 20% of students pass their CMA exams, while ACCA has a passing rate between 40%-50%. Therefore, we suggest choosing ACCA if you do not have a well-balanced work ethic.

However, while doing this, you should consider that ACCA has four different levels you will have to clear before completing the certification. These are knowledge, skills, essentials, and options, which comprise 14 exams. In addition, CMA has one level that needs to be cleared. This, in turn, has two parts. The first focuses on financial reporting, while the second is financial decision-making. This should give you a better idea of how much time you will need to devote to studying every day and see if it is something you can afford to do.

Job Opportunities

The most common jobs that members of ICMA Pakistan take up are the following:
– Management and Cost Accountant
– Financial Accountant
– Financial Risk Manager
– Management Consulting
Other than this, CMAs are hired individually to provide the service of financial decision-making.

ACCA holders can work in different accounting firms and FMCG sectors, providing financial consulting and decision-making services.

In terms of opportunities, both ACCA and CMA have a lot to offer. The information mentioned above should give you a good idea of the specific roles each profession is most likely to take up. For example, if you plan on becoming a management consultant, pursuing a CMA certification will significantly help you. This helps make making the decision between the two degrees easier.

Most students ask whether they should do ACCA or CMA and whether ICMA Pakistan or ACCA presents better opportunities. A better approach would be to think of which degree will bring you a step closer to your future plans and serve your career goals the best. Moreover, many factors need to be considered before making a decision. The degree duration, salary, international prospects, and challenging exams are only a few of many. This is why it is best to conduct research on your own and see the direction you want to take.