Certified Management Accountants of Canada

Certified Management Accountants of Canada
Certified Management Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada)
Formation May 3, 1920 (1920-05-03) (91 years ago)
Legal status Incorporated by letters patent under the Canada Corporations Act, Part II
Objective Encourage professionalism in accountancy in Canada
Headquarters Mississauga, Ontario,  Canada
Region served Canada, Bermuda, Hong Kong, Caribbean
Membership 50,000
Students 10,000
Member's designations CMA, FCMA
Official languages English, French
Chair Cassandra Dorrington
Vice Chair Lorri Lowe
President and CEO Joy Thomas
Governing body Board of Directors
IFAC member since 1977
Website cma-canada.org

The Society of Management Accountants of Canada, also known as Certified Management Accountants of Canada and CMA Canada, awards the Certified Management Accountant designation in Canada.



CMA Canada, through its provincial and territorial affiliates, grants the CMA professional designation in accounting and is responsible for standards-setting, accreditation and the continuing professional development of CMAs.

CMAs apply expertise in accounting, management and strategy to ensure corporate accountability and help organizations maintain a long-term competitive advantage. CMA Canada offers executive development programs, online courses, and knowledge management publications.[1][2]

Management Accounting Guidelines[3] and Management Accounting Practices[4] are published by CMA Canada to specify the best practice on key topics in management accounting. They are available for download free of charge or on CD for a nominal charge to CMAs, and can be purchased by non-members.[5]

History of the Society

The mission of the Society has closely tracked the evolution from cost accounting to management accounting in Canada, and its distinction from financial accounting:[6]

  • 1920 - Incorporation of The Canadian Society of Cost Accountants, with head office in Hamilton, Ontario
  • 1926 - Introduction of Cost and Management, the predecessor of CMA Magazine
  • 1930 - Name changed to The Canadian Society of Cost Accountants and Industrial Engineers
  • 1941 - Formation of provincial societies in Ontario and Quebec, with the power to grant the newly established professional designation of Registered Industrial Accountant ("RIA")
  • 1948 - Name changed to Society of Industrial and Cost Accountants of Canada
  • 1968 - Name changed to The Society of Industrial Accountants of Canada
  • 1977 - Name changed to The Society of Management Accountants of Canada
  • 1985 - Introduction of the professional designation of Certified Management Accountant ("CMA"), with existing RIAs being grandfathered in
  • 2004 - CMA is registered as a trademark by CMA Canada
  • 2006 - Certified Management Accountant is registered as a trademark by CMA Canada
  • 2007 - Incorporation of the CMA Canada Research Foundation
  • 2009 - Introduction of The National Standard for Public Accounting for Certified Management Accountants to govern the affairs of CMAs that have entered into public practice[7]

A merger was proposed between the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and CMA Canada in 2004, but it did not go beyond exploratory talks. Discussions began again in 2011, this time including CGA Canada.[8]

Competencies, accreditation process and post-qualification development

CMAs are expected to undergo specific training and practical experience to achieve specified competencies in the area of strategic management accounting, which are intended to prepare them for senior leadership roles in their organizations.[9] There are six functional competencies and four enabling competencies in that regard:

Functional competencies

Enabling competencies

While candidates may come from a variety of backgrounds, the CMA career path is expected to progress in the following manner:[9]

Stage Phase Nature
Acquisition Prior to passage of CMA Entrance Examination In process of completing undergraduate studies, or 5-7 years thereafter. Already in junior to middle management level in their organization.
Basic Proficiency Acquisition of the CMA designation and the following five years thereafter Already in middle management level, and progressively gaining more practical experience and responsibility.
Advanced Proficiency 5-10 years post-qualification Early- to mid-career professionals, with most having achieved more senior positions within the middle management layer. A significant number hold introductory senior management positions in their area of specialization or in the organization as a whole.
Mastery 10-25 years post-qualification Late-career professionals, operating in senior management roles. Most are either the highest-ranking financial officers in their organization or financial professionals with specialized knowledge in particular functional areas. A significant proportion of individuals are operating in the desired “C” space - ie, CEO, CFO, CRO or CIO - and some of these are leaders of large enterprises or significant strategic business units.

CMA candidates (without advanced professional standing) must have obtained a university degree and have credits in a specified list of subjects, before they can write the CMA Entrance Examination.[10] Upon passing this stage, they then enter the Strategic Leadership Programme ("SLP"),[11] which has the following components:[12]

  • Development Phase
    • followed by the successful passing of the CMA Case Examination
  • Application Phase
    • leading to the successful preparation and presentation of the Board Report, containing detailed analysis and recommendations on a specified case study
  • Completion of 24 months of relevant full-time progressive practical experience confirmed by the employer - of which at least 12 months must be concurrent with the SLP
    • Candidates are expected to be expanding their on-the-job responsibilities while undertaking the SLP

Successful passage of the above will result in the granting of the CMA designation. After attaining the designation, there are specified requirements for continuous professional learning and development that must be undertaken to remain in good standing.[13]

Relationships with other professional organizations

Strategic alliance

Mutual recognition agreements in effect:[16]

Other relationships[17]

Organization Description
American Accounting Association Member
Canadian Academic Accounting Association Leadership Partner[18]
Consortium of Advanced Management International (CAM-I) Collaboration on accounting research studies
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants members are exempt from taking the CMA Entrance Examination, and can directly enter the Strategic Leadership Programme[19]
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan
Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants
Certified General Accountants Association of Canada
Institute of Internal Auditors

Member societies

Jurisdiction Society/Ordre
 British Columbia The Certified Management Accountants Society of British Columbia
 Alberta Society of Management Accountants of Alberta
 Saskatchewan The Society of Management Accountants of Saskatchewan
 Manitoba Society of Management Accountants of Manitoba
 Ontario Certified Management Accountants of Ontario
 Quebec Ordre des comptables en management accrédités du Québec
 New Brunswick Society of Management Accountants of New Brunswick
 Nova Scotia Society of Management Accountants of Nova Scotia
 Prince Edward Island as for Nova Scotia
 Newfoundland and Labrador Society of Certified Management Accountants of Newfoundland and Labrador
 Yukon as for BC
 Northwest Territories The Society of Management Accountants of the Northwest Territories
 Nunavut as for NWT
 Bermuda as for Nova Scotia
 Hong Kong as for BC
Caribbean as for Nova Scotia


  1. ^ "CMA Canada Research Foundation". http://www.cma-canada.org/index.cfm/ci_id/15475/la_id/1.htm. Retrieved 2011-11-06. 
  2. ^ "Professional Development". http://www.cma-canada.org/index.cfm?ci_id=4602&la_id=1. Retrieved 2011-11-06. 
  3. ^ "Management Accounting Guidelines (MAGs)". http://www.cma-canada.org/index.cfm?ci_id=4614&la_id=1. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  4. ^ "Management Accounting Practices (MAPs)". http://www.cma-canada.org/index.cfm?ci_id=4616&la_id=1. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  5. ^ "Business Resources". http://www.cma-canada.org/index.cfm?ci_id=1885&la_id=1. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  6. ^ Alan J.Richardson (2002-12-01). "Professional dominance: The relationship between financial accounting and management accounting, 1926-1986". Accounting Historians Journal. http://www.allbusiness.com/accounting-reporting/managerial-accounting/404769-1.html. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  7. ^ "The National Standard for Public Accounting for Certified Management Accountants". 2009-09-12. http://www.cma-canada.org/index.cfm/ci_id/2550/la_id/1/document/1/re_id/0. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  8. ^ "Your source for CA-CMA-CGA Merger Information". http://cpacanada.ca/. Retrieved 2011-11-06. 
  9. ^ a b "The CMA Competency Map". http://www.cma-canada.org/index.cfm/ci_id/19412/la_id/1/document/1/re_id/0. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  10. ^ "CMA Entrance Examination". http://www.cma-canada.org/index.cfm/ci_id/4122/la_id/1/document/1/re_id/0. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  11. ^ "CMA Canada Strategic Leadership Program". http://www.cma-canada.org/index.cfm/ci_id/4123/la_id/1/document/1/re_id/0. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  12. ^ "The CMA Canada Accreditation Process". http://www.cma-canada.org/index.cfm/ci_id/4121/la_id/1/document/1/re_id/0. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  13. ^ "The National Standard for Continuous Professional Learning and Development for certified Management Accountants". http://www.cma-canada.org/index.cfm/ci_id/5104/la_id/1/document/1/re_id/0. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  14. ^ "Certified Management Accountants of Canada". IFAC. http://www.ifac.org/about-ifac/membership/members/certified-management-accountants-canada. Retrieved 2011-11-06. 
  15. ^ "CMA Canada and CMC-Canada announce strategic alliance". http://www.cma-canada.org/index.cfm/ci_id/13583/la_id/1/document/1/re_id/0. Retrieved 2011-11-06. 
  16. ^ "Mutual Recognition Agreements". http://www.cma-canada.org/index.cfm/ci_id/17431/la_id/1.htm. Retrieved 2011-11-06. 
  17. ^ "CAAA Partners, Patrons and Donors". http://www.cma-canada.org/index.cfm?ci_id=2545&la_id=1. Retrieved 2011-11-06. 
  18. ^ "International Associates". http://www.caaa.ca/AboutCAAA/PartnersandSponsors/Currentsupporters/index.html. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  19. ^ "Mutual Recognition Agreements and Advanced Standing". http://www.cma-ontario.org/index.cfm?ci_id=7783&la_id=1. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 

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