FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Questions? Find the answers to frequently asked questions about the CGMA designation.

The CGMA designation is open to all business leaders who have demonstrated mastery of the technical finance and accounting skills, established themselves as strategic leaders, and committed themselves to the high ethical standards of the profession.
 

Anyone can work to earn the CGMA designation, whether you’re new to business or an experienced business professional. There are multiple paths to earn the CGMA designation. These paths are designed to offer you flexibility to earn the designation, building on your existing knowledge and experience, while recognizing your education and career accomplishments. The various paths to earn the designation share a combination of education, experience, and assessment requirements.  These paths also share a membership requirement; all CGMA designation holders will become members of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, either though the AICPA or CIMA.
 

If you live in North America, Central America, or South America, you will obtain the CGMA designation through the AICPA and become a member of the AICPA. Your efforts to meet the education, experience and assessment requirements will be supported through the CGMA Finance Leadership Program.
 

If you live in Europe, the Middle East, Asia/Pacific, or Africa, you will obtain the CGMA designation through CIMA, and eventually become a member of CIMA. As a CIMA student, you must complete the prescribed CIMA examinations before you are eligible to earn the CGMA designation.
 

Current members of CIMA are automatically eligible for the CGMA designation.
 

Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) anywhere in the world can also earn the CGMA designation through the AICPA.

To earn the CGMA designation through the AICPA, you must demonstrate mastery of the technical finance and accounting skills as well as the business acumen, and strategic leadership abilities outlined in the CGMA Competency Framework. You also need to satisfy the Practical Experience Requirements, with a minimum of three years of relevant, work-based experience. Finally, to qualify for the CGMA designation through the AICPA, you must become a member of the AICPA. Your efforts to meet the education, experience and assessment requirements will be supported through the CGMA Finance Leadership Program.

To become a CGMA designation holder through CIMA, you must first complete the CIMA Professional Qualification. The CIMA Professional Qualification includes nine separate objective tests and their respective cumulative Case Study Exams on 3 levels.
 

Students pursuing the CIMA Professional Qualification must first complete the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting, possess a qualifying university degree or hold another relevant professional finance or accounting qualification.
 

You may be exempt from certain exams in the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting and CIMA Professional Qualification if you hold a relevant degree or qualification.
 

On completion of the CIMA Professional Qualification, (passing all exams and successful completion of your practical experience requirements) you will be awarded the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation and membership of CIMA.

No. They can remain AICPA regular members and obtain the CGMA designation through the CGMA Finance Leadership Program.

The Practical Experience Requirements (PER) demonstrate your ability to apply your knowledge and skills in the context of your professional experience. The Practical Experience Requirements are the same regardless of whether you earn the CGMA designation through CIMA or the AICPA.

To qualify for the CGMA designation, you must provide evidence of relevant, work-based experience, demonstrating a minimum 36 months’ practical experience across the four knowledge areas as defined by the CGMA Competency Framework: Technical Skills, Business Skills, People Skills and Leadership Skills.
 

  • Evidence of your practical experience must demonstrate relevant work addressing at least four (4) competency categories from either the Technical Skills and/or the Business Skills knowledge areas, with at least one competency category from each. Your practical experience should encompass a minimum of 36 months.

    -Half of your practical experience requirement (18 months) may demonstrate relevant work across the foundational, intermediate, advanced and expert levels.

    -The remaining 18 months of the practical experience requirement must demonstrate work experience at the intermediate, advanced and/or expert levels.

  • Evidence of your practical experience must also demonstrate relevant work addressing at least one (1) competency category from the People Skills knowledge area and one (1) competency category from the Leadership Skills knowledge areas.

    -Your relevant work experience from these knowledge areas should be in the context of the Technical Skills and Business Skills and can be gained across foundational, intermediate, advanced or expert levels during the 36-month requirement.

All CGMA designation holders around the world are subject to a uniform set of ethical standards. The AICPA and CIMA bylaws require that all respective members adhere to the AICPA and CIMA codes. Failure to comply with the respective code may result in disciplinary action.
 

The Code of Ethics for CGMA designation holders is aligned with the requirements contained in both the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct and 2015 CIMA Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants. Accordingly, CIMA and AICPA members who hold the CGMA designation and remain compliant with the respective AICPA and CIMA codes will also remain compliant with the CGMA Code of Ethics.
 

Read more about the Code of Ethics for CGMA on cgma.org

To maintain your CGMA designation, you must maintain your membership in CIMA or the AICPA.  You must also ensure that your knowledge and skills remain relevant through continuing professional development (CPD). You are also required to adhere to and uphold a uniform set of ethical standards, outlined in the Code of Ethics.

Yes, as a CGMA designation holders, you need to maintain your AICPA or CIMA membership and pay the annual dues to use the designation.
 

  • If you earn the CGMA designation through CIMA, then you must maintain your CIMA membership and pay annual subscription fees.
  • If you earn the CGMA designation though the AICPA, then you must maintain your CGMA Associate Membership with the AICPA and pay the associated annual dues.
  • If you became a CPA before earning the CGMA designation, then you are required to maintain your Regular AICPA Membership and pay an additional designation maintenance fee for the CGMA.

To maintain your CGMA designation, you must remain a member of CIMA or the AICPA. The cost to maintain the designation depends on your membership.

If you earn the CGMA designation through the AICPA, then you must maintain your CGMA Associate Membership. Details about the annual dues for Associate Membership are available here.

If you are a CPA and you’ve earned the CGMA designation through the AICPA, then the cost to maintain the CGMA designation is $170 per year, in addition to your Regular Membership dues.  If you’re a Regular Member and a member of a state CPA society, then the cost to maintain to CGMA designation is $120 per year, in addition to your Regular Membership and state CPA society dues. Details about the annual dues for Regular Membership are available here.

CIMA members do not incur an extra expense for the CGMA designation, but need to maintain their CIMA annual subscription fee dues, See information about CIMA membership - fees and payments.

In referencing AICPA membership, non-CPA CGMA associate members should use the language, “non-CPA associate member of AICPA.” Regular members who are no longer CPAs should use the language, “non-CPA member of AICPA.”