FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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

Overview | Eligibility and Entry Routes | Pricing | Learning | Case Study Exams | Information for Employers

The CGMA Finance Leadership Program is open to anyone with a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. The program is designed to build on your unique knowledge and experience, and to empower you with new tools and skills to help you earn the CGMA designation. The CGMA Finance Leadership Program offers a variety of entry routes, based on your individual education and career achievements.
 

Do I need to be a CPA to participate in the CGMA Finance Leadership Program?
 

You do not need to be a CPA to participate in the CGMA Finance Leadership Program. The Program is open to anyone with at least a bachelor’s degree. However, if you are a CPA, you only need to pass the Strategic Case Study Exam and meet the experience requirements to earn the CGMA designation.

The CGMA Finance Leadership Program is designed to build on your unique knowledge and experience, and to empower you with new tools and skills to help you earn the CGMA designation. The CGMA Finance Leadership Program offers a variety of entry routes, based on your individual education and career achievements:
 

  • If you are just starting your career, your entry into the CGMA Finance Leadership Program will help you develop a strong foundation in the fundamentals of business, and then build on that foundation with more advanced skills as you progress through the program.
  • If you have studied business and completed a degree in accounting, finance or business administration, your entry route would be a different, starting at a more advanced level, based on your education and experience.
  • Likewise, if you have already earned a professional accounting qualification, such as a CPA, your recommended entry route into the CGMA Finance Leadership Program would reflect that accomplishment. A bachelor’s degree or equivalent is required to start the CGMA Finance Leadership Program.
  • If you’re not sure about your recommended entry route, or have questions about your relevant education and experience, contact our team.

The CGMA Finance Leadership Program features rigorous learning and assessments, to ensure that every CGMA designation holder has mastered the critical knowledge and skills. You must successfully complete all the required learning and assessments associated with your entry route.
 

The online registration process will guide you to a recommended entry route to start the CGMA Finance Leadership Program, based on your unique education and experience. Wherever you start the CGMA Finance Leadership Program, you will have access to entire program for the duration of your subscription. The program’s content covers the gamut of business and finance skills from the essential, foundational knowledge to the most advanced topics.

The CGMA Finance Leadership Program offers a variety of entry routes. The online registration process will guide you to a recommended entry route to start the CGMA Finance Leadership Program, based on your education. Below is a general guideline to help you determine your appropriate entry route:

 

If you have…

You will start at the…

Bachelor’s degree or higher with a major in Accounting   

Strategic Level

Bachelor’s degree or higher with a Finance or any other Business major

Management Level

Bachelor’s degree or higher in any Non-Business area

Operational Level

 

If you have already earned a professional designation or qualification, your recommended entry route would reflect that accomplishment. For example, if you have earned a professional qualification in finance or accounting, your recommended entry route would likely start at the Strategic Level.

The online registration process will guide you to a recommended entry route to start the CGMA Finance Leadership Program, based on your education. The recommendation is designed to ensure that you have mastered the knowledge and skills you need to pass the required assessments and earn the CGMA designation.

You cannot select a more advanced entry route than the one recommended during registration, however, you can elect to start at a more foundational program level.
 

Keep in mind that you are required to successfully complete all learning and assessment, including Case Study Exams, associated with your entry route. Starting at a different entry route will increase the number of exams and assessments you must pass to earn the CGMA designation.  Once you have registered, you will be unable to change your entry route.

Wherever you start the CGMA Finance Leadership Program, you will have access to the entire program for the length of your subscription, from the essential, foundational knowledge to the most advanced topics. Your entry route, however, will determine which assessments you are required to pass to earn the CGMA designation.

If you hold a bachelor’s degree or higher with a major in Accounting, your recommended entry route for the CGMA Finance Leadership Program would start at the Strategic Level. You need to complete the online learning and assessment at the Strategic Level, and pass the Strategic Case Study Exam.

 

Degree

Major

Start Here

Requirements to earn CGMA

Bachelors or higher

Accounting

Strategic     

  • Strategic level learning
  • Strategic Case Study exam
  • Experience requirements

Bachelors or higher

Finance, Business

Management     

  • Management level learning
  • Management Case Study exam
  • Strategic level learning
  • Strategic Case Study exam
  • Experience requirements

Bachelors or higher

Any other than Accounting, Finance, or Business

Operational     

  • Operational level learning
  • Management level learning
  • Management Case Study exam
  • Strategic level learning
  • Strategic Case Study exam
  • Experience requirements

 

If you are a CPA, and are already a Regular member of the AICPA, you are ready to register. You just need to keep your membership active during the program. Active membership is also required to maintain the CGMA designation. For current information on AICPA annual membership dues and the annual fee for maintaining the CGMA designation, please visit the AICPA membership dues page.


If you are a CPA and are not yet a Regular member of the AICPA, you must first fill out a membership application.

If you hold a professional qualification or credential from an accredited accounting body, you may qualify for an accelerated entry route into the CGMA Finance Leadership Program. Several professional qualifications and credentials have been verified against the CGMA Competency Framework. During the online registration process for the CGMA Finance Leadership Program, you will be asked to provide information about your education and experience, including any relevant credentials and qualifications. You will have the opportunity to search this list of accredited bodies and professional qualifications to determine your recommended entry route into the CGMA Finance Leadership Program.

The CGMA Finance Leadership Program is open to anyone with a bachelor's degree or equivalent. When you register for the CGMA Finance Leadership Program, you will be asked to provide information about your education, including any relevant degrees and qualifications. If your academic institution is listed in our database, we only ask that you attest that the information you provide is correct. You are not required to submit official transcripts or other documentation; however, you agree to provide any relevant documentation to verify your credentials upon request. If your institution or qualification is not listed in our database, you will be required to submit your academic transcripts and other related documentation for eligibility review before you can complete your registration. Send this information to TeamCGMA@aicpa-cima.com.

Every path to earn the CGMA designation is unique. The CGMA Finance Leadership Program offers different entry points, so you can start the program at the appropriate point based on your education and experience. Your entry route will determine, in part, how long it takes you to complete the CGMA Finance Leadership Program and earn the CGMA designation.

The CGMA Finance Leadership Program is entirely online and self-paced, so you have the flexibility to work around your schedule and study on your own terms. The CGMA Finance Leadership Program will help you track your progress and guide you through the program. The result is a more effective and efficient learning experience.

While every path to earn the designation is unique, basic guidelines regarding the timeline are below:
 

  • Most candidates should aim to complete each Level, including both the learning and the Case Study Exams, within 9 – 12 months.
  • The average candidate should expect to take 150-200 hours to complete each Level of the CGMA Finance Leadership Program.
  • Your personal learning dashboard will help you to manage your time and track your progress.
  • The Case Study Exams are offered four times a year. We recommend you target an exam window and set aside 4 – 6 weeks to review the pre-read materials and prepare for the Case Study Exam. The results are available approximately 7 weeks after the exam.