- Become a CGMA
The CGMA Finance Leadership Program is a learning journey, and while on it, you’ll learn the skills it takes to become a more strategic, confident and insightful management accountant.
As a CPA, you have an expedited pathway to obtain the CGMA designation, but you still need to master technical finance and accounting skills, understand advanced business concepts and demonstrate strategic leadership abilities. The CGMA Finance Leadership Program was created to help you develop competencies in these areas, and ultimately become a better business leader.
The CGMA program:
- adjusts to you — learn at your own pace and build upon your knowledge and experience
- provides complementary skills and tools you can use immediately
- will prepare you for the case study exam — and any future business challenge you’ll face — with the skills, the experience and the confidence you need
- helps you develop/sharpen competencies that are most sought out by businesses
Get started with the CGMA Program: Request Information
The first AICPA member to pass the CGMA exam, Jessica Glenney, CPA, CGMA, discusses the valuable experience of taking on the CGMA Program, and what earning the designation meant to her and her employer.
The CGMA Program Pathway
CGMA Learning not only provides the technical knowledge needed for the CGMA exam, but also gives you required CPE related to strategic and financial management accounting.
Anchored by the CGMA Competency Framework, the CGMA Program instructs an integrated mastery of technical skills in the context of the business, along with leadership skills.
The CGMA exam is an integrated, comprehensive strategic case study that assesses the competencies required in today’s business environment.
The CGMA designation elevates the profession of management accounting, and proves you’re a financial professional who is at the forefront of today’s management accounting world.
EXPLORE the CGMA designation and its benefits. As part of the world’s largest and leading professional body of management accountants, you have the most relevant qualification for business and your letters showcase your skills and experience globally, connect you to a community of like-minded peers and show you have a commitment to lifelong learning, ethics and professionalism.
PLAY CGMA For a Day. Whether you’re just getting acquainted with the CGMA designation or are ready to take the exam, this immersive, interactive tool lets you experience the CGMA Program. From ranking your competencies and identifying knowledge gaps to familiarizing yourself with the unique exam format, this simulation is a fun way to identify if CGMA is right for you.
DOWNLOAD the CGMA Program Handbook for a comprehensive guide to CGMA Learning, the CGMA case study exam and CGMA Body of Knowledge, the designation and life-long learning.
PURCHASE the CGMA Program: Learning Pathway bundle. It’s the one-click solution that includes all the learning resources you need to progress through the Program, plus the cost of one exam sitting. It’s an end-to-end experience that not only fulfills your yearly CPE requirements, but also firmly moves you along the pathway toward earning the CGMA designation.
CGMA Learning teaches more than just technical knowledge needed for the CGMA exam. It gives you required CPE related to strategic and financial management accounting, which will help you become a more competent and confident business leader.
Anchored by the CGMA Competency Framework, the CGMA Program instructs an integrated mastery of accounting and finance skills in the context of the business, along with leadership skills.
Watch the CGMA Competency Framework video:
The CGMA body of knowledge consists of three main areas of Strategic Management Accounting:
STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION
• Impact of the external environment on an organization
• Understand the competitive environment
GOVERNANCE AND RISK MANAGEMENT
• Risk identification and management
• Identify, classify, evaluate and manage risks that could impede the implementation of strategy
CORPORATE FINANCIAL STRATEGY
• Financial strategy development
• Formulate and implement financial strategy to support the overall strategy of the organization
The CGMA Program: Learning Pathway bundle is the one-click solution that includes all the learning resources you need to progress through the Program, plus the cost of one exam sitting. It’s an end-to-end experience that not only fulfills your yearly CPE requirements, but also firmly moves you along the pathway toward earning the CGMA designation.
To register or learn more, visit AICPAStore.com/CGMAProgram.
The CGMA exam is an integrated, comprehensive strategic case study that assesses the competencies required in today's business environment. Candidates are required to apply theoretical and practical knowledge to a real-world scenario in order to demonstrate their ability to guide business decisions. Learn more below.
The CGMA exam is a computerized case study examination that tests your readiness to apply management accounting knowledge in real-world business situations. It assesses theoretical knowledge, but, more importantly, tests your ability to apply that knowledge in an open-ended format.
You will be given a data set and industry information about a hypothetical organization seven weeks in advance of your testing date. This advance, or “pre-seen,” material will be available to download up until the last day of the exam window.
During the three-hour exam, you will be presented with three to five tasks related to the business case. Along with the tasks, new information may be provided that will change the business scenario and will require you to adapt your answer. Each task must be answered fully in the allotted time, which will be displayed on the screen.
Learn about the unique case study format in this video overview:
Download the CGMA Program Handbook for more information.
CGMA for a Day
Experience the unique format of the exam, and live a day in the life of a CGMA designation holder before you register. "CGMA for a Day" is an immersive, interactive tool that puts you in the management accounting hot seat and provides a high-level feel for the format of the CGMA exam. This simulation allows you to familiarize yourself with the tasks within the exam and complete them in about a half-hour.
See if you have what it takes at CGMAforaDay.org.
The exam tutorial demonstrates the full functionality of the exam. It explains how to answer the various questions/item types, and how to navigate through the exam. The exam tutorial is available in several formats on the Pearson VUE web page.
Results and grading
Exams are graded by vetted management accounting experts. Results will be sent within approximately six weeks of taking the exam. View a graded CGMA exam. This video goes into detail about how exam results are graded and distributed.
Past Exams & Answers
Explore past exams to understand the types of tasks you will be asked to respond to during the exam. You can also view sample answers, how the exams are graded in the Marking Guidance documents, and common trends amongst responses in the Examiner’s Report.
How to register
To start the exam registration process, either click the button below to complete the online form or call AICPA at the number below.
Exam deadlines and fees
The CGMA exam fee is $325, payable at the time of scheduling and registration.
The CGMA exam will be available four times a year during five-day testing windows. You must register before the registration deadline for each testing window, as outlined below. Exams can only be booked for the next available window or the one immediately succeeding. Please refer to the below registration windows schedule:
|Testing Window||Registration Opens||Registration Closes||Pre-seens Released||Scores Released|
Nov 20 – 24, 2018
May 10, 2018
Nov 8, 2018
Oct 5, 2018
Jan 10, 2019
Feb 19 – 23, 2019
Aug 8, 2018
Feb 3, 2019
Dec 14, 2018
Apr 4, 2019
May 21– 25, 2019
Nov 7, 2018
May 7, 2019
Apr 5, 2019
Jul 4, 2019
Aug 20 – 24, 2019
Feb 6, 2019
Aug 4, 2019
Jul 5, 2019
Oct 3, 2019
Nov 19 – 23, 2019
May 8, 2019
Nov 3, 2019
Oct 4, 2019
Jan 9, 2020
Exams cannot be rescheduled once the registration window has closed.
The exam fee is fully refundable up until the registration deadline for the testing window. Once this deadline has passed, the exam fee is non-refundable.
The CGMA exam is administered by Pearson VUE, which has more than 5,100 testing centres worldwide, including more than 2,000 in the United States. During the registration process, you can select the location that is most convenient for you. Find a testing centre near you.
You must present two forms of identification at the testing centre on the day of your exam.
One of the following is required as a primary form of identification:
- Current valid passport (recommended)
- Valid driver’s license
- Government-issued identification card
You will also be required to present a second form of identification with your full name and signature (e.g., a signed debit or credit card). No other forms of identification will be accepted.
View this brief video about what to expect at the testing centre the day of the exam.
If you have a disability as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act and would like to request special testing accommodations, please mention your request when you call to register. View more information regarding special testing accommodations and required documentation.
The CGMA exam is a unique, strategic case study that assesses theoretical knowledge, and— more importantly—tests your ability to apply that knowledge in an open-ended format. To properly prepare for the CGMA exam, there are three phases of learning: competency building, exam strategy and practice. Assess your level of knowledge in each of these phases and plan your learning accordingly. The components of each phase are as follows:
Strategic Management Accounting
This course is comprised of 37 modules of on-line self-study that provide more than 50 CPE credit hours. Topics include enterprise strategy, corporate financial strategy, and governance and risk management. It is an essential resource for CGMA exam candidates.
Strategic Management Accounting Video Summaries
This course is a series of pre-recorded videos that provide an overview of the major components in the Strategic Management Accounting self-study course. The purchase price also includes access to live Q&A sessions with the instructors in the videos prior to the CGMA exam.
CGMA Exam Preparation Review Courses
The AICPA offers both Live and Virtual Review Courses to help you prepare for the CGMA exam:
- The Live Exam Preparation Review Courses are typically offered before every testing window and are moderated by Adrian D. Sims, MBA/MCIM, one of the leading instructors for the CGMA exam. The moderator reviews the themes and issues that will be covered in the upcoming exam, teaches the skills and competencies needed to provide compelling responses and instructs on test-taking tactics and strategies. Candidates who complete the course are eligible for 18 hours of CPE. Highly recommended for CGMA exam candidates.
- The Virtual Exam Preparation Course leads you through a structured methodology for how to prepare for and pass the CGMA exam. It includes three mock exams that are individually graded—an essential tool for CGMA exam candidates. The virtual course is not eligible for CPE. See the most recent CGMA Exam Preparation Video Review Course syllabus.
CGMA Exam – Case Study Guide
This printed guide is designed to provide you with an understanding of the CGMA exam using proven study techniques and examples from the practice exam. It is most useful when used in conjunction with the free practice exam.
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All practice resources are complimentary and can be accessed at any time.
A free practice exam is available to help you gain familiarity with the key features, format and types of questions that will be asked on the case study exam. You may take the practice exam as many times as you wish.
Past Exams & Answers
These are actual exam questions and answers from past sittings that include pre-seen materials, exam questions, scoring guides, sample answers and remarks from the examiner. The past exams and answers are an essential tool to help you prepare for the CGMA exam.
The pre-seen materials for the upcoming CGMA exam can be accessed here. This material provides information about a fictitious organization based upon a real life business or industry and is the basis of the exam.
CGMA Exam Handbook
To learn more about the CGMA Body of Knowledge, format of the exam, study tips and how it is graded, download the CGMA Exam Handbook here.
The CGMA exam is graded based on the four knowledge areas of the CGMA Competency Framework plus integration of that knowledge in the case study. Each of the knowledge areas account for 21-23% of the total score, and integration counts for about the remaining 9%.
Review this page of Study Aids for preparation tips and self-assessment tools.
The CGMA exam is a comprehensive strategic case study that assesses the management accounting skills and competencies required by today’s businesses, as defined by the CGMA Competency Framework. The Framework was developed and validated through extensive employer research and reflects the real needs of the market.
In this case study format, you will have to combine and synthesize knowledge and learning across multiple subjects. The exam tests your readiness to deliver insights and recommendations in real-world business situations. It tests theoretical knowledge, but, more importantly, it tests your ability to apply that knowledge to demonstrate competence in guiding business decisions.
The computerized format will test competencies in a way that takes advantage of improvements in technology and reflects changes in the workplace. The approach allows for testing of a wide range of knowledge and skills including research and analysis, how to present information and communication.
The exam is based on real-world case studies, requiring you to answer open-ended questions. You are given a data set and industry information about a hypothetical organization seven weeks in advance of the exam (example: a toy company with operations in the United States and four other countries).
The current case study (referred to as the "pre-seen materials") will also be accessible electronically during the exam. No outside materials, such as printed pages or notes, are allowed in the testing centre. During the three-hour exam, you will be presented with three to five tasks related to the business case. Along with the tasks, new information may be provided that will change the business scenario and will require you to adapt your answer. Each task must be answered fully in the allotted time, which will be displayed on the screen.
The CGMA exam is offered during four test windows per year, approximately three months apart. Please refer to the Register section for testing windows and registration deadlines.
The CGMA exam differs from the CPA Exam in both purpose and format. The CPA Exam tests the knowledge and skills required to become a newly licensed U.S. CPA. The CGMA exam tests the broad range of skills and competencies that employers require of management accountants, as specified in the CGMA Competency Framework.
The format of the exams is also different. The CGMA exam is one integrated, overarching case study. The Uniform CPA Exam is a four section, 14-hour test consisting of multiple-choice questions, short cases called task-based simulations, and essay responses, all of which directly test content specified in the Uniform CPA Examination Content Specification Outline (CSO). The CGMA exam requires candidates to incorporate, analyse and synthesize the knowledge, skills and competencies found in the CGMA Competency Framework into long form, written answers.
Yes, it is computerized, and you must take the exam at a testing centre. The exam is administered by Pearson VUE, which has more than 5,100 test centres worldwide, including more than 2,000 in the United States. You will have the option to choose a convenient exam location when you register.
Pre-seen materials will be available to download seven weeks before the start of the exam window. These materials will be available during the exam and will consist of:
- A business scenario with background information
- Multiple documents with information relevant to the business problem
If you register for the exam less than seven weeks before your test date, the pre-seen material will be available for download immediately.
You also have access to the practice exam and the exam tutorial.
A strong response demonstrates mastery of each of the four competencies: core accounting skills, business skills, leadership, and people skills. To pass, you must demonstrate the ability to:
- Effectively communicate to different groups of primary stakeholders
- Research and synthesize large amounts of data efficiently
- Make decisions and provide recommendations at a strategic level
- Generate insight from business data, giving appropriate consideration to risks and financial aspects, and
- Understand complex, global business situations
Annual dues for the designation are $180 for AICPA members and $130 for AICPA members who are also members of their state society.
- Earn at least 80 of the available 150 points, and
- Earn either a moderate or strong rating on each of 4 competencies plus integration skills. The 4 competencies are:
- Technical Skills
- Business Skills
- People Skills
- Leadership Skills
To qualify for the CGMA designation through the AICPA, you must be a regular member of the AICPA, pass the CGMA exam and have a minimum of three years relevant, work-based, practical management accounting experience.
Eligible AICPA members must attest they meet the experience requirements when applying to obtain the CGMA designation:
- Minimum 36 months of relevant management accounting experience, as defined by the CGMA Competency Framework.
- Range of experience across at least four (4) competencies in the Technical and Business Skills knowledge areas, with a minimum of one (1) per area.
- Depth of experience with a minimum of 18 months at the Intermediate (or higher) proficiency level as defined in the CGMA Competency Framework.
- Demonstrated work-based experience in competencies from the Leadership or People Skills knowledge areas.
For detailed descriptions of qualifying competencies, please refer to the complete CGMA Competency Framework.
Cost of the Designation
For AICPA members who have passed the CGMA exam and meet the practical experience requirements, the final step in becoming a CGMA designation holder is to submit the application and pay the respective designation fee.
Annual dues are $180.
AICPA members who also carry a state society membership receive a yearly discount of $50, making annual dues with a state society membership $130.
Maintaining the Designation
To maintain your CGMA designation, you must remain a member of the AICPA in good standing and pay the annual fee for the designation.
Continuing professional education (CPE) is required for CPAs to maintain their professional competence and provide quality professional services. You are responsible for complying with all applicable CPE requirements, rules and regulations of state boards of accountancy, as well as those of the AICPA.
There are no additional requirements for CGMA designation holders. Learn more about the relevance and value of continuing professional development here.
Applying for the Designation
If you’ve passed the CGMA exam and meet the practical experience requirements, the final step in becoming a CGMA designation holder is to submit your application and pay the respective designation fee.
Please visit the designation application page for more information and to apply today.