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A Guide to Cost Management Accounting In India

Cost Management Accounting is one of the most sought out certifications in the business world. To become a Cost Management Accountant in India, you have to become a member of the Institute of Cost Accountants of India and pass the examination. This article will discuss in detail all about becoming a Cost Management Accountant.


The image guides about the cost management accounting in India


What is CMA?


Cost Management Accounting is a certified course for people who are interested in gaining advanced knowledge about the finance sector. It mainly focuses on financial accounting, cost management, corporate governance, and much more.


The Institute of Cost Accountants of India is a statutory body in India that was established in 1959 by an Act of Parliament. In India, this course takes about 3-4 years to complete.


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Cost Management Accounting includes three levels – 

  1. CMA Foundation Level
  2. CMA Intermediate Level
  3. CMA Final Level


Additional information about the details of the course is discussed further in the article.


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Why opt for CMA?

This course is considered a great choice and in some cases a necessity for a promising career in the field of management and accounting. A person with a Cost Management Accounting degree would be regarded as a highly valuable employee for any company that is hiring.


This degree will give you an edge above the rest and give you some valuable skills required to climb the corporate ladder. A CMA certificate in your resume shows that you are not just going to benefit the company in accounting, but you are willing to take on more responsibilities.


Companies trust the employees who can take on business-related projects and are given important roles in the corporation. It is seen that candidates with a CMA degree have a better chance of getting an entry-level job.


It is also seen that a Cost Management Accounting degree allows you to get a high paying job than a candidate with just a bachelor’s degree. All in all, Cost Management Accounting is an extremely valuable course for anyone who is looking to rise quickly in the marketing and accounting field.


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CMA India vs CMA USA


Although CMA India and CMA USA both have almost the same syllabus, there are some differences between the two.

  1. CMA USA is examined by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) which is recognized globally, whereas CMA India is only restricted to India.
  2. CMA US can be completed within 6 months to a year. In India, it generally takes 3-4 years to complete the course.
  3. CMA USA practices the use of US GAAP and IFRS which is globally accepted. CMA India practices the use of IND AS (Indian GAAP) which is the Indian Accounting Standards.
  4. CMA USA requires you to give 2 exams whereas CMA India requires you to attempt 20 papers.


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CMA USA Syllabus:


Part 1. Financial Planning, Performance, and Analytics


External Financial Reporting Decisions

Planning, Budgeting, and Forecasting

Performance Management

Cost Management

Internal Controls

Technology and Analytics


Part 2. Strategic Financial Management


Financial Statement Analysis

Corporate Finance

Decision Analysis

Risk Management

Investment Decisions

Professional Ethics


*CMA India syllabus is discussed further.


CMA India focuses on Indian laws and ethics while CMA USA teaches global practices. If you are looking to work out of India then CMA USA is the preferred course.

In this article, we will talk about CMA India.


Skills required for a cost accountant-


  • Good negotiation skills
  • Computer skills to use various accounting software
  • Communications skills
  • Decision-making skills


Role of a Cost Management Accountant


  • Corporate Decision Making
  • Resource Management
  • Performance Management
  • Financial Reporting & Strategy
  • Optimization of Stakeholder’s value
  • Risk Management
  • Enterprise Governance
  • Audit assurance and Taxation
  • Sustainable Development
  • Corporate Social Responsibility


Job Opportunities


Following are some of the job titles you can get after getting a Cost Management Accounting degree:


  • Management Accountant
  • Financial Analyst
  • Cost Accountant
  • Accounting Manager
  • Senior Accountant
  • Corporate Controller
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Chief Investment Officer




CMA Foundation Level – Students can register for the course after passing the 10th std examinations. Students will only be allowed to attempt the exams after they have cleared their 12th std examinations.


CMA Intermediate level – Students can register for the intermediate course after they have cleared their 12th std examinations. Although they will only be allowed to take the exams after they have completed their graduation.


CMA Final Level – Students are eligible for the final level after they have passed the intermediate level.


When to apply?


Exams are held two times a year in June and December. For June Term examinations, one should apply before December 5 of the previous year and for December Term Examination apply before June 5 of the same year. The timing for applying is generally the same every year.


Where to apply?


ICMAI requires you to fill an online application form on their official website to register. Applicants can fill the form at the following link: https://eicmai.in/students-new/Home.aspx


Following are the addresses of the regional councils with their respective areas:


Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, Daman Diu., Dadra, and Nagar Haveli – Western India Regional Council

“Rohit Chambers”, 4th Floor

Janmabhoomi Marg, Fort Mumbai – 400 001

Email: [email protected]

Web site: www. icwai-wirc.org

Ph: 022-22872010/ 22841138/ 22043406/ 22043416

Fax: 91- 022- 22870763


Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka,  Pondicherry, and Lakshadweep Islands

044-28554443/28554326/28528219 Southern India Regional Council 4, Montieth Road, Egmore, Chennai – 600 008

Email address: [email protected]

Website: www.sircoficwai.com

Fax: 91- 044- 28554651


Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Tripura, West Bengal, Sikkim, Andaman, and the Nicobar Islands, as well as foreign countries.

Harish Mukherjee Road, Kolkata-700 025 Eastern India Regional Council

Email: [email protected]

Ph: 033 -24553418 /24555957

Fax: 91 033-2455-7920


Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, and Kashmir

Institutional Area, Lodi Road, New Delhi – 110 003 Northern India Regional Council 3

Email: [email protected]

Ph: 011 – 24626678 / 24615788

Fax: 43583642




For people of Indian nationality-


  1. CMA Foundation Course – ₹6000
  2. CMA Intermediate Course – ₹22000
  3. CMA Final Course – ₹25000


For foreign students-


  1. CMA Foundation Course – $250
  2. CMA Intermediate Course – $1100
  3. CMA Final Course – $800


The fees can be paid in installments.


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Cost Management Accounting Course Syllabus and Exam Pattern


Cost Management Accounting comprises 20 papers distributed among 3 levels:


CMA Foundation Level-


Paper I- Basics of Economics and Management


Section A – Economics – 50 marks


  1. Basic ideas of Economics
  2. Varieties of Market
  3. Money and Banking


Section B – Basics of Management – 50 marks   


  1. Management Process


Total – 100 marks


Paper-II- Basics of Accounting


Section A – Monetary Accounting Basics – 80 marks


  1. Accounting Basics
  2. Accounting for Special Transactions
  3. Preparation of Final Accounts


Section B – Basics of Cost Accounting – 20 marks


  1. Basics of Cost Accounting


Total – 100 marks


Paper III- Basics of Laws and Ethics


Section A – Basics of Business Laws – 70 marks


  1. Indian Contracts Act, 1872
  2. Sale of Products Act, 1930
  3. Negotiable Instruments Act,1881


Section B – Basics of Ethics – 30 marks  


  1. Ethics and Business


Total – 100 marks


Paper IV- Business Arithmetic and Statistics Basics


Section A – Basics of Business Arithmetic – 40 marks


  1. Arithmetic
  2. Algebra


Section B – Basics of Business Statistics – 60 marks


  1. A statistical representation of Data
  2. Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion
  3. Correlation and Regression
  4. Probability


Total – 100 marks


CMA Intermediate Level-


Paper V- Monetary Accounting


Section A- Accounting (Basics) – 25 marks


  1. Basics of Accounting
  2. Accounting for Special Transactions


Section B- Monetary Statements Planning – 40 marks


  1. Preparation of Profit Oriented Organizations’ Final Accounts, Non-Profit Organizations’ Final Accounts, and Incomplete Records’ Final Accounts
  2. Partnership Accounts


Section C- Royalties, rent Purchase & Instalment System, Branch & division Accounts, Self-Balancing Ledgers – 20 marks


  1. Self-Balancing Ledgers
  2. Royalties, Hire-Purchase and Instalment System
  3. Branch and Division Accounts


Section D- Accounting Standards and Accounting in Computerized Environment – 15 marks


  1. Summary of Computerized Accounting
  2. Accounting Standards (Specified only)


Total – 100 marks


Paper VI – Law and ethics 


Section A- Business Laws – 30 marks


  1. Laws of Contracts
  2. Laws about Sale of Products
  3. Negotiable Instruments Act,1881
  4. Indian Partnership Act, 1932
  5. Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008


Section B- Industrial Laws – 25 marks


  1. Factories Act, 1948
  2. Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972
  3. Employees State Insurance Act, 1948
  4. Payment of Bonus Act, 1965
  5. Minimum Wages Act, 1948
  6. Payment of Wages Act, 1936


Section C- Company Law – 35 marks


  1. Companies Act, 2013


Section D- Ethics – 10 marks


  1. Business Ethics


Total – 100 marks


Paper VII- Direct taxation


Section A- Income Tax Act – 10 marks


  1. Introduction to Income Tax Act, 1961
  2. Income that isn’t included in the total income (Section 10, 11 to 13A)


Section B- Tax Liability, Computation of Total Income and Heads of Income – 70 marks


  1. Computation of Total Income under various heads and Heads of Income
  2. Provisions for clubbing, set-off, and carry-forward of losses, and deductions
  3. Assessment of Profits and tax responsibility of various entities


Section C- Income Computation and Disclosure Standards, Tax Management, and Administrative Procedures – 20 marks


  1. Administrative Procedures
  2. TDS, TCS, and Advance Tax


Total – 100 marks


Paper VIII- Cost Accounting


Section A- Introduction to Cost Accounting   


  1. Cost Book Keeping
  2. Cost Accounting Standards


Section B- Cost Accounting Techniques – 30 marks


Section C- Methods of Costing – 30 marks


Total – 100 marks


Paper IX- Operations Management & Strategic Management (OMSM)


Section A- Operations Management – 70 marks


  1. Operations Management – Introduction
  2. Operations Planning
  3. Designing of Operational Systems and Control
  4. Production Planning and Control
  5. Productivity Management and quality management
  6. Project Management
  7. Economics of Maintenance and spares management


Section B- Strategic Management – 30 marks     


  1. Strategic Management Introduction
  2. Strategic Analysis and Strategic Planning
  3. Formulation and Implementation of Strategy


Total – 100 marks


Paper X- Accounting and Managerial Accounting (Cost and Management Accounting and Monetary Management)


Section A- Cost & Management Accounting and Monetary Management – 50 marks


  1. Cost and Management Accounting – Introduction
  2. Decision Making Tools
  3. Budgeting and Budgetary Control
  4. Standard Costing and Variance Analysis
  5. Learning Curve


Section B- Monetary Management – 50 marks 


  1. Introduction to Monetary Management
  2. Tools for Monetary Analysis and Planning
  3. Working Capital Management
  4. Capital Budgeting – Investment Decisions


Total – 100 marks


Paper XI- ITX


Section A – Customs Laws -20 marks


Section B – Indirect Tax GST – 80 marks


Total – 100 marks


Paper XII – CAA


Section A – Joint Stock Company Accounts 


  1. Accounting of Shares and Debentures
  2. Presentation of Monetary Statements
  3. Cash Flow Statement
  4. Bank, electricity, and insurance company accounts


Section B – Auditing            


  1. Auditing Concepts
  2. Provision about Audit under Companies Act


Total – 100 marks


CMA Final Level




Section A- Companies Act – 60 marks


  1. The Companies Act, 2013


Section B- Other Corporate Laws – 25 marks


  1. SEBI Laws and Regulation
  2. The 2002 Competition Act and its Implications for Company Governance
  3. Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999
  4. Laws about Banking Sector
  5. Laws about Insurance Sector


Section C- Company Governance – 15 marks


  1. Company Governance


Total – 100 marks


Paper XIV – SFM


Section A- Investment Decisions, Project Planning and Control – 25 marks  


  1. Investment Decisions, Project Planning and Control
  2. Leasing Decisions


Section B- Monetary Markets and Institutions – 20 marks


  1. Institutions in Monetary Markets
  2. Instruments in Monetary Markets
  3. Capital Markets
  4. Commodity Exchange


Section C- Portfolio Management and Security Analysis – 25 marks


  1. Portfolio Management and Security Analysis


Section D- Monetary Risk Management- 35 marks


  1. Monetary Risks & Management
  2. Monetary Derivatives – Instruments for Risk Management
  3. Monetary Risk Management in International Operations


Total – 100 marks


Paper XV- SCMD


Section A – Cost Control – 20 marks


  1. Cost Control


Section B – Strategic Value Management Tools and Techniques – 50 marks


  1. Decision-Making techniques
  2. Standard Costing in Profit Planning
  3. Activity-Based Value Management – JIT and ERP


Section C – Strategic Value Management – Application of Statistical Techniques in Business Decisions – 30 marks


  1. Strategic Decision Making Using Operational Research and Statistical Tools


Total – 100 marks


Paper XVI- DIT


Section A- Direct Tax Laws (Advanced) – 50 marks


  1. Tax Management, Return and Assessment Procedure
  2. Grievance Redressal
  3. Penalties and Prosecutions
  4. Business Restructuring
  5. A different aspect of Tax Planning
  6. CBDT & Other Authorities
  7. Income Computation and Disclosure Standards (ICDS)
  8. Black Money Act, 2015


Section B- International Taxation – 30 marks


Section C- Analysis of Case Studies – 20 marks


  1. Double Taxation and Avoidance Agreements [Sec. 90, 90A and 91]
  2. Transfer Pricing


Total – 100 marks




Section A- Accounting Standards and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles – 20 marks


  1. Accounting Standards


Section B- Business Combinations & Restructuring Accounting – 20 marks


  1. Restructuring and Accounting of Business Combinations


Section C- Consolidated Monetary Statements – 20 marks       


  1. Group Monetary Statements (Ind AS)


Section D- Developments in Monetary Reporting – 25 marks   


  1. Recent Trends in Monetary Reporting
  2. Monetary Instruments Valuation, Accounting, and Reporting, among other items (Ind AS)
  3. Share-based payments (Ind AS)


Section E- India’s government accounting – 15 marks  


  1. Procedures and Requirements for Government Accounting


Total – 100 marks




Section A- Indirect Taxation and Practice (Advanced Indirect Taxation and Practice) – 80 marks


  1. Customs Law
  2. Goods and Services Tax Act & Rules
  3. Foreign Trade Policy


Section B- Procedures and Practices of Taxation – 20 marks


  1. Case Study Analysis


Total – 100 marks




Section A- Management Audit – 15 marks


  1. Management Reporting issues under Cost Audit
  2. System, Efficiency, Energy, Propriety Audits
  3. Impact of environmental pollution


Section B – Cost Audit – 35 marks


  1. Cost auditing nature, scope, utility, and benefits
  2. Professional Ethics, Misconduct, Offences and Penalties
  3. Cost Accounting Standards
  4. Cost Auditing and Assurance Standards
  5. Cost Audit Report Format – Main Features


Section C- Internal auditing, operational auditing, and other matters related to auditing – 25 marks


  1. Concept of Internal Audit


Section D- Performance Analysis Case Study – 25 marks


Total – 100 marks


Paper XX- SPBV


Section A- Management of Strategic Performance– 50 marks  


  1. Conceptual Framework of Performance Management
  2. Performance Evaluation & Improvement Tools
  3. Enterprise Risk Management


Section B- Business Valuation – 50 marks


  1. Business Valuation Basics
  2. Valuation in Mergers and Acquisitions
  3. Fair Value in Accounting Measurement
  4. Valuation of Intangibles


Total – 100 marks


Study Material


The study material for all the papers is available for free on the institute’s website in pdf format.


Placement options


ICMAI organizes campus placements for the freshly qualified Cost Management Accountants from the June and December batches. It is generally held in October for the June batch and in March for the December batch.


Placements are held in 4 cities – Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, and Kolkata.


Following is the list of some of the companies which offered job placements in ICMAI:


  1. Assam Brooke Ltd. 
  2. Ashok Leyland Ltd. 
  3. Aparna Carbons Private Limited
  4. Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals 
  5. ART Affordable Housing Finance
  6. Bata India Ltd. 
  7. Berger Paints
  8. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd 
  9. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. 
  10. Castrol India Ltd. 
  11. Coal India Ltd. 
  12. Dunlop India Ltd. 
  13. Ford India Ltd. 
  14. Gail
  15. Genpact Ltd. 
  16. Hindustan Zinc Ltd. 
  17. IDBI Bank 
  18. ICICI Bank 
  19. ITC Ltd. 
  20. Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. 
  21. JK Paper Limited
  22. Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited
  23. MMTC 
  24. Nestle
  25. NTPC 
  26. ONGC Ltd. 
  27. Prism Cement
  28. Reliance Industries Limited
  29. Saint-Gobain
  30. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. 
  31. Tax Connect
  32. Vedanta 
  33. Wipro BPO
  34. Yes Bank


Practical Training


From January 2008, the Institute of Cost Accountants of India introduced a scheme of practical training according to which, students are supposed to undergo 3 years of practical training with various organizations who help students learn about this industry.


ICMAI has partnered with many organizations to enroll its students under the training scheme. ICMAI also arranges for mentoring programs where senior executives teach practical skills required in the industry to the students. A certificate of training needs to be issued by the organization and a completion certificate by the institute.


The objective of the practical training:


  1. Exposure to the work environment
  2. On the job experience
  3. Developing disciplined attitude required by professionals
  4. Awareness of ethical values in the work environment


Recognized areas for training:


  1. Management Accounting 
  2. Accountancy
  3. Monetary Accounting 
  4. Monetary Management 
  5. Auditing 
  6. Regulatory compliances 
  7. Direct Taxation 
  8. Indirect Taxation 
  9. Company Laws, Industrial Laws, Business Laws 
  10. Systems Analysis, Data Technology (including ERP system) 
  11. Project Management 
  12. Banking Operations 
  13. Insurance 
  14. Valuation 
  15. Monetary Services 




1. What is a Cost Management Accountant’s salary?

Freshers on average start with a salary of 7 lakhs per annum if cleared on the first attempt.

2. Are CMAs in demand?

The demand for CMA’s has been on an exponential rise recently in India.

3. How many attempts are allowed for CMA?

The maximum number of attempts allowed by ICMAI is five.

4. Is internship compulsory for CMA?

Yes, all students have to complete their practical training in their CMA Final.


Final Words


Cost Management Accounting certification is a great way to give a boost to your career, now that the process has been made much simpler. The journey of becoming a Cost Management Accounting is still very rigorous and requires a lot of hard work, but the process has been made much smoother by the ICMAI.

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