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CA vs CMA - which one is a better career option ?

Choosing between becoming a Chartered Accountant (CA) and a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) depends on several factors. Your career goals, interests, strengths, and the industry you wish to work in – all of these are key decision-making parameters. Both the course comes with its own pros and cons. Here we have gathered a detailed overview that can help you to understand which one will be the best choice for you.

Chartered Accountant (CA):

As we all know a Chartered Accountant is a person who specializes in accounting, taxation, audit, and financial management. To be a chartered accountant you need to face many challenges. Typically the course involves three stages: CA foundation, CA Intermediate, and CA final. It takes immense hardwork, dedication and consistency to clear all the levels and become a chartered accountant. Looking at the statistics, only a few aspirants can actually become Chartered Accountants; otherwise, many aspirants end their journey as half CAs.

Here are some key points to consider before you start your journey as a CA aspirant:

  1. Good Career Scope:

Though it is very much challenging to clear all of those rigorous exams; once you become a CA, a lot of career opportunities are unlocked. You can be hired for several job roles such as auditing, taxation, financial advisory, management consultancy, and more.Securing a desired job will be much easier. You can work in corporate sectors or may work at govt. sectors.

  1. Global Recognition:

The CA designation is recognized internationally, and it is one of those highly respected professions. If you are planning to settle abroad, it won’t be an issue for you to secure a good job there.

  1. Diversity:

Apart from industrial jobs, CA’s can also choose to be lecturers in the universities or even can start their own practice.

  1. Social Recognition:

The CA designation carries a certain level of prestige due to the rigorous training and examination process.


Certified Management Accountant (CMA):

A Certified Management Accountant is a professional who focuses on management accounting, financial planning, analysis, and decision-making within organizations. CMAs typically work closely with management to provide insights for strategic planning. The designations after becoming a CMA can be:

  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
  • Financial analyst
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Accountant
  • Senior financial analyst
  • Chairman
  • Academic and pedagogical
  • Managing Director
  • Financial manager

Here are some key points about the CMA designation:

1. Strategic Focus:CMAs are specialized financial and managerial skills such as financial analysis, performance management, and strategic planning. All the critical management decisions or company goals analysis are performed by them.

2. Industry Relevance: CMAs are particularly relevant in industries where strategic financial planning and analysis are paramount, such as manufacturing, healthcare, technology, and consulting.

3. International Perspective: The CMA designation is also recognized internationally, making it a viable option for those interested in a global career.

4. Career Growth: CMAs often find themselves in leadership roles due to their focus on strategic financial management. This can lead to opportunities for advancement and increased responsibility.

CA vs CMA - Comparison




Exams are controlled by

The Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICMAI) conducts the national-level CMA Foundation exam in an offline centre mode.

Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)



The total number if CMA papers under the mew syllabus will be 20.


4 papers under foundation


8 papers under Inter


8 papers under final


The total number of CA papers under the new syllabus will be 20.

4 papers under CA foundation

6 papers under CA inter

6 papers under CA final.

Apart from these 16 papers; remaining four papers will be self paced learning module.

Difficulty level



Pass rates


Around 8-12%

Duration of the course

3-4 years


Around 5 years

Salary difference 

Entry-level CMA: 4-7

lakhs per annum

Entry-level CA: 6-7

 lakhs per annum

The above-mentioned difference is clear enough to understand the key aspects of both courses. As said earlier, each has its own pros and cons such as the entry-level salary of a CA is better than that of a CMA but check the pass rates and difficulty levels. It must be your call which course to choose as your career option. If you want any expert guidance, you can contact Bhagya Achievers. To solve these kinds of problems, we have introduced Counselling Call Programme where you can discuss your issues with experienced mentors. They will guide you and help you take the right path of your career. Just buy a call and discuss with a mentor. You can also discuss – New syllabus guidelines, exam timings, book recommendations, mock tests and much more.

In conclusion, there's no one-size-fits-all answer to whether CA or CMA is a better career option. It depends on your individual strengths, aspirations, and the industries you're interested in.