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CGA or CMA for my situation?

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  • Nov 23rd, 2011 4:56 pm
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Newbie
Nov 6, 2011
42 posts
2 upvotes
MARKHAM

CGA or CMA for my situation?

I graduated with a software engineering degree few years ago and now looking forward to change career into accounting.

With my software engineering background, would it be better for me to do CGA? Since they have "information technology" option(MS2, MU1).

Also would it be easier to fulfill job experience requirement for CGA than CMA? CMA requires management accounting experience, so a "business analyst" position may not satisfy CMA job experience requirement? Correct me if I'm wrong.
12 replies
Jr. Member
Jul 29, 2009
198 posts
2 upvotes
vctr288 wrote:
Nov 9th, 2011 2:35 pm
I graduated with a software engineering degree few years ago and now looking forward to change career into accounting.

With my software engineering background, would it be better for me to do CGA? Since they have "information technology" option(MS2, MU1).

Also would it be easier to fulfill job experience requirement for CGA than CMA? CMA requires management accounting experience, so a "business analyst" position may not satisfy CMA job experience requirement? Correct me if I'm wrong.

CMA is pretty lienant on their work reuqirments. I am in year two of the SLP i think a business analsyst woudl fufill most of the rreuqirments., you just fill out a form.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Aug 8, 2011
697 posts
40 upvotes
SCARBOROUGH
Ya i agree with the above poster.CMA is much more lenient when it comes to work experience CGA is such a pain when it comes to work experience and is the hardest of all accounting designations when it comes to work experience. Someone with accounting designation must sign off on your experience compared to none for CMA. I regret doing CGA because of that work experience is pissing me and lot of people off
Deal Fanatic
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Aug 10, 2011
8464 posts
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Somewhere
Become a florist.

There are too many accountants as it is. :(
Jr. Member
Jul 1, 2008
190 posts
11 upvotes
I only know about CMA requirements, and they are pretty good when it comes to recognizing past work experience. When you fill out the work experience requirement there's a lot of sections that are applicable to any field of work - strategy, management, leadership, ethical conduct, etc. There are a couple of sections that deal purely with past accounting and finance experience though.
Deal Addict
Sep 23, 2007
3961 posts
582 upvotes
Pros and cons of CGA vs CMA

-If you have an accounting degree and transfer credits, it'll likely cost less than CMA. For your scenario, you already have a degree. If you start with CGA, you start from scratch which will be expensive as hell. I'm not sure about CMA, but I know a degree is an entrance requirement.

-You can do audits and tax and even open your own firm.

-Related to the above, you COULD open a firm. But you're competing with CAs who generally have more experience and exposure to different industries because they've worked in an accounting firm. For a CGA to obtain the same exposure, you must have worked at a CA firm or a CGA firm. CGA firms are not that common and they generally work in smaller engagements like compilation and small business accounting.

-I don't find the experience portion of CGA difficult but it's hard to compare because most people are EITHER CGA or CMA. It's not like one person joins both to test it out. CGAs will complain about CGA being too hard and CMAs will complain about CMA being too hard. I'm in CGA and I can confirm that although CGAs force you to take audit and tax, you're not required to obtain experience in them to qualify. You basically just need to show progression and hopefully move to a more senior position.

-Even if CMA is easier, keep in mind that it could get saturated. Nothing's free in life. If it's easy, surely many people will jump on it. As supply of CMA surge, their value may decrease. The low requirements may also hurt reputation of the designation.

-CGAs have a bigger presence in non-profit sector. If you want to go in that direction, CGA is a slight advantage as you are more easily mentored by another CGA. But I wouldn't treat this as a big advantage.
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 6, 2011
42 posts
2 upvotes
MARKHAM
Thanks for all the replies. Looks like CMA is the way to go for me.
Transcripts sent to CMA :)
CGA want to charged me over $300 for transcripts evaluation, how cruel :/
Jr. Member
Sep 13, 2008
135 posts
4 upvotes
BananaHunter wrote:
Nov 9th, 2011 7:25 pm
Pros and cons of CGA vs CMA

-If you have an accounting degree and transfer credits, it'll likely cost less than CMA. For your scenario, you already have a degree. If you start with CGA, you start from scratch which will be expensive as hell. I'm not sure about CMA, but I know a degree is an entrance requirement.

-You can do audits and tax and even open your own firm.

-Related to the above, you COULD open a firm. But you're competing with CAs who generally have more experience and exposure to different industries because they've worked in an accounting firm. For a CGA to obtain the same exposure, you must have worked at a CA firm or a CGA firm. CGA firms are not that common and they generally work in smaller engagements like compilation and small business accounting.

-I don't find the experience portion of CGA difficult but it's hard to compare because most people are EITHER CGA or CMA. It's not like one person joins both to test it out. CGAs will complain about CGA being too hard and CMAs will complain about CMA being too hard. I'm in CGA and I can confirm that although CGAs force you to take audit and tax, you're not required to obtain experience in them to qualify. You basically just need to show progression and hopefully move to a more senior position.

-Even if CMA is easier, keep in mind that it could get saturated. Nothing's free in life. If it's easy, surely many people will jump on it. As supply of CMA surge, their value may decrease. The low requirements may also hurt reputation of the designation.

-CGAs have a bigger presence in non-profit sector. If you want to go in that direction, CGA is a slight advantage as you are more easily mentored by another CGA. But I wouldn't treat this as a big advantage.
Majority of job postings say "CA, CMA, CGA preferred" a surge in supply of one designation will end up being a surge in the supply of accountants to most employers. So rather then lower the value of the designation I would say a lower barrier to entry just means less available spots for all accountants. Well CAs could probably still do well, but CMA and CGA definitely eat into each other's market share imo.
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 6, 2011
42 posts
2 upvotes
MARKHAM
A friend of mine refers me for a bookkeeping/accounting clerk position. Basically, it's like AR/AP/Reconciliation/Quickbooks tasks. I'm not sure whether these "clerk" positions will fulfilled the CMA experience requirements or not. What do you think?
Member
May 29, 2008
251 posts
12 upvotes
I know there are quite a few staff in my company's AR/AP department who did their CGAs there, so it will meet CGA requirements.

Not sure about CMAs tho.
Deal Addict
Oct 10, 2008
1394 posts
120 upvotes
Vancouver
Jeez from software engineering to accounting?

Why do you want to make this move?

I'm an accountant dreaming to gtfo and be a software engineer lol.
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User avatar
Aug 10, 2011
8464 posts
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Somewhere
drey2k wrote:
Nov 23rd, 2011 12:41 pm
I'm an accountant dreaming to gtfo and be a software engineer lol.

My dream is to gtfo and be a Playboy talent scout.

But whatever makes you happy, Mr. drey2k. ;)
Jr. Member
Jul 1, 2008
190 posts
11 upvotes
vctr288 wrote:
Nov 23rd, 2011 11:09 am
A friend of mine refers me for a bookkeeping/accounting clerk position. Basically, it's like AR/AP/Reconciliation/Quickbooks tasks. I'm not sure whether these "clerk" positions will fulfilled the CMA experience requirements or not. What do you think?

It will fulfill some of the requirements but likely not all. Those clerk positions tend to be repetitive in nature and you are not really able to work through the full accounting cycle as you are just a "clerk" and not an "accountant". With all that said, it really varies on the job. One clerk position could have a lot more responsibility than others. I would say try to find out as much as possible about the job descriptions beforehand.
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