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Training is a major part in a professional's curriculum, be it CA, CMA or CS.

It is considered to be the golden period in a professional student's life. Training is when a student puts all the subjects learnt into practical use, learns the intricacies of all the subjects, learns to deal with various situations and prepares to become a complete professional.

While training in CA course is called articleship and a student is expected to complete 3 continuous years of articleship, CMA course offers a student flexibility in completing the required 3 years of training.

The difference being under CA course, 3 full continuous years is required to be completed to be eligible to sit for final examinations whereas in CMA, 15 months is required to be completed before final exam result declaration and balance 21 months to be completed so as to be eligible to obtain membership with the Institute post qualification.

This comparison is done just for a better understanding and with no other intention by the author and for the readers.

Everything about CMA Training

Let us understand elaborately the requirements under CMA course

CMA training emphasizes on

  • Developing skill-sets to apply knowledge in various professional fields
  • Gaining practical exposure in various organizational structures
  • Developing employable and future-ready professionals

ICAI (CMA) goes on to provides flexibility to students in choosing an organization to pursue the said training. Employment in an MNC is also considered to fulfil the criteria of training.

The eligible organizations where a student can pursue training:

  • Cost accountants firm
  • Central government/State Government
  • Financial institutions / Banks
  • Public sector Undertakings
  • Universities
  • Co-operative societies
  • CA/CS firm having a management consultancy division
  • Any organisation with a turnover of Rs. 25 Lakhs – service sector; Rs. 50 Lakhs – other than service sector.

A student can also choose to be a part of any department among the following and satisfactorily complete training requirement:

  • Management accounting
  • Cost accounting
  • Financial accounting
  • Financial management
  • Auditing
  • Regulatory compliances
  • Direct taxation
  • Indirect taxation
  • Law
  • Banking
  • Insurance
  • Insolvency and valuation
  • Teaching finance, costing, taxation and management
  • Management consultancy
 

The Institute so allows the student to choose an area of interest to carve a career path early on itself. A student can choose a type of organization and department based on interest and future post-qualification goals.

The 3 year training requirement is also broken down reducing the gap between intermediate exams and final exams, encouraging students to move forward.

  • As per old training scheme, a student is required to complete 6 months of training to be eligible to register for final examination. The balance 2 and a half years can be completed anytime between appearing final examinations and early post qualification years.
  • As per new practical scheme-2020, a student is required to complete 10 months of training 4 months before final exam month* and 15 months of training before final exam result declaration of both or balance group**. The balance 21 months is required to be completed so as to be eligible to obtain membership from the institute post qualification.
 

This way the gap between intermediate and final exam is reduced allowing the student to take up final exams studies without loosing touch with books.

A CMA student becomes eligible to start training once he/she registers for intermediate level. So one need not wait to clear one/both groups of intermediate to start training.

This is particularly beneficial for those students who join CMA course while being employed.

Author's suggestion: For students taking up CMA immediately post 12th standard/degree it is suggested to wait to till completion of both groups of intermediate to take up training. Intermediate level will invariably be the first level a student is introduced to in CMA course. It is essential that the students get a good hang of the subjects at Intermediate level itself. For this it is important that the student spends time for classes and studies instead of multi tasking with work and studies. Also there are more opportunities in the job market for a CMA inter pass than a CMA inter registered.

 

We have covered the eligible organizations & departments, period of training and eligibility to start training.

Let us put together all the information and draw up the suggested pathways for a CMA student:

1. Join CMA course immediately post 12th or in 2nd/3rd year of degree
-> Take up foundation level and qualify the same
-> Register for intermediate level
-> Take up classes and prepare well
-> Qualify both groups of Intermediate level
-> Join a CMA firm for a period of 10-15 months. Gain exposure of a practising CMA in the field of management consultancy, cost audit , direct & indirect taxation.
-> Parallely register for final level and take up final classes.
-> On completion of the required term take up final examination.
-> On qualifying final examination take up employment in the organisation of choice and in the department of choice.
-> after completion of balance 21 months of employment obtain membership with the institute.

2. Join CMA course immediately post 12th or in 2nd/3rd year of degree
-> Take up foundation level and qualify the same
-> Register for intermediate level
-> Take up classes and prepare well
-> Qualify both groups of Intermediate level
-> Take up employment in organization of choice and department of choice
-> Parallely register for final level and take up final classes. Whenever eligible take up final exams.
-> On qualifying final, grow up the ladder in the same organization.
-> On completion of balance 21 months of employment obtain membership with the institute.

In case of direct entry scheme, the steps would remain the same except the foundation step.

In suggestion 1, the student gets exposure to a practising CMA's world. A trainee gets the opportunity to handle various departments and interact with the client. One should be open to working hard and for long hours as there would be several deadlines to satisfy.

In suggestion 2, the student gets to start employment immediately post intermediate. This allows the student to get a thorough understanding of the corporate world even before qualifying and grooms self for building a career in the corporate world. The student gets exposure in the department of choice. This suggestion is for those students who are very clear of joining the corporate world as an employee post qualification.

The various flexibilities offered under CMA encourages employed commerce professionals to take up CMA course without having to discontinue their employment. Such students mostly work and study parallely. As bonus points, the knowledge they gain while preparing for CMA exams aids them perform well at work.

Author's suggestion: Students taking up employment and professional course studies parallely tend to take up more time to complete the course and qualify final exams. This is due to work pressure and difficulty in multi tasking between work and studies. Let us all say to ourselves that though it is difficult it is not impossible. A little time management and some co-operation from your manager for a period of 1.5 years can work wonders. Definitely it calls for some hard work but the harder we work the shorter the period of multi-tasking will be.

Now let us look at the benefits of obtaining membership with ICAI (CMA):

  • Can sign reports and forms as a CMA
  • Name inserted in the Register of Members of the Institute. Hence, you become a recognized qualified professional. (the idea of writing and passing all exams is to be a part of the esteemed institute)
  • Benefits from the Institute as a member – access to CPE courses and webinars to enhance your skills,
  • Cast your vote in council elections
  • Can serve the Institute as a council member
  • Can stand for presidential elections

These benefits remains the same across all 3 professional institutions.

Coming to an end of this article, Some key take-away are:

  • Training is an integral requirement to qualification and requirement.
  • Membership is the ultimate goal to taking up a professional course.
  • Some hard work takes us wonders. 

All success to all readers!


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Category Students, Other Articles by - Mrudula M,Co-founder-KaizenEdu 



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