CMA: Cost and Management Accountant, is one of the fastest growing professions in India. The commerce students have a few options to choose after completion of senior secondary. As it is a trend in India, students prefer to follow their friends or parents’ advice, and most of them, at least once register for CPT exam of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. Now, nothing to take away from ICAI, as it is one of the best institutes in India making the best professionals, still time has arrived that students could have more than one option. The reason is plain and simple: not everybody can be (and wants to be) a Chartered Accountant.
Cost and Management Accountant is one of the best professions, content wise. While analysing the syllabi, it was found that CMA Institute has included aspects like Operations Management and Advanced Cost Accounting, which makes them perfect material whilst working in a factory. Besides the Cost-Accounting part, CMA has wonderful course content in respect of Taxation, Accountancy, and Auditing.
This article is not meant to compare two professions. Chartered Accountants are pioneer of Indian corporate world, and there is no doubt about that. However, there is ample of space in India for CMA’s. There are so many examples where CMA’s have taken the numero uno position in companies. And the growth of CMA profession has only just begun. There are so many areas where CMA could work and excel.
Let’s consider Cost Accountancy as core competency for any CMA. But besides this, the CMA could work in the field of taxation (both direct and indirect), Financial Management, and Project Management. Besides MBA from reputed institutes and some universities, there are hardly any courses in India which emphasize so much on the need of MIS, Information Technology, Strategic Management, and Operations Management.
However despite the wonderful content, the profession is yet to achieve its objective. This is both good and bad news for the students currently enrolled in the course. Bad, because they could feel down due to lack of opportunities in the current economy. But there is more than one opportunity for the students to excel in the future.
Since India is witnessing certain change in the leadership, there is no doubt that manufacturing sector will be boosted in next few years. Even though I have not analyzed the grassroots level situations and the comments made by the Prime Minister, still it is obvious that when the PM of largest democracy of the world says something, it has to be taken seriously. If the manufacturing industry of the nation grows in similar way as IT sector or other service sectors has done in the past, CMA profession will be amongst the most sought-after academic courses in the nation.
The engineers of CMA course have been far-sighted enough to realize that manufacturing industry will boost up in India some day. This is where the real demand for the professionals will increase. We need CMA’s everywhere in manufacturing, with or without any mandatory laws by the government. With rise of manufacturing sector, more Operations Managers, Store Managers, Inventory Analysts, and Cost Accountants shall be required, irrespective of whether any law requires the factory owners to hire them. The demand for the profession will be due to market, and not due to any particular act. The reason is because not many courses in India are as comprehensive and suited for the Manufacturing Sector, as this particular course is.
I had completed my CFA at a time when service sector in India was booming. I got a good job in an MNC and all we did was to work for foreign clients. This happened even when no law in India asked the MNC’s to hire CFA’s. I was hired due to the market demand. However the situations were completely different some ten years ago, when nobody even knew what CFA acronym stands for.
This is to reaffirm that besides KPO’s, banks, insurance, government jobs, and various other opportunities available today; CMA profession is here to stay and grow. The Institute has been wonderful in catering best possible facilities to the students and the members. It does not mean that the CMA’s will be unemployed till the time manufacturing sector in India starts to pick up; there are so many other areas where they can work. Still, after the emphasis of government on manufacturing industry, the future prospects for CMA’s appear to be brighter than ever.