The Accounting Professionals program is designed to prepare students to sit for the CMA (Certified Management Accountant) exam offered by the Institute for Management Accountants (IMA). Students may ask for departmental approval to study for the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) exam.
The CMA exam focuses on knowledge and skills required for business planning, internal controls, internal reporting and decision-making. CMAs are highly respected and internationally-recognized professionals. CMAs typically begin their careers as cost accountants or business analysts. With more experience, they can become accounting managers, controllers, or chief financial officers.
How is the CMA different from the CPA professional certification? Professionals taking the CMA exam typically expect to work for a business or governmental organization. The CMA is appropriate for those who want to become experts in helping their own organization with business planning, developing internal controls and improving decision-making and internal reporting. CMAs develop their careers from within a business organization. People taking the CPA exam expect to work for a public accounting firm which provides audits, tax advice and consulting to other companies. The CPA is typically an external consultant to the organizations where CMAs work. After several years experience with a CPA firm, many CPAs take jobs with businesses in management accounting or executive roles.
What are the requirements for the CMA and CPA exams? For information about the CMA exam, go to the website for the Institute for Management Accountants. For information about the CPA exam, go to the website for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Is the CMA or CPA exam a part of the MBA program? It is not a requirement of the MBA program that a student pass the CMA or CPA exam. The Accounting MBA program prepares students academically to take the CMA or CPA exam. However, it is the student’s choice and expense to register to take the exam at one of the many testing centers throughout the USA.
How will an MBA affect my future earning potential? A recent compensation survey conducted by the Institute for Management Accountants found that the average salary of its members is about 10% higher with a master’s degree. The IMA also indicates that the average person who passes the CMA (Certified Management Accountant) exam earns approximately 10% more than those who don’t have the CMA. (Source: Annual Career and Salary Guide, 2004)
Is passing the CMA exam equivalent to having complied with off-campus requirements? You demonstrate mastery of the material in each of the four distance education (DE) classes by either passing the University administered examination or passing each related part of the CMA examination.
If you join the Accounting Professionals (AP) Program, you will complete 7 months of MBA classes on the campus of Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa and then participate in up to two years of fully paid practical training with a U.S. company.
During full-time studies, you will receive campus housing, meals, and cash advances of US $200 per month as part of the financial aid package. During the off-campus practical training, you will receive academic credit to complete your MBA requirements. Your remaining courses are taken through part-time distance education on a flexible schedule during evenings or weekends.
As you complete self-study review courses, you are encouraged to arrange to sit for each of the four parts of the CMA exam or CPA exam. Passing the CMA exam or CPA exams is not an academic requirement of the MBA program. Students who sit for the professional examinations will need to follow the requirements of the institutions administering these examinations. Students who choose to take the CMA or CPA examinations will be responsible for all costs associated with those programs.
The Accounting Professionals MBA Program consists of three academic elements: (a) Foundational Studies that provide a solid interdisciplinary framework and subjects in key functional areas to build management capabilities, (b) Advanced Studies that provide opportunities to sharpen knowledge in financial or managerial accounting and related areas, and (c) Practicum Internship through co-operative accounting positions with business enterprises or NGOs to enhance applied business skills.
Beginning with the August 2008 entry group, students need a minimum of 53 units of academic credit across the three elements as follows:
Foundational Studies (18 credits)
The Science of Creative Intelligence (4 units), MBA Forest Academy (2 units) and at least 10 units covering at least five of the six foundational subjects in business administration, i.e., marketing, accounting, finance, operations, information systems, and human resource management. In addition, students will take a course in Career Strategies (2 units) that will train students about what they need to secure a curricular practical training position.
Advanced Studies (26 credits)
Students are encouraged to study for all four parts of the CPA or CMA exams (16 units). Additional advanced courses might include international finance, industry analysis, and lean management, and lean accounting.
Practicum (9 credits)
At least 9 credits of MGT 598A Practicum coincident with Curricular Practical Training (CPT) in a full-time accounting-related position.
The above information is subject to change any time. The content of this page was reviewed in September 2008.