Summary of 2024 Changes to the CMA

Summary of 2024 Changes to the CMA Exam

Are you ready to start studying and preparing to take the CMA exam in 2024? That’s great! The IMA has implemented some changes to the content of the exam beginning on September 1, 2024, which are outlined in the latest Learning Outcome Statements.

According to the IMA, the governing body responsible for CMA certification, the exam’s content is “regularly reviewed to ensure that current topics are appropriately updated and relevant to business practices. The updated exam more closely aligns with the knowledge, skills, and abilities that an accountant or financial professional in business uses on the job today.”

The IMA performs regular job analysis studies and updates the content accordingly. This means that the information covered will be more relevant to the career paths you can choose as a CMA.

While the changes should be noted and accounted for, no major topics are being added or removed. Still, I will take you through all of the changes today so you can be 100% prepared to study and pass your CMA exam.

Section Name Changes

First, I want to bring some section name changes to your attention. All of the name changes are in Part 2 of the exam, and the names are changed slightly to be more specific to business topics.

Part 2, Section C was called Decision Analysis, but in 2024, it will be renamed as Business Decision Analysis.

Part 2, Section D was called Risk Management, but starting in 2024, it will be referred to as Enterprise Risk Management.

Part 2, Section E was known as Investment Decisions, but now will be called Capital Investment Decisions.

To sum up these changes:

2C: Decision Analysis –> Business Decision Analysis

2D: Risk Management –> Enterprise Risk Management

2E: Investment Decisions –> Capital Investment Decisions

As you can see, these updates simply make the sections more relevant to business settings.

Next, I’ll walk you through the specific additions and deletions in the 2024 Learning Outcome Statement (LSO).

CMA Exam Part 1 Changes

Many small changes are coming to Part 1 of the CMA Exam. Let’s get into them.

Consolidated Financial Statements

In Section A.1., the IMA added information about consolidated financial statements.

From the LSO:

With respect to consolidated financial statements prepared under U.S. GAAP, the candidate should be able to:

  • define consolidated financial statements
  • define the two types of consolidation models: variable interest entity model and voting interest model
  • demonstrate an understanding of the three types of consolidation accounting: full consolidation, proportionate consolidation, and equity consolidation
  • demonstrate an understanding of intracompany balances and transactions that should be eliminated in consolidation

Contribution Margins

In Section C.2., on responsibility centers and reporting segments, two points were added in regard to contribution margins:

  • calculate a contribution margin
  • analyze a contribution margin report and evaluate performance

Types of Costs and Cost Behavior

In the Measurement Concepts section, a simple update changes “Cost Behavior and Cost Objects” to “Types of Costs and Cost Behavior.”

Process Costing and Other Costing Systems

In section D.2, Process Costing was removed. This is considered Level A knowledge and is covered under the new “Other Costing Systems” section.

Corporate Overhead

In section D.3., the language has changed from “plant-wide overhead” to “corporate overhead.”

Theory of Constraints

In Section D.4., the theory of constraints is no longer covered.

Business Process Improvements

In Section D.5., there are three changes. Both “activity-based management” and “efficient accounting practices” were deleted, and “best practice analysis” was updated to “benchmarking and best practice analysis.”

Governance, Risk, and Compliance

In Section E.1., two topics were added: “testing methods for internal controls” and “control deficiency remediation.”

Data Management

In Section F.2. on data governance, topics related to data management were added.

Data Analytics

In Section F.4., “Data Analytics” was updated to “Types of Data Analytics” and now asks the test taker to:

  • explain the challenge of fitting an analytics model to the data
  • define the different types of data analytics, including descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive

CMA Exam Part 2 Changes

Next up, here are the small changes coming to the CMA Exam Part 2.

Comparative Financial Statement Analysis

In Section A.1., the subtopic description was updated from “Basic Financial Statement Analysis” to Comparative Financial Statement Analysis.” With the financial statement analysis, CMA candidates should be prepared to perform financial trend analysis – a new topic in 2024.

Special Issues

In Section A.4., one small update was added. The topic of “impact of foreign operations” was changed to “impact of foreign exchange rates on financial statements.”

Financial Risk and Return

In Section B.1., the subsection heading was updated from “Risk and Return” to “Financial Risk and Return,” and the types of risk are now specified as “types of financial risk.”

Raising Capital

In Section B.3., the LOS has three updates. The language was updated from “financial markets and regulation” to simply “financial markets,” and an understanding of debt financing vs. equity financing is now included. Lastly, market efficiency will not be covered, but it is still in the LOS, and CMAs should be able to speak to that topic.

Working Capital Management

In Section B.4., CMA hopefuls will be asked to calculate net working capital along with defining working capital and its components.

Pricing Elasticity

In Section C.3., the IMA asks exam takers to calculate the “price elasticity of demand”; in previous versions of the test, this was known as “elasticity of demand.”

Capital Budgeting Process

In Section E.1., the exam will ask students to:

  • explain why a discount rate specifically adjusted for risk should be used when project cash flows are more risky or less risky than is normal for a company or business unit

This is a new element in this section.

Capital Investment Analysis Methods

In Section E.2., a new section on sensitivity analysis is covered.

Business Ethics

In Section F.1., moral philosophies will no longer be covered. However, identifying and explaining types of business fraud has been added.

Ethical Considerations for Management Accounting and Financial Management Professionals

In Section F.2., the change is simple. The governing body’s new ethics statement title is “The IMA Statement of Ethical Professional Practice.”

Ethical Considerations for the Organization

In Section F.3., SMA values and ethics are no longer covered. However, CMA candidates should now be able to “define data ethics and explain the principles of fairness, privacy, transparency, ownership, and accountability with respect to how companies and artificial intelligence (AI) models use and maintain the data they collect.”

Be Fully Prepared for the CMA Exam in 2024

As you can see, the changes to the CMA exam in 2024 aren’t dramatic, but they are still important to be prepared for.

If you’re ready to begin studying for the new CMA Exam beginning in September 2024, my 16-Week Accelerator Course has everything you need. In fact, CMA Exam Academy students have a 92% exam pass rate–far above the 50% total pass rate.

Have any questions about these updates? Leave a comment below, and I’ll answer ASAP.

Nathan Liao

Hi, I’m Nathan Liao (aka the CMA Coach)! For the last 10 years, over 82,000 accounting and finance pros came knocking at my door seeking guidance and help. If you’re also aiming to conquer the CMA exam on your very first try—without wasting away time or money—you’ve found your ultimate guide. Dive in deeper to discover more about me and the dedicated team that powers CMA Exam Academy. Click here and let’s embark on this journey together!

6 Comments on “Summary of 2024 Changes to the CMA”

  1. Hi Nathan,

    I plan on taking the CMA exam in the fall or early 2025, will the new exam study topics be available in the prep course if I order within the next 1-2 weeks? I don’t want to order exam material now and it doesn’t cover the new exam topics that will be applicable starting fall 2024.

    1. Hi Japheth,

      Yes, we’ve provided our current students with the updated content. Our new 2024 edition textbooks also cover the changes effective from September. So if you enrol now, you’ll have access to the most up-to date study material.

      To learn more about my program, click on this link to direct you to our website: 16-week Accelerator Program.

      If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out again.

  2. Hi Nathan,

    Really appreciated for giving us the summary of changes in CMA syllabus.

    My question is that are these changes already covered in your books (both parts)?

    Mr. Q

    1. Hello,

      I’m glad you found this article helpful.

      The 2024 edition mirroring the changes will be available in 1-2 weeks. If you purchase the textbooks now, we’ll send you the updates in a PDF this month, as most of the original material will still be relevant for the exam preparation.

      If you have any other questions please feel free to hit reply.

  3. Good day, coach Nathan! I am currently on my last yr on college and I want to take the CMA. I am currently taking BS in Management Accounting. Can I Enroll with you even if my Diplmona will be on July? and can you help me to apply on IMA?

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