Nathan Liao, CMA
Nathan Liao is a Certified Management Accountant, entrepreneur, and business leader. After seeing the incredible impact the CMA designation had on his career, Nathan founded CMA Exam Academy to help other professionals experience the same success.
His unique journey began years ago when he was working long hours as a staff accountant – yet struggling to get ahead of his bills. He had a constant feeling that “there must be more.”
Like most people early in their accounting careers, Nathan faced an uphill climb to get out of debt from school and training, and his progress inched along at a 2% annual cost-of-living raise.
For those first few years, he’d make lateral career moves, looking for jobs with slightly better pay or slightly more opportunities for advancement.
Even for these mediocre jobs, there was a lot of competition.
Then, one day, it occurred to him:
“What if I got a credential to make me a more competitive candidate?”
Discovering the CMA
His first instinct, like most people in accounting, was to look into becoming a CPA. Certified Public Accountants are respected professionals and often make above-average pay. He made the smart decision to ask around first, and here’s what he found:
His CPA colleagues were really in the grind, working long hours and focused on highly technical specialties that included auditing or taxes.
Nathan realized he didn’t have an inherent interest in either specialty, and decided there had to be an alternative to the CPA.
That’s when he learned about Certified Management Accounting, and the designation offered by the IMA. At the time, the CMA wasn’t as well-known as it is now, but even then, people were making annual salaries in the six figures.
Diving deeper, he realized that the CMA designation equips people to be strategic business leaders in the accounting function. He was attracted to all of that, and decided that was the right path for him.
A New Path
After earning a CMA, Nathan was promoted to the position of Corporate Controller at his company. He immediately saw a change in this new path and additional opportunities continued to arise.
Using his earnings to obtain financial freedom, Nathan worked towards a lifelong goal: traveling the world.
While pursuing his dreams of fulfilling work and globetrotting, he began to seriously consider how he could use his own journey to help others.
These musings gave rise to the CMA Coach, his first company, and, later, a second company called the CMA Exam Academy. Both businesses had a singular focus: to help people pass the CMA exam and enjoy the same career-boosting benefits he experienced.
Nathan realized the unequivocal access the CMA had given him to pursue his dreams and wanted other people in accounting to have the same chance.
Nathan Liao, a CMA Living the Dream
Over the years, Nathan has grown CMA Coach and CMA Exam Academy into two of the largest and most influential CMA exam test prep companies in the world.
He has helped tens of thousands of students study for the CMA, gaining a credential that can put them on the same path to success he found.
His ongoing drive is to develop the best materials possible that meet people where they’re at and make it possible to achieve more.
Nathan Liao and the CMA Exam Academy team offer one of the most effective CMA review courses you can find online. It includes all the coaching support you need – and a 100% refund guarantee! Learn more about the complete program here.
To hear more from Nathan, check out his podcast The CMA Show, and some of his most helpful articles on the blog:
- How to Become a CMA: 10 Steps to Getting Certified
- CMA Careers: Your Guide to High Paying CMA Roles
- How Long Does It Take to Become a CMA?
- Certified Management Accountant Salary: An Expert’s Guide for 2022
- How Hard is the CMA Exam?