CMA or CPA: Which Accounting Certification is the Best in Dubai?

CMA or CPA: Which Accounting Certification is the Best in Dubai?


CPA and CMA are the top players when it comes to accounting certifications. There is no doubt that these two certifications are the ultimate goal for any accounting professional, as they are the key to career advancement and increased earning potential. However, many professionals struggle to choose between CPA or CMA. In the UAE, the finance and accounting industry is experiencing meteoric growth, and this has highlighted the significance of accounting certification in the country. The growing accounting sector has resulted in soaring demand for skilled accounting professionals in the market. With the high competition for certified professionals in the industry, the competition among certification programs has also intensified.

The global prominence of CPA and CMA has made its mark in the UAE as well. Both certifications have distinctive qualities and advantages that make them the financial helm of the industry. While both credentials are suitable for management positions in the accounting sector, their field of operations may differ. In the UAE, both CPA and CMA are given equal importance. However, professionals are still uncertain about whether CMA overlays CPA. How much of this is true? Let's find out in this article. This article will take you through the roots of the CMA and CPA certifications and help you conclude as to which one is better if you are planning to establish a promising career in accounting in the UAE.

What is CMA Certification?

The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) qualification is widely regarded as a gold standard in the field of accounting management, demonstrating a professional's proficiency in financial management. To achieve this credential, individuals must pass the CMA exam and meet the eligibility requirements set by the issuing body, IMA. The exam tests candidates' proficiency in the four major components of management accounting: Business Analysis, Management Accounting and Reporting, Strategic Management, and Business Application. To qualify for the CMA, the IMA imposes certain eligibility criteria that must be met.

  • ➤ Become a registered IMA member
  • ➤ Have a Bachelor’s degree
  • ➤ Pass the CMA exam
  • ➤ Have two continuous years of professional experience in financial management or management accounting

The CMA certification holds significant value among employers in the UAE due to its global recognition. This recognition enables employers to easily identify and distinguish CMA holders during recruitment. With the growth of businesses in the nation, financial transactions have become more complex and demanding, creating a need for certified management accountants professionals. 

What is CPA Certification?

The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification is widely recognized as the global standard for excellence in public accounting, issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Similar to the CMA certification, eligibility for CPA requires passing the CPA exam and meeting specific criteria. The certification holds a high level of credibility, allowing hiring managers and prospective clients to quickly recognize the domain expertise of professionals possessing it. The CPA exam evaluates a candidate's proficiency in Financial Accounting and Reporting, Auditing and Attestation, Regulation, and Business Environment and Concepts. CPAs are highly valued for their expertise in a range of specializations within the accounting field, including audit, compliance, tax, forensic accounting, IT systems, risk management, and fraud examination. Their proficiency makes them an irreplaceable asset to any organization. 

What is the Demand for CMAs in the UAE?

Finance and accounting are two sectors that have experienced tremendous market growth in the UAE after IT. The recent introduction of new tax regulations has resulted in an increasing demand for certified finance and accounting professionals. This has led to a surge in the need for CMAs in the nation, as they possess profound expertise and knowledge in financial analysis, organizational performance measurement, budgeting, strategic assessment, and ongoing stewardship of the company. Their skills and knowledge make companies rely on them for financial decisions, and they are an assurance for companies in their financial management systems. As a result, the demand for CMAs is sky-high in the UAE employment market.

What is the Demand for CPAs in the UAE?

Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) have established a high level of credibility in the finance and accounting industry globally and are highly sought after by companies in the UAE. The recent introduction of new tax regimes has fueled the growth of CPAs in the country. As companies in the UAE adapt their operations and systems to the new VAT and Federal Corporate Tax regulations, there has been a huge demand for CPAs. CPAs not only assist companies in implementing the new tax transformation but also play a crucial role in equipping the workforce with ample knowledge to navigate the changes. Moreover, they play a significant role in helping companies comply with laws and regulations, reducing financial risks, supporting valuation and appraisal initiatives, improving processes, and making critical decisions for the organization.

Which One is the Best: CPA or CMA?

CPA and CMA are highly valued credentials in the accounting sphere, making CMAs and CPAs some of the most in-demand professionals in the finance and accounting sector. Many finance aspirants seek these certifications to build successful careers and earn attractive salary packages. While professionals may choose between CPA or CMA depending on their career goals, CMA is generally more popular. Top training providers worldwide have introduced CMA and CPA courses to help professionals obtain these prestigious certifications and reap the benefits they offer. These globally acclaimed training programs cover the fundamentals of CPA and CMA and prepare professionals to easily pass the certification exams. Both CPA and CMA training have been demanded not only in the UAE market but worldwide.

There is no doubt that CMA and CPA are two of the most powerful accounting certifications in the world. These certifications offer career stability and numerous job opportunities at prominent companies. However, the choice of which certification to pursue depends on the needs of the professional, the company, or even the country. In the past, professionals working in the UAE finance sector showed a preference for CMA. However, with new tax regulations, the trend has changed, and more professionals are opting for CPA, or perhaps both. As the UAE government has recently introduced new tax regimes, the demand for accounting and finance professionals is soaring. This makes the UAE an ideal location for both CPAs and CMAs to prosper in promising and prosperous careers.

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Still, wondering which accounting certification is handy for your career in the UAE? Explore our CMA and CPA courses or get in touch with us at +971 (04) 403 8000, or simply drop a message on WhatsApp.

Learners Point Academy is a KHDA and ISO 9001:2015 accredited training institute in Dubai.

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