Distinguishing between CGA & CMA


It is helpful to understand the differences between CGA (Certified General Accountant) and CMA (Certified Management Accountant), as both are in-demand careers in the field of accountancy. Not only are they well-paid professions, but they are also considered prolific and highly sought after in the world of accounting. CGA is a designation granted to accountants in Canada who meet the specific experience, educational, and examination requirements set by the Certified General Accountants of Canada. On the other hand, CMA is a designation awarded to individuals who complete a university degree and pass the CMA exam, which focuses on managerial accounting tasks.

What is CGA?

The CGA designation is for Canadian accountants who have met the necessary experience, educational, and examination requirements specified by the Certified General Accountants of Canada. After meeting these requirements, qualified individuals can add the CGA professional designation to their title. CGAs can work in various sectors, including government, finance, commerce, industry, and not-for-profit organizations. Those with the CGA designation are automatically granted the CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant) designation and must use both titles until 2024, after which they can use the CGA title on its own.

What is CMA?

The CMA designation prepares individuals to manage managerial accounting tasks. Before completing the CMA exam, candidates must have a university degree. The exam tests individuals’ skills in analysis, business knowledge, and written communication. A CMA-qualified individual must master functional competencies such as strategic management, performance management, risk management and governance, performance measurement, financial reporting, and financial management. Enabling competencies include problem-solving and decision-making, professionalism and ethical behavior, leadership and group dynamics, and communication.

Key Takeaways

  • CGA and CMA are both in-demand careers in the field of accountancy, with CGA focusing on general accounting and CMA on managerial accounting.
  • CGA is a designation for Canadian accountants, while CMA is a more internationally recognized qualification.
  • Both CGA and CMA have distinct roles, requirements, and focuses, giving them unique identities within the accounting profession.
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen is a talented writer with a flair for developing captivating content in a range of formats. Her commitment to thorough research and producing top-notch material has contributed to over 4 years of professional writing and editing experience. Outside of work, Maria finds pleasure in solitary activities and immersing herself in nature. Her introspective nature and passion for self-reflection inspire her creativity. She believes that spending time alone and observing the natural world can provide valuable insights and foster personal growth, broadening her perspective as a writer.


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