What Does a Chartered Global Management Accountant Do?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Chartered global management accountant (CGMA) is an international management accounting designation offered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). If you're a management accountant, you may be thinking about earning this credential. In this article, we discuss what chartered global management accountants do, list their job roles and salaries and show you the skills you may develop to succeed as a chartered global management accountant.

Related: How to Become a Certified Management Accountant (With Role)

What does a chartered global management accountant do?

Before exploring the responsibilities of a chartered global management accountant, it's helpful to first explore the definition of management accounting. Management accounting involves collecting and analysing financial data and information and advising management so that they can make key business decisions. Management accountants do work that involves budgeting, forecasting, product costing and other types of financial analysis.

Chartered global management accountants refer to management accountants who have earned the CGMA designation. They have at least three years of management accounting experience and are successful in passing an exam. Here are some job roles of chartered global management accountants:

Advise on corporate strategy

Chartered global management accountants analyse the corporate environment and perform tasks such as evaluating business risk, conducting valuation and managing financial risk. They use the information gathered to plan and devise a financial strategy for management. They may also advise on mergers and acquisitions, identify business trends and opportunities and perform risk control functions.

Related: Corporate Certifications: 5 Best Credentials To Have

Manage company investments

Chartered global management accountants manage the company's investments in line with the financial strategy. They analyse the competitive environment and execute the company's investment projects. This may involve advising on product pricing, managing cost to ensure competitive advantage and designing budget management systems.

Oversee or perform accounting operations

In larger companies, chartered global management accountants may supervise a team of accountants who perform basic accounting tasks such as tracking income and expenses. This information is used to prepare reports such as company accounts and financial statements. In smaller firms, chartered global management accountants may undertake these tasks themselves. They may also perform analysis in forecasting, budgeting and performance evaluation.

Related: What Does a Management Accountant Do? (With Skills)

How can I become a chartered global management accountant?

If you're interested in becoming a chartered global management accountant,you have a few different pathways you can pursue. You can earn the chartered global management accountant (CGMA) designation from several institutions, depending on where you live and work. To qualify, you need at least three years of relevant work experience.

In Singapore, CIMA Singapore offers the CGMA designation. On completion of the CIMA qualification and becoming a CIMA member, you also earn the CGMA qualification. According to CIMA Singapore, there are two routes available. You can choose the self-directed learning route to earn the CIMA professional qualification or enrol in the CGMA Finance Leadership Program for a fully guided study programme. Both of these require passing an exam, which involves completing three to five management tasks within three hours.

Related: What Are Professional Qualifications in Singapore?

What does the CGMA exam focus on?

The CGMA exam expects candidates to possess skills in several areas. It assesses aspiring management accountants on both their job knowledge and soft skills to determine if they have the required competencies. It also rates them on their level of proficiency in these skills. The four levels of proficiency are foundational, intermediate, advanced and expert.

Here are some competencies that the CGMA exam focuses on:

  • Technical skills: Technical skills cover areas in financial accounting reporting, cost accounting and management, business planning, risk management and tax strategy. The exam requires candidates to gather, process and analyse information related to these areas effectively.

  • Business skills: Business skills relate to strategy, business models, market and regulatory environment, project management and macroeconomic analysis. Candidates use their knowledge of these areas to draw insights into strategic positioning and future opportunities.

  • People skills: People skills include aspects such as influence, negotiation and decision-making, communication and collaboration. Aspiring CGMAs use these skills to communicate effectively and influence management decisions.

  • Leadership skills: Leadership skills encompass team building, coaching and mentoring, driving performance, motivating and change management. The exam assesses leadership skills at the peer, functional and strategic levels.

  • Digital skills: Digital skills include information and digital literacy, problem-solving, data strategy, data analytics and data visualisation. Digital skills are increasingly important for CGMAs to keep pace with technological advances in a digital world.

Related: Corporate Certifications: 5 Best Credentials To Have

Advantages of acquiring a CGMA

Management accountants may pursue a CGMA designation for several reasons. Acquiring a professional qualification such as the CGMA may show employers that you're serious about this profession. It may also be a useful credential to add to your CV.

Here are some possible advantages of pursuing a CGMA designation:

  • Increased job opportunities: A CGMA credential may open up increased and more senior job prospects in the finance field. Employers may see the value that chartered global management accountants can add to their organisation.

  • Higher salaries: Chartered global management accountants may earn higher salaries compared to their peers. They may also earn pay raises after gaining the credential.

  • Increased competitive advantage**:** With a globally recognised qualification, chartered global management accountants have an increased competitive advantage. Putting a CGMA designation on your CV may strengthen your resume and open up more job opportunities.

  • Faster career advancement: Chartered global management accountants may enjoy a faster pace of career advancement. They may earn senior positions earlier than their peers.

  • Improved skill sets: As the CGMA exam covers a range of financial skills across different areas, management accountants who acquire this designation may improve on their skill sets and gain new skills helpful to their career.

Related: Professional Qualifications vs. Academic Degrees: A Guide

How much do chartered global management accountants earn?

The average base salary for a chartered global management accountant is $210,000 a year. Salaries may vary according to the company's size, years of work experience and whether the job role is at a managerial or leadership level. Those who have more experience or who lead a team may earn more.

Related: How Much Do Chartered Accountants Make? (With Skills)

What skills do chartered global management accountants require?

Companies depend on chartered global management accountants to provide guidance on critical business decisions and drive business success. Successful chartered global management accountants have an excellent job knowledge of management accounting. They also require other skills in areas such as strategy, operations and management.

Here are some skills of successful chartered global management accountants:

Strong numbers skills

Chartered global management accountants are skilled in analysing numbers and data. They have an aptitude for breaking down complex numbers and data to draw conclusions and make financial strategy recommendations to management. They also have a firm foundation in accounting skills and keep up to date with accounting guidelines and conventions.

Sharp business acumen

Successful chartered global management accountants have a sound business sense grounded in finance and economics. As they evaluate available investment options, they use their business acumen to plan strategies that best fulfil a company's business goals. They consider the overall business direction when they help management make financial decisions.

Related: 8 Accounting Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

Communication and negotiation skills

Chartered global management accountants require good communication and negotiation skills. They use their communication skills to present their financial recommendations to management. They may persuade management on the feasibility and reliability of their ideas. Sometimes, they may also negotiate with management on certain aspects of their proposals.

Leadership and management skills

Chartered global management accountants may move on to more senior roles after earning the CGMA designation. They may lead a team and oversee the accounting function for companies and require leadership and management skills to perform their roles effectively. They may also require skills in people management and change management.

Related: Top 10 Accounting Skills To Include in Your Resume

Comparing CGMA vs. CMA

The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) is another global designation issued by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). Candidates pass a CMA exam and accumulate two years of management accounting experience before receiving the credential. The CMA exam tests candidates' command of accounting and financial management skills in areas such as planning, analysis and professional ethics.

CMA started in the 1970s while CGMA is a relatively newer credential created in 2012. Both CMA and CGMA require passing exams and years of work experience. They also require aspiring management accountants to be a member of the respective associations. Whether you choose to pursue CGMA or CMA depends on your career goals needs, commitment level and resources. Some employers may prefer one designation over the other, so consider researching companies you want to work at to help you decide which one is right for you.

Salary figures reflect data listed on the quoted websites at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location. Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Explore more articles