The Institute of Management Accountants said Monday that it has reached a milestone of 50,000 holders of its Certified Management Accountant credential.

In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016, a record number of 3,838 accountants earned the CMA credential. In addition, the IMA reported that 18,761 new CMA candidates enrolled in the program, a 20 percent leap compared to last fiscal year, bringing the number of candidates who chose to join the CMA program in the past five years to 70,000.

“This rise in numbers—as well as respect and influence—confirms that the CMA continues to be the leading global management accounting credential in the world," said IMA president and CEO Jeff Thomson in a statement. “For more than 40 years, we have been building a professional certification program that is a true reflection of the global management accounting profession. We pride ourselves in providing a certification that represents credibility and competence in all of the most crucial management accounting skill sets.”

The CMA exam tests candidates in 11 areas of management accounting, including financial planning and analysis, control, decision support and professional ethics.

The IMA’s CMA credential has been competing in recent years with the Chartered Global Management Accountant, or CGMA, designation offered by the American Institute of CPAs and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. The AICPA and CIMA introduced the CGMA as a joint venture in 2011 and it now has more than 150,000 management accountants worldwide who hold the designation. Many of them were originally grandfathered in without requiring testing, although testing is now required. Members of the AICPA and CIMA voted last month to form an international accounting association, bringing the two organizations even closer together next year (see AICPA/CIMA Proposal Approved in Landslide).

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