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CMA VS CS – Which Is Better?

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CMA VS CS: Are you currently at one of those pivotal stages in life where you have to make a crucial decision regarding your career that will affect your life for at least the next few years? Remember when in school you had to choose between science, commerce and humanities and that seemed like such a difficult task. Looking back, that probably feels like a piece of cake compared to where you are now. 

CMA & CS, both are excellent choices for a successful and fulfilling career and offers tremendous opportunities. CMA offers in-depth knowledge of accounting and cost management whereas CS focuses on corporate law and corporate secretaries. 

Confused about which path to take? 

All you need is knowledge about the two professions to make the right decision for yourself. 

That is why we bring you this blog so we can go through all the important details about the two professions; course details, scope and demand, salary in India, career prospects and in the end, a little comparison to make the picture clearer. 

So, let’s first have a brief look at both and learn what they are about! 

Cost And Management Accountant

CMA stands for – Cost And Management Accounting

Cost and Management Accounting is among the most promising qualifications in the financial sector in India. ICMAI – The Institute of Cost Accountants of India, is the professional statutory body for regulating the profession of CMA in India. 

CMAs who work for businesses or other corporations control all financial decisions and budgeting; they also choose how much to pay employees, create budget sheets, and take care of the firm’s overall cost. In essence, everything is related to money and costs. 

Recently, CMA certification has become extremely popular. It is an extremely practical education for someone looking for employment in this field. It offers a very strong revenue stream, many prospects for progress, a wide range of fields to choose from, and a great deal of respect.

To become a CMA in India, a student has to complete the CMA course offered by ICMAI. The CMA course consists of three levels of examination namely CMA Foundation, CMA Intermediate, and CMA Final. 

CMA Course Details

Levels in course 3 Levels
Duration of course 3-4 years
Conducting Body ICMAI
Minimum eligibility 10 + 2 Qualification

CMA Online Classes

Company Secretary

CS stands for – Company Secretary

A company secretary is the one who handles all legal aspects of the company. He is also responsible for maintaining and auditing tax returns, advising the company on its financial health, and making sure that the company complies with legal and statuary regulations.

CS Course involves three levels of studying namely the CS Executive Entrance test, Executive Program, and Professional Program. A candidate has to complete all these levels i.e. study the syllabus and pass the examination for all three levels to become a CS.

In India, the profession of Company Secretary is regulated by ICSI – The Institute of Company Secretaries of India. Students have to register with ICSI to enrol in the CS course. 

CS Course Details

Levels in course 3 Levels including 1st one entrance test
Duration of course 3-4 years
Conducting Body ICSI
Minimum eligibility 10 + 2 Qualification

CS Online Classes

CMA or CS Which is Better? 

Now, how do we decide which one is a better option? CMA or CS – Which is better? 

Both fields offer great career opportunities and advancement in India. But to have a closer look we can differentiate between them on the basis of scope, demand, salary in India, job prospects, and more. 

CMA Vs CS – Scope & Demand

Because there are so many different CMA careers in the private and public sectors, CMA graduates are highly sought after both in India and abroad. Furthermore, additional advantages and competitiveness, such as incentives and bonuses, are included in Indian CMA wages for graduates. 

Every sector of employment, including finance, management, accounting, and research institutes, is in demand for CMA graduates. Due to their expertise in their fields, CMA graduates are preferred by the majority of businesses in India and internationally.

CMA is now being called the course of the future due to its consistent growth in scope and demand. It is believed that CMA will be one of the most demanded courses in the coming years.

Talking about CS, while the government rule that requires the appointment of a company secretary makes it a wonderful career option in and of itself, the corporate sector’s growth is expanding the range of the company secretary’s profile. In organisations like various banks and financial institutions, the Department of Company Affairs, stock exchanges, company law boards, and government departments, one can find profitable opportunities in both the public and private sectors.

Companies will reward you with huge incentives if you excel at your job and know a lot about your industry. After finishing this course, you may be able to get employment abroad. You can create an independent practice if you don’t want to work for any one organisation.

So as we see, when it comes to scope and demand both fields are offering great opportunities and the scope is still rising. 

CMA Vs CS Salary In India

The average salary for a CMA fresher in India is 5-7 Lakhs per annum.  High positions such as CFO (Chief Financial Officer) can earn up to 40Lakhs per annum. The average salary for a fresher in CS is 6 lakhs and can go up to 15 lakhs. 

Career Prospects

A CMA’s job revolves around accounting and cost management. Company Secretaries handle all legal aspects of a firm. 

While a Company Secretary is a legal requirement for companies with a paid-up share capital of 2 crores or more, CMAs are only required in large-scale companies. They are not a legal requirement. 

Job profiles for a CMA

  • Cost Accounting
  • Cost Auditing
  • Financial Planning
  • Determine the Prices of Goods and Services.
  • Management Accountant
  • Finance Analyst
  • Cost Accountant
  • Accounting Manager
  • Senior Accountant
  • Corporate Controller
  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Career Options for Company Secretary

  • Manager
  • Assistant Manager
  • Bank and building societies
  • Employer’s cooperatives
  • Housing Associations
  • Insurance companies
  • Investment sectors
  • Trade bodies


Job opportunities

  • Foreign Collaborations and Joint Ventures
  • Legal, Secretarial and Corporate Governance
  • Project Planning
  • Capital Market and Investor Relations
  • Corporate Advisory Services
  • Corporate Restructuring

CMA Or CS Which is Better?

CMA VS CS – Comparison

Parameters CMA CS
Focus accounting and cost management corporate law and corporate secretaries
Demand Services of a CMA are only required by large-scale production/services companies, the public sector, and MNCs. CS is usually required when the business is quite a large scale and the burden of compliances increases, but they are needed in all kinds of large firms
Course Structure CMA Course has three levels;

  • CMA Foundation
  • CMA Intermediate
  • CMA Final
CS Course has three levels;

  • CS Executive
  • CS Professional
Course Duration Duration of the course is 3-4 years Duration of the course is 3-4 years
Global opportunity CMAs have opportunities to work globally CSs have opportunities to work globally
Legal Requirement CMAs are not a legal requirement but a business requirement hence optional Companies that have a paid-up share capital of 10 crores or more are mandatory to have a company secretary.
Work Opportunity Can work in several different kinds of organizations in several different areas or departments Can work in several different kinds of organizations in several different areas or department
Organisation to Work  CMA firms, government organizations, public sector, banks, universities, NGOs, etc. Can work in any corporates and organisation and handle all legal aspects
Average Salary The average salary for a CMA fresher in India is 5-7 Lakhs per annum The average salary for a fresher in CS is 6 lakhs and can go up to 15 lakhs.

CMA Vs CS – The Bottom Line

Now that we have provided you with all the information you need for both professions, you can decipher which career adoption suits you best. CMA & CS both have a great scope and demand in our country. The courses and their duration also is quite similar. You can enjoy global work opportunities and a great salary! When it comes to job profiles, there are many to explore. What your decision comes to are your interest and skills. Think about what kind of career you can see yourself in. Would you prefer handling the legal aspects of a firm or the costing? Think about your areas of interest and goals and make the final decision! 

Check out Syllabus and Online Course for CMS & CS for more insights! 

CMA Online Classes             CS Online Classes