CMA 2015 Salary Survey is Out!

Accountants with Certified Management Accountant (CMA) received more in base salary and total compensation than non-certified accountants globally. The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) released its salary survey 2015.

Over 2,500 responded across 81 countries. Globally, CMA-certified finance professionals across the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa earn 61% more than their non-CMA counterparts. This result signals the value global employers place on the skills possessed by CMAs as traditional accounting and finance roles continue to evolve.

However, salaries and total compensation vary considerably by responsibility area. Internationally, those working in education, information systems, government accounting and corporate accounting will demand the highest salaries. Public accounting remains the lowest-paid area globally.

Overall salaries are considerably lower than last year, but much of that can be attributed to the mix of respondents going from being U.S.- centric to increasingly global. The global mean and median base salary are $65,868 and $49,410, down from $72,298 and $60,000 last year, respectively. Mean and median total compensation are also significantly down from last year: $80,812 and $56,556 this year compared to $89,082 and $66,000 last year, respectively. The decline is largely due to lower salaries in the Middle East and North Africa region while compensation was relatively stable elsewhere. Respondents from Europe and the Americas continue to report the highest compensation. The Americas was the only region to report higher median values over last year.

Globally, European median compensation values decreased more than 6% from last year. German median base salary and the Netherlands median total compensation values were the only ones to show an increase over last year. The results continue to show significant variation among the countries. For example, Swiss and Dutch compensation levels are much higher than other European countries, while those in Russia and Turkey were significantly below that of other countries and much lower than last year, most likely reflecting the current economic and political instability of those countries. Switzerland continues to have the highest average salary and total compensation levels among all the countries represented in the survey.

Compensation in the Middle East countries varies tremendously. In general, it is down 13%-18% from last year. This is likely a reflection of the economic impact of the ongoing conflict in the region and a sharp decline in the price of oil. The only country to show an increase is Lebanon, which saw the median total compensation increase 20% to $31,800—though that’s still well below its value from two years ago. Egyptian respondents again receive the lowest levels of compensation, which are even lower than last year. With median total compensation of $50,369, Saudi Arabia (KSA) unseated Qatar as having the highest in this region. Qatar has a significantly lower median total compensation this year ($40,626) compared to last year ($64,000).

Asia continues to show the lowest average total regional compensation. While reflecting the lesser cost of living in Asia, the lower compensation level also can be partially attributed to the younger age of respondents as well as the lower percentage of respondents in the region who possess advanced degrees, CMA certification, or higher-level positions. This trend may be changing, however, with the increased emphasis on management accounting and CMA in China. As noted earlier, the percentage of respondents with CMA certification increased significantly over last year.

Summarizing, global compensation levels decreased more than 14% from last year, driven mostly by Europe and the Middle East/Africa regions. All regions but the Americas showed decreased compensation levels, though Asia had only a very small percentage decrease.

The complete survey results are available at