The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certification, awarded by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), is a globally recognized credential that signifies expertise in financial management and strategic management. This certification can significantly enhance a professional’s career opportunities, credibility, and earning potential in the field of accounting and finance. However, like any prestigious designation, it comes with a set of ethical and professional standards that holders are expected to uphold. Violating these standards can indeed lead to the revocation of the CMA certification. Let’s explore under what circumstances this could happen.


Ethical Violations

The IMA has a comprehensive Statement of Ethical Professional Practice that all members, including CMA holders, are required to follow. This statement outlines the ethical responsibilities in areas such as competence, confidentiality, integrity, and credibility. Ethical violations that could lead to the revocation of the CMA certification include, but are not limited to:


– Breach of Confidentiality: Unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information.

– Misrepresentation of Competence: Claiming skills or knowledge not possessed.

– Conflict of Interest: Engaging in activities that could conflict with the employer’s interests without disclosure.

– Fraudulent Activities: Participation in any form of fraud, embezzlement, or theft.


Professional Misconduct

Apart from ethical violations, professional misconduct can also result in the revocation of the CMA certification. This could involve:


– Forgery of Certification Documents: Falsifying or altering any documents related to the CMA certification.

– Cheating on the CMA Exam: Any form of dishonesty during the examination process.

– Failure to Maintain Continuing Education Requirements: CMAs are required to complete continuing education hours to ensure their knowledge and skills remain current. Failure to meet these requirements can lead to certification suspension and eventually revocation if not rectified.


Legal Convictions

Legal issues, particularly those related to the professional’s field of work, can also lead to certification revocation. This includes:


– Criminal Convictions: Conviction of crimes, especially those related to financial fraud, embezzlement, or other financial crimes.

– Professional License Revocations: If a professional’s license in accounting or any related field is revoked due to misconduct, the CMA certification can also be revoked.


Process of Revocation

The IMA follows a structured process for handling potential violations. It usually involves an investigation followed by a review by the Ethics Committee. The individual concerned will have an opportunity to respond to the allegations. If the committee decides that a violation has occurred, sanctions can range from a written warning to revocation of the CMA certification.



In cases where the CMA certification is revoked, there may be a path to reinstatement, depending on the nature of the violation. This could involve fulfilling specific requirements set by the IMA, such as completing additional ethics training or satisfying any legal penalties.



The revocation of the CMA certification is a serious matter that reflects a breach of the professional and ethical standards expected of certified individuals. It underscores the importance of maintaining high ethical standards, continuous professional development, and adherence to the law. For CMA holders, understanding and complying with these standards is crucial not only to retain the certification but also to uphold the integrity and trust in the accounting profession.