I refuse to become a CGMA. If you are a CGMA, I will pretend to not judge you if we meet in person. But I will be judging you in my heart.
The Chartered Global Management Accountant designation has been available since January 31, and the AICPA has been promoting the hell out of it. Due to the low barriers to entry and the strangely desperate push by the AICPA, having the CGMA designation is like wearing a t-shirt that says, "Sexy and I know it." You're probably not, and you don't really know it.
How does one become a CGMA? Well, if you're a voting member of the AICPA, all you need is three years of experience in management accounting and a check for $150. Boom. Done. There is a rigorous recertification process, however, as outlined on the AICPA website
To maintain your CGMA designation, you must remain a voting member of the AICPA in good standing and pay the annual fee for the designation.
Because if you can't afford $150 per year, you probably suck at management accounting.
Starting in January 2015, you will have to pass an exam and actually earn the designation. But the AICPA wants to be clear: if you already hold the CGMA designation prior to January 2015, you will not have to take the exam. They want to make it as easy as possible for you to give them $150 – not just this year, but every year.
Barry Melancon is the drum major leading this parade, saying
Economic globalization is a reality for all businesses now and in the future and so it’s critical that we have a universally accepted standard of excellence for management accounting. […] Combining that commitment to excellence with ethics and integrity, the CGMA will help produce and recognize top management accounting professionals worldwide.
The CGMA will be a universally accepted standard of excellence when Faded Glory is universally accepted as a high fashion line of clothing.
But wait. There's more.
CGMAs will receive a certificate suitable for framing after the annual designation dues have been paid.
So by combining three-years of experience with feigned integrity and $150, I can earn a bullshit designation that comes with a certificate that is of higher quality than a layperson would associate with bullshit. Ken Lay would be so proud.
Face it. It's easier for an accountant to get the CGMA than it is for a Snooki to get the clap.
But then again, maybe I'm the dumbass. According to Robert Half's annual Salary Guide
, professional certifications can add up to 10 percent to your salary. So even a third-year budget analyst at a small company could earn around $4,000 more per year by having her CGMA. That's a 2,600 percent return on an investment of $150 and self respect.