To Our Members
In reviewing IMA’s achievements during fiscal 2012, and especially the actions we have taken to deliver greater value to our members, I am reminded of the words of Winston Churchill: “Give us the tools, and we will finish the job.” Our members rely on IMA to give them the valuable tools they need to respond to volatile economic and regulatory conditions; to build their professional skills and career potential; and to provide innovative solutions to the business issues facing their organizations in a challenging global marketplace.
I believe 2012 will be remembered as one of IMA’s most successful years in terms of increasing our value proposition and enhancing our capacity to serve the emerging needs of our members and our profession. Our initiatives during the past year include strategic partnerships that have expanded our reach and resources; expansion of our Leadership Academy programs; and important research, thought leadership, and advocacy efforts. We also enjoyed strong growth in overall membership, CMA candidates and certificates, and international and student chapters. All of these efforts were supported by fiscally strong and sound operations.
But you don’t have to take just my word for our progress. In our first fully digital annual report, you will hear from a cross section of our members about how IMA has made a positive impact on their professional lives. I encourage you to visit the I Am IMA section of this Annual Report microsite to read a variety of perspectives on the value IMA delivers.
Celebrating 40 Years of CMA
Any discussion of IMA’s accomplishments in fiscal 2012 must include one of the watershed events of the year: the 40th anniversary of the CMA program. We celebrated this milestone at IMA’s Annual Conference & Exposition in June 2012. For four decades, the CMA has been the preeminent certification in our field. Today, this credential is still the most substantial measure of management accounting skills and qualifications. This is a distinction that speaks volumes about the credibility of the CMA and its respected role in our profession.
We are proud the CMA is now recognized around the world: The certification is held by professionals in more than 100 countries. We are continuing our efforts to expand the recognition and respect for the CMA globally, so that it continues to be the leading credential for the management accounting profession for the next 40 years.
IMA’s strong growth in 2012 clearly shows that the management accounting community is responding to our commitment to deliver enduring value. Overall, we added nearly 4,300 net new members worldwide. Approximately 10,000 new candidates enrolled in the CMA program, and more than 2,300 new CMA certificates were awarded—a record number of certificates in any fiscal year. We ended the fiscal year with an all-time high of 19,000 active CMA holders.
Our global community has expanded to 21 international chapters. The number of student chapters more than doubled, from 40 to 85, reflecting our emphasis on developing tomorrow’s leaders of the profession. These and other signs of success by the numbers are highly gratifying, as they show that IMA members recognize the value we are providing in their professional lives and careers.
IMA continues to generate the resources to support the growth in our services because of our track record of sound financial stewardship. IMA produced an operating surplus for the fourth consecutive year, ending fiscal 2012 with a strong balance sheet, reserves, and cash position. We are committed to investing in our infrastructure, product development, and technology to make IMA an even more enriching experience for our members.
To ensure that IMA can provide the most comprehensive range of resources and services in a complex, challenging, and increasingly globalized market, we formed partnerships with several highly respected organizations in 2012. Partnerships were launched during the past fiscal year with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), publisher John Wiley & Sons, and the Rotterdam School of Management, just to name a few. We also continued our successful partnership in professional-accounting education with the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) in China. Our partnership initiatives are discussed in more detail in the Strategic Partnerships section of this Annual Report.
Building Talent and Leadership
In today’s dynamic global business environment, one of the challenges for any management team is finding and developing the talent to meet the ever-changing needs of the marketplace and its own organization. Many of IMA’s activities during the past year were focused on helping members bridge these talent and leadership gaps.
We added a number of new components to the IMA Leadership Academy in the past year, including an expanded number of webinars, in-person sessions at local chapters, leadership columns in Strategic Finance, and a leadership-recognition program. In addition, we made our pilot mentoring program available to all IMA members, who can use LinkUp IMA to connect with mentors and mentees. Now our members can look to IMA not only for certification, continuing education, and networking, but also for programs that hone the skills needed in future leaders.
Maintaining integrity and transparency are two major challenges facing organizations today. IMA has continued to provide the resources to help our members adopt, promote, and execute business practices consistent with the highest ethical standards. These principles are embodied in the IMA Statement of Ethical Professional Practice. Our offerings have included a confidential Ethics Helpline and a variety of CPE courses in the IMA Ethics Series.
Advancing Vital Issues
An important way that we serve our members is through research, advocacy, and thought leadership on issues of vital importance to the profession. In the area of research, we partnered with ACCA to conduct a quarterly ACCA/IMA Global Economic Conditions Survey, capturing the views of professional accountants and senior executives from around the world. The IMA Research Foundation, in conjunction with ACCA, is also sponsoring in-depth studies of critical accounting and financial management subjects.
IMA continued to be a voice for our profession on issues that affect management accounting around the world. We have represented our members’ interests before such bodies as the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO), the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF), the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), and the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). Some of the vital issues we have addressed in recent years include small-business financial reporting, XBRL adoption, internal controls, and costing practices.
Inspired by Innovation
Going forward, we aim to become even more valuable to our members through continuous innovation. As we say in one of our Core Values, “We believe innovation and a spirit of continuous improvement are engines that keep us relevant, vital, and growing.” For this reason, we have made a serious commitment to establish formal processes to source, evaluate, and implement innovative solutions to deliver value to IMA members in an increasingly complex global business environment.
We are proud of our accomplishments during the past year in expanding IMA’s resources, partner relationships, and value proposition. Our progress would not have been possible without the support of our members, especially those who have generously contributed their time and efforts to vital programs and projects on a volunteer basis, as well as the talent and dedication of IMA’s staff and partners.
As we go forward, members’ interests will remain central to everything we do—and everything we are—as an association. We will uphold our unwavering commitment to strengthening our value proposition by providing more effective and more innovative tools in such areas as CMA certification, leadership training, professional education, networking, publications, research, professional advocacy, career resources, and many more. We will never stop striving to raise the bar and deliver even more services, solutions, and benefits to our members. You have our word.
Jeffrey C. Thomson, CMA
President and Chief Executive Officer