IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) is a 100 plus-year-old global association representing about 140,000 accountants and finance team professionals. Our members work inside organizations of various sizes, industries, and types, including manufacturing and services, public and private enterprises, not-for-profit organizations, academic institutions, government entities, and multinational corporations. For more than 100 years, we have been a leading resource for developing, certifying, connecting, and supporting the world’s best management accountants and finance professionals in business. Informed by the broad range of perspectives about the accounting and finance profession from our global membership, IMA is taking strategic actions to address the talent pipeline shortage in the accounting profession in a holistic manner that builds value and promotes trust in the profession. In this effort, IMA is joining other accounting organizations to work collectively towards strengthening the talent pipeline and the future of the accounting and finance profession.
The need for a rigorous and holistic accounting education has never been more critical than now because there is a rapidly increasing need for current and future accounting and finance professionals to serve as strategic business partners. We must address the perception that has long plagued the profession; that accountants are simply “number crunchers” and back-office support personnel who work long hours and focus on routine tasks. We know this is not the reality. Accounting and finance professionals need strong critical thinking skills in addition to skills in advanced technologies, sustainability, data science, cybersecurity, risk management, and leadership – to shape the way business will get done in the future. IMA’s Management Accounting Competency Framework identifies the competencies and skills critical for current and future students or individuals to develop to meet the demands of the profession. Our globally recognized certification, the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant), is modeled on this framework. We are also collaborating with the largest community of academics in accounting, the American Accounting Association (AAA), and academia across the world who have a stake in strengthening accounting curricula to educate and develop the talent pipeline in a holistic manner to provide resources and knowledge to students in making informed decisions about their career options.
To promote the versatility of the role of an accountant beyond the perception of being “number crunchers,” IMA’s research and thought leadership, in collaboration with the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO), of which IMA is a founding member, published a report in March 2023 demonstrating how internal controls have value beyond compliance and external financial reporting and are applicable to an organization’s sustainable business activities and information. Creating awareness about how accountants can play a critical role in sustainability and environmental consciousness in business is crucial to attracting new talent to the profession.
IMA is also focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) efforts to attract new talent across the profession. IMA’s research and thought leadership, in collaboration with IMA’s DE&I Committee, released our Diversifying Global Accounting Talent research series, where we partnered with IFAC, CalCPA, and more than 60 accounting associations. This report details the results of a capstone diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) research study of the global accountancy and finance profession. The research includes recommended solutions presented in the form of an inventory of actionable practices which includes nearly 80 practices that can be implemented today to enact DE&I progress across the profession.
This research has served as a catalyst for action. IMA will continue to be supportive of solving these challenges by focusing on DE&I efforts across the profession, including in our ongoing partnerships with The PhD Project, NABA, and others. Our DE&I committee is hard at work, creating resources and opportunities that further promote these efforts. We offer opportunities such as IMA Scholarships, DE&I Leadership experiences, engaging in outreach to often overlooked students such as those in two-year colleges, and digital leadership programs through our Leadership Academy to offer emerging accounting leaders an edge in today’s disruptive marketplace.
IMA is also working with organizations in different industries, and governments to facilitate and encourage dialogue about how the workplace can take actions to attract, retain, and nurture accounting talent as strategic business partners at different value-added levels and areas in their organizations.
As we navigate the challenges of the profession’s talent pipeline, we are also embarking on a transformation journey to reimagine how IMA can best serve the growing and evolving needs of our stakeholders – individuals, academia, corporations, and governments – to ensure the long-term growth, relevancy, and sustainability of the profession.
The future of the accounting profession is a dynamic and exciting one. We believe accounting and finance is the language of business, and the future of work. Together, we believe we can make an impact.
President & CEO
|Rich Brady, CMA, CGFM, CDFM
Chair, Board of Directors
|Rinku Bhattacharya DPS, CMA, CPA
Chair, DE&I Committee
Chair, Performance Oversight
& Audit Committee
|Roopa Venkatesh Ph.D., CMA
Chair, Volunteer Leadership Committee