In a year of challenging market conditions, IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) was resilient and remained committed to the management accounting profession. That’s the key message of IMA’s annual review for the 2021 fiscal year (July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021), titled “A Purpose-Driven Organization Built on Trust.”

The review summarizes IMA’s major accomplishments for the 2021 fiscal year, all achieved during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including continuing to maintain its global membership and the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) program numbers and providing ongoing opportunities for members. Specific achievements for the year include:

  • A record high of 46,859 active CMAs with 12,926 new certifications earned in the past fiscal year. Additionally, 29,589 new CMA candidates were added to the program. 
  • Thirteen percent of all CMAs were certified in the past fiscal year, 50% were certified in the last five years, and the year ended with IMA closing in on the 100,000th CMA since the program’s inception.
  • A growth of 28.5% year-over-year in CPE credits awarded, with a 14.2% increase in the number of unique participants. Webinar attendance increased by 13.4%. 
  • An offering of 155 hours of free CPE as a benefit of membership.
  • IMA membership being at similar levels as the end of the 2019 fiscal year before the pandemic. Globally, IMA membership has increased 71% over the last five years.

The report, available for download on IMA’s website, features commentary from Jeff Thomson, CMA, CSCA, CAE, IMA president and CEO, as well as a welcome message from FY 2021 Global Board Chair Paul Juras, Ph.D., CMA, CPA.

“As organizations reconfigure themselves for a new normal that is constantly evolving, I am confident the entire IMA community will meet the multitude of challenges with courage, care, and conviction of purpose,” said Thomson. “I have tremendous optimism about the future because I know our members are steering their organizations in the right direction and helping them adapt to the volatile and uncertain global environment that we all face.”

Portions of the report include discussions about:

Virtual Offerings. IMA offered virtual conferences and meetings that enabled networking and learning opportunities for accounting and finance students and professionals wanting to help to continue their professional development despite the impacts of the pandemic. Globally and in each of IMA’s regions (China, Middle East/India, Europe, Southeast Asia), virtual events were highly popular and successful with a larger reach of participants being able to participate from home.

DE&I Thought Leadership. In a year where organizations and society grappled with racial inequity, IMA partnered with accounting organizations nationally and globally to produce research revealing a significant diversity gap in the accounting and finance profession. IMA remains committed to improving these diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) gaps and plans to issue global DE&I research reports, a solutions report in response to the original research, and additional strategic partnerships.

Advocacy on Sustainability. Additionally, as the profession, investors, and stakeholders are asking for more nonfinancial information related to climate disclosures, IMA expanded its thought leadership on sustainability and formed a Sustainable Business Management Global Task Force to advocate on behalf of the management accounting profession before governments, regulatory bodies, and other stakeholders. IMA provided guidance on disclosures, measurements, and decision making for professionals in relation to sustainable business metrics.