IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) considers its advocacy role within the profession among its highest priorities, serving as an active member of several global organizations that impact the accounting and finance profession around the world.
As part of that role, IMA is a full voting member of The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), the global advocacy organization for the accountancy profession. Founded in 1977, IFAC has approximately 180 members and associates in more than 130 countries and jurisdictions, representing more than three million accountants employed in public practice, industry and commerce, government, and academia.
One of IFAC’s larger member bodies, IMA has been a longtime, influential IFAC member, an honor that reflects the organization’s increasing global influence and the demand for the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification. IMA was granted IFAC membership following a thorough review of its governance and internal operating structures, including the IMA Statement of Ethical Professional Practice and the association’s continuing professional education (CPE) offerings.
Contributions to Thought Leadership
As a member of IFAC, IMA contributes significant thought leadership through advisory group participation, speakers, and research, supporting the organization’s mission of serving the public interest and strengthening the accountancy profession through global initiatives, including IFAC’s Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Advisory Group. IMA was a key contributor in developing PAIB reports such as A Vision for the CFO & Finance Function, Future-Fit Accountants: Roles for the Next Decade, The CFO and Finance Function Role in Value Creation, Understanding and Communicating Value Creation, and many more. Within the PAIB Advisory Group, IMA has worked with IFAC staff to run workshops on important topics related to fostering a future-ready profession, such as on Building Data Science and Analytics Capabilities in Finance and Accounting.
IMA’s thought leadership and research, including its Statements on Management Accounting, are referenced through IFAC’s Knowledge Gateway, which channels these resources across the globe. IMA also actively contributes through IFAC to assist other professional accountancy organizations in strengthening their engagement with PAIBs as a means to expand their reach, influence, and contribution to sustainable organizations, financial markets, and economies.
In terms of global standard-setting, IMA staff and volunteer committees offer technical guidance on international accountancy programs and standards issued by independent standard setting boards supported by IFAC and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).
Over the years, IMA has also provided IMA members to serve on the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants, the International Accounting Education Standards Board (replaced with the International Panel on Accountancy Education), and International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board.
Earlier this year, IFAC served as global research partner for a groundbreaking study cosponsored by IMA and the California Society of CPAs (CalCPA). The resulting report, Diversifying U.S. Accounting Talent: A Critical Imperative to Achieve Transformational Outcomes, the first in a multi-part global series, presents the findings of a survey of more than 3,000 current and former U.S. accounting professionals, including interviews of more than 50 accounting, human resources, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) practitioners, and academics. The report presents an assessment of the current state of DE&I in the U.S. accounting profession through key survey findings, oral histories of the study’s participants, and an in-depth, discrete look at each demographic focus area.
IMA and IFAC are now cosponsoring the next phase of the global series with the recent launch of DE&I studies in the Middle East/India, Europe, and Southeast Asia. IMA and IFAC research partnership efforts are also underway in the areas of global DE&I solutions, climate risk, and management of intangible assets.
Noted IMA President and CEO Jeff Thomson, CMA, CSCA, CAE, “Throughout its history, IMA has set extremely high standards for management accounting certification, continuing education, and ethical business practices for its members and the profession as a whole. Over the years, we have had the opportunity to work with IFAC to address the significant challenges facing the professional globally, including financial reporting standards, the talent shortage, and the needs of emerging economies.”
IFAC Annual Review
IFAC recently released its 35-page IFAC 2020 Integrated Annual Review, which provides an overview of the organization, including governance and stakeholder engagement, strategic objectives, value creation process, and performance highlights.
In his “Letter from our CEO,” IFAC CEO Kevin Dancey said, “The year 2020 was an exceptionally difficult one by any standard. And yet, all around the world, people rose to the occasion in ways big and small to meet the challenges brought about by COVID-19. The accountancy profession responded quickly to support our public interest mandate, and the people, communities, businesses, and economies we serve. IFAC is proud to say we did the same.”
In addition to being a member of IFAC, IMA also participates in advocacy efforts as one of the full voting members of the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) and the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC).
Visit the IMA website to learn more about IMA’s advocacy activities.