IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) and Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) have shared a long and mutually beneficial partnership over many years.

As part of that partnership, IMA has always been a strong supporter and contributor to BAP’s regional and annual conferences. This year, due to the pandemic, instead of its traditional in-person regional meetings, BAP held three virtual mid-year meetings, each featuring different keynote speakers, concurrent sessions, and exhibit opportunities all under the theme of “Invest in the Future.” At each of the meetings, IMA staff welcomed BAP members at their virtual booth and enjoyed networking with students during the trivia competitions.

At the March 19 meeting, IMA President and CEO Jeff Thomson, CMA, CSCA, CAE, was the featured keynote speaker and presented on the topic of “The Race for Relevance in a Time of Disruption.”

In his session, Thomson discussed how amid turbulence, disruption, and even chaos—from COVID-19 and nontraditional competition to rapid-fire technology transformation—the finance and accounting profession is facing enormous pressures in the “new normal.” Thomson challenged students on how they aim to cope with these enormous pressures and increase their influence and relevance to their future organizations and society. He strongly suggested that they work to continuously strengthen their skills and competencies and remain agile and resilient.

IMA staff members Tyler Skelton and Mary Patterson also led a concurrent session at the March 19 meeting, entitled “Take Charge of Your Professional Development.” In their talk, Skelton and Patterson spoke about the need for continuous learning and the value and competitive benefits of earning the CMA certification.

Additionally, BAP recently announced its new Board of Directors and named Jodi Ryan, CAE, IMA director of member engagement, as incoming chair of its Professional Partners, which is a board level position. Ryan will start her term as Professional Partner chair-elect in August 2021 and in August 2022, she will begin a one-year term as chair. In her role, Ryan will oversee the activities and strategic direction of BAP’s Professional Partners program, which includes representatives from associations and nonprofits, professional education and exam providers, CPA firms and industry, and state CPA societies.

BAP’s group of Professional Partners play a valuable role. For the organization, they provide financial support that subsidizes regional and annual meetings; deliver presentations at meetings; and serve as judges for best practices competitions and select winners for BAP’s Business Information Professional of the Year awards. For student members and faculty advisors, Professional Partners network and provide input, counsel, and advice regarding careers in accounting, finance, business analytics, and digital technology.

“IMA and BAP are both committed to advancing the careers of accounting, finance, business analytics, and digital technology students across the globe,” said Ryan. “It will be an honor to serve in this important role, as BAP’s Professional Partners program includes some key influencers in the profession, including individuals who can make a major impact on the future of today and tomorrow’s students. I look forward to raising awareness about IMA, the resources we offer for students and educators, and the benefits of pursuing the management accounting career path.”

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