A Message from Alain Mulder and IMA Europe

Alain Mulder headshotDear IMA members in Europe,

I hope this note finds you well and in the midst of celebrating the holiday season. It’s been busy here at IMA Europe, with many activities hosted by our chapters as we move back to in-person events and generate excitement for the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) program. I must say that one of the highlights of these in-person gatherings has been meeting with CMAs from our region again, individuals who inspire me with their commitment to their careers and to shaping the future of their organizations and the profession. See the photo below from a recent CMA dinner gathering in Kosovo.

Regarding the profession, I was pleased to author this article for The Accountant and offer commentary on recent trends. It was an active few months for IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) in other news media as well: Executive Finance featured this lengthy article on IMA’s Global Board Chair Gwen van Berne. In it, Gwen remarks that, “It needs to be more normal for women to also hold top positions,” a belief I’m sure we all share. IMA president and CEO Jeff Thomson also was featured in an article (in Dutch) that appeared in CFO.nl, on the topic of strategy and innovation.

In other news, IMA and ACCA recently released their Q3 2022 Global Economic Conditions Report (GECS), a global survey of more than 900 accountants that shows the status of the current economic situation through the eyes of leading finance professionals. According to this report, accountants and CFOs predict a European recession in 2023 driven by, among other things, the war in Ukraine, high energy and food prices, and the interest rate hike.

The report included challenging news for our region: Trust in Western Europe decreased drastically in Q3 and reached a historic low point. This is most likely caused by the war between Russia and Ukraine and the increasing gas and electricity prices. Further, the level of orders reported by all respondents decreased in Q3 compared to Q2, with Western Europe reporting the second-largest decrease in orders of all regions. In the Netherlands, the workforce reduction in preparation for the expected challenges this winter were also notable. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reported that the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency) received the highest number of dismissal applications in September since March 2021. You can find more commentary on the Q3 GECS results on my LinkedIn page.

I want to remind all our student and academic members about the upcoming 2023 IMA Student Case Competition, applications for which opened this month. This is a great opportunity for the leaders of tomorrow to showcase their skills, flex their analytical thinking abilities, and gain valuable experience working as a team. You can find out more about the competition on this registration form. The deadline to submit an entry is 15 January, so students, gather your teams now and start thinking about how to ace the case!

Finally, as this is the end of the year, I also remind our certified members about the importance of meeting their annual CPE requirement: that’s 30 hours per year, including two hours on the topic of ethics. IMA offers an incredible array of continuing professional education courses, webinars, podcasts, and more, many of which are free for members. Check out the offerings at https://www.imanet.org/education-center.

A dinner with CMAs in Kosovo

I wish you and yours a healthy, prosperous 2023. Please email me directly at amulder@imanet.org to share your thoughts and perspectives.