Two recent conferences in the Middle East put the spotlight on the topic of management accounting in the age of digital transformation.

IMA President and CEO Jeff Thomson, CMA, CSCA, CAE, was among the keynote speakers at the 6th IMA Middle East Regional Conference, held on September 15-16 in Amman, Jordan. The conference, jointly sponsored by IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) and the Jordan Association of Management Accountants (JAMA), featured 10 continuing education sessions under the theme, “Digital Transformation: Are You Future-Ready?”

Also attending on behalf of IMA were Jim Piechowski, CAE, IMA director of international operations; and Hanadi Khalife, IMA director of Middle East/Africa operations. “Digitization, automation, and new technology are changing the role and work of management accountants around the world,” noted Thomson. “To succeed in this environment, accounting and finance professionals need new, enhanced skills that will enable them to become value creators and drive change within their organizations.”

Thomson delivered a keynote on “The Future of the Accountant” as well as participated in a panel discussion on “The CFO Team in the Digital Era.” Highlights of the conference included JAMA’s launch of a new CFO Forum, which aims to support CFOs as their roles evolve from “counters of wealth” to “creators of wealth” and influencers of strategy in their organizations. The CFO Forum will call for periodic meetings to empower CFOs through shared knowledge and experience and openly discuss trending finance and economic issues affecting global, regional, and local Jordanian businesses.

At the conference in Amman, Thomson explained why accountants need to be future-ready.
At the conference in Amman, Thomson explained why accountants need to be future-ready. 

Other popular sessions included a new student track, which explored the challenges surrounding the profession’s industry talent gap, the management accountant’s role, and how organizations, HR executives, and recruiters are finding creative ways to optimize the management accountant’s career path.

The next day, Thomson was the keynote speaker at the 10th Annual MENA CFO: Unlocking Financial Innovation Conference, held in Dubai, UAE, on September 17-18. The theme of this year’s conference was “future-proofing your finance agenda into a platform of digitalization while steering through the competitive GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] economy.”

The conference, presented by marcus evans, attracted an expert panel of speakers, thought leaders, and moderators, including executives from General Electric, IBM, and Microsoft; leading companies from Abu Dhabi; and government officials.

Thomson’s attendance at these conferences resulted in several media opportunities, including a feature story in the monthly CEO Middle East magazine. In an interview titled “A Way Forward,” Thomson discussed the 10-year anniversary of the financial crisis and what it meant for the accounting profession.

For more information on IMA’s activities in the Middle East, including upcoming events, please visit