IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) is partnering with openSAP to offer its first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), “Improving Confidence in Sustainability Performance Data.”

The self-directed course, presented by IMA president and CEO Jeff Thomson, CMA, CSCA, CAE, outlines how professionals can gain greater confidence in sustainability and nonfinancial data for business decision-making by establishing and maintaining effective internal controls.

The course is based on a published report, “Leveraging the COSO Internal Control Integrated Framework to Improve Confidence in Sustainability Performance Data,” co-authored by Thomson; Robert H. Herz, former FASB chair; and Brad J. Monterio, IMA Global Board member.

Since 2013, openSAP has been providing free MOOCs to everyone interested in learning about SAP’s latest innovations and how to survive in the digital economy. With technology rapidly changing, new flexible learning methods are required to deliver knowledge and information faster and openSAP has successfully helped to enable the SAP Ecosystem to upskill from anywhere in the world, at a time that suits their schedule.

In describing the course content, Thomson said, “Sustainability and nonfinancial performance data, such as environmental factors, innovation, and human assets, are becoming increasingly important to create, execute, and communicate an organization’s strategy and value proposition. This type of data tends to be more qualitative, forward-looking, and judgment-based relative to financial data, so we need to seek greater confidence and assurance in using this type of data for internal and external decision making.”

“It’s important that knowledge about new ideas in the digital economy is easily accessible, and we’re happy to have the opportunity to open our MOOC platform to organizations like IMA. We are committed to creating a sustainable future for our customers and society; this course compliments our purpose to help the world run better and improve people's lives,” said SAP Chief Knowledge Officer Bernd Welz.

According to Thomson, the COSO (Community of Sponsoring Organizations) Internal Control Integrated Framework is intended to apply to a holistic set of performance measures and the modules in this course explain how the 17 COSO principles apply to sustainability performance data, leveraging processes and competencies within the finance value chain.

The course is open from September 4 through October 2 and is available free of charge to IMA members and nonmembers alike. For more information, please visit this link.