In keeping with its leadership role within the profession, IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) earlier this month released its enhanced Management Accounting Competency Framework. The new Framework, developed with input from key stakeholders, identifies the skills management accountants need to remain relevant as technology redefines their roles and changes the business landscape at an unprecedented speed. The Framework is offered as guidance for skills assessment, career development, and talent management within the profession.

Commenting on the release of the enhanced Framework, Jeff Thomson, CMA, CSCA, CAE, IMA president and CEO, said, “At IMA, we analyzed existing and emerging competencies needed by management accountants today in order to update the Competency Framework. This work was fully vetted and validated by industry professionals to ensure accuracy and relevancy.”

The Framework identifies six domains of core knowledge, skills, and abilities that finance and accounting professionals need to remain relevant in the Digital Age and perform their current and future roles effectively.

In total, the Framework covers 33 critical competencies – many of which are included in the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) curriculum – across five proficiency levels. Some domains were renamed to reflect their broader reach of competencies:

  • Strategy, Planning & Performance – The domain’s eight competencies guide professionals in leading the strategic planning performance, assessing the current state of the business and planning for the future.
  • Reporting & Control – The domain’s seven competencies give professionals the tools to measure and report their organization’s performance in compliance with relevant standards and obligations.
  • Technology & Analytics – The domain’s four competencies show how data can work to enhance a company’s analytics and how technology can move the organization forward
  • Business Acumen & Operations – The domain’s four competencies display how professionals can work cross-functionally across the business to transform operations throughout the organization.
  • Leadership – The domain’s seven competencies help professionals become leaders and build and guide their teams to reach their personal and organizational goals.
  • Professional Ethics & Values – The new domain and its three competencies ask individuals to demonstrate their professional values, ethical behavior, and legal compliance in order for their careers and their businesses to be ethical and sustainable.

“It’s even more important for management accountants to have the proper skills to do their jobs. It is even more important that they do their jobs in an ethical manner in line with their core values, which is why the Professional Ethics & Values domain was added to the Competency Framework,” said Debbie Warner, CAE, CPLP, IMA vice president, Education and Career Services.

IMA analyzed the emerging competencies needed by management accountants and developed a draft of an enhanced Management Accounting Competency Framework last year. The enhanced Competency Framework was available for public comment from June 2018 through September 2018 and after reviewing all feedback, IMA published a final version of the updated Framework.

Later this spring, IMA will update its CareerDriver® tool, which will enable members to assess their professional strengths against the competencies in the Framework and explore career options.

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