As a global professional association, IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) considers providing members with access to continuing professional education among its highest priorities. 

Notes Debbie Warner, CAE, CPLP, IMA vice president of Education and Career Services (ECS), “One of IMA’s four strategic goals involves delivering value to our finance and accounting global members through relevant programs, products, and services. As such, we are dedicated to expanding the continuing education offerings so members can sharpen their skills and remain relevant in this ever-changing environment.”

Recently, the Education team has been hard at work creating new courseware to cover a range of trending topics and delivering them in a variety of convenient ways. All of the courses that have been developed map back to the six domains of the IMA Management Accounting Competency Framework, which identifies the 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.

IMA released many new eLearning courses this spring. Here are highlights of three new ones, all available free of charge to members: 

Count Me In for CPE (0.2 ICMA CPE credit per episode) – Offers a selection of well-received Count Me In podcasts providing the latest perspectives and insights on a variety of management accounting topics, including business transformation, agile project management, data analytics, and more – as told by global industry experts.

Emotional Intelligence (1 NASBA CPE credit) – Examines the definition of emotional intelligence and explains ways to strengthen the competencies and leadership capabilities around this important soft skill.

Cybersecurity Alert! (0.5 NASBA CPE credit) – Discusses common cybersecurity threats to IT infrastructure and mission-critical solutions for securing business data and operations, as well as preventative measures that can be taken to thwart these threats.

According to Warner, the decision to pursue these topics was based on a variety of factors, including member demand and identified trends in the profession.

“The topic of emotional intelligence, for example, is an important soft skill, that will become increasingly important as we see routine tasks being automated and accounting and finance professionals performing more value-added responsibilities,” she says.

The course on cybersecurity, in fact, is the result of a collaboration with IMA’s Technology Solutions and Practice Volunteer Committee. Explains Warner, “We reached out to the committee to learn what topics related to technology advances they thought would be most beneficial for members. Cybersecurity is definitely an area of growing concern for large and small organizations alike.”

One of the benefits of the courses that have been developed is that they are easily accessible from the comfort of members’ homes and in various virtual formats. Says Warner, “Virtual learning is a convenient and flexible way to continue your education while staying safe at home. Our online eLearning courses, webinars at prescribed times, and podcasts available through IMA’s Count Me In podcast series provide members learning opportunities in various virtual forms, which is especially important now when members are practicing social distancing.”

Warner explains that her team is continuing to create new courses to address member demand and trends in the profession. Other courses in development and soon to be released include a series on Robotic Process Automation (RPA), a new course addition to the IMA Ethics Series, and other courses on professional and leadership development.

“Going forward, IMA and the Education team is committed to offering high quality, creative, and relevant educational opportunities that keep pace with the future of work and the management accounting profession,” she concludes.

Warner invites members who have ideas for course topics or new ways to deliver courses to contact her directly at