In today’s climate of increased data accessibility and rapid change, finance and accounting professionals are seeking new ways to quickly and efficiently manage their areas of responsibility. Many teams have recently begun to rely on the tools of agile and scrum, two results-oriented project management methods that have proven to be adaptable for business teams delivering products and projects of any type.

As part of its mission to provide members with resources to become true business partners, IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) now offers the following on this emerging topic:

New E-learning Courses:

Three new e-learning options—available free for IMA members—showcase the basics of agile and scrum and explain how they can be adopted by accounting and finance professionals: 

  • Agile & Scrum 101: This introductory course provides a basic overview of agile and scrum, presents a brief history, and explains how these are used to lead project delivery. Offers 0.5 NASBA CPE credits. 
  • Agile & Scrum for Finance (coming soon): Using real-world scenarios, this course illustrates how finance teams can benefit from agile and scrum to streamline and expedite finance processes. Offers 1.5 NASBA CPE credits.
  • Agile & Scrum Series (coming soon): A package featuring both courses (Agile & Scrum 101 and Agile & Scrum for Finance). Offers 2.0 NASBA CPE credits.

New Statement on Management Accounting:

Last week, IMA released a new Statement on Management Accounting (SMA), An Agile Approach to Finance Transformation, which explores the role of agility in today’s finance function and presents how finance departments and organizations can benefit from adopting agile characteristics. It includes finance and accounting use cases to demonstrate value delivery through the application of agile and scrum.

“Finance function leads would benefit from embedding and leveraging agility as they transform, with the ultimate goal of becoming an agile finance function,” said Loreal Jiles, director of research – digital technology and finance transformation at IMA and author of the report. “The long-term viability of the finance function is dependent on the extent to which agility becomes embedded within its culture.”

“Utilizing agile and scrum to redefine approaches to core activities like financial planning and analysis, internal audit, and financial close can position management accountants to better support the unprecedented number of transformation initiatives organizations embark upon today,” added Jiles.

Other Resources:

In addition, IMA members can access these other resources to gain additional insights into this important topic:

Strategic Finance article: An article by Jiles, titled “Agile and Scrum-based Value Delivery,” appeared in the January 2021 issue. It explains how professionals can expand their roles by developing skills in the areas of agile and scrum and applying them to finance and accounting practices.

Podcast: Jiles was the featured guest in a 19-minute podcast, “An Agile Approach to Finance Transformation,” in IMA’s popular Count Me In® series. Jiles discussed the trending theme of agile, explained what an agile finance function looks like, defines scrum, and shares how finance teams are already using agile and scrum to achieve transformation.