Proposed changes from the AICPA and NASBA regarding the curricula for accounting majors who pursue the CPA track?known as the CPA Evolution model?have prompted a strong response from IMA? (Institute of Management Accountants).

That response was summarized in the latest ?IMA Briefing: Concerns for the CPA Evolution Model,??authored by Raef Lawson, Ph.D., CMA, CSCA, IMA vice president of research and policy and professor-in-residence; and Roopa Venkatesh, Ph.D., CMA, chair of IMA?s Committee of Academic Relations. The Briefing expresses IMA?s concerns regarding the negative impact that dropping managerial/cost accounting from the required curriculum for CPAs, as proposed in the model, will have on the accounting profession?s ability to protect the public and serve the public interest.

In a comment letter sent last week to the AICPA and NASBA on the topic, Lawson and Venkatesh pointed out: ?The challenges that CPAs will have to answer important cost-based questions will only increase as technology transforms business models and the CPA profession. The ability of the CPA to serve as a trusted business advisor must include an effective grasp of cost systems, behavior, and causality, which can only be most directly gained in management accounting courses.?

The Briefing further expresses concerns about the potential removal of management accounting courses by institutions if they are no longer required at a time when budgets are tight and anything ?optional? is leaning toward elimination.

?In this time of uncertainty and lower enrollments, many academic accounting departments are facing faculty retirements, hiring freezes, and budget cuts. The lack of managerial accounting topics required for the CPA exam can dangerously serve as a reason to further eliminate the managerial accounting offerings in introductory managerial, intermediate cost, and advanced managerial/cost courses,? the authors continued.?

The Briefing also states that students who do not learn about management accounting will not be set up for long-term success. The authors note that most students that enter public accounting eventually leave their firms to work in management accounting and corporate finance so the skills learned in management accounting courses will be beneficial to the students? careers.

The authors call on the AICPA and NASBA to ?make a clear and public commitment to the importance of management accounting curricula and competencies,? and offers IMA?s willingness to join them in this effort.