IMA Publishes Report on the Digital Transformation of Compliance and Business Reporting

Giuseppe Barone
(201) 474-1681

Taylor Fenske
Stern Strategy Group
(908) 325-3866


Montvale, N.J., June 17, 2020 IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) today published a report advocating for a data revolution that would transform business reporting, oversight, auditing, and monitoring systems.

Increasingly complicated and fragmented regulatory environments make compliance overly burdensome for businesses, while also inhibiting investors and other users of corporate reporting from obtaining useful information. In the midst of global pandemic, where access to quality data from remote locations is paramount, the need for a solution is even more critical.  

“The Digital Transformation of Compliance and Business Reporting in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: From Fragmentation to Connected Reporting” encourages standards setters, businesses, policymakers, and other stakeholders to trigger a data revolution by liberating data currently locked in siloed reports and platforms. 

The report includes a foreword from IMA President and CEO Jeff Thomson, CMA, CSCA, CAE, and is co-authored by Liv A. Watson, Senior Director of Strategic Customer Initiatives at Workiva and IMA Board Member; Dermot Murray, General Manager of EMEA at Workiva; Tanuj Agarwal and Urmish Mehta, Lead Research Team Members at Workiva; Deborah Lelpziger, Managing Director at The Leipziger Group; and David Wray, Senior Director, Accounting and Reporting at Huawei.

“IMA has long recognized how trustworthy, auditable, accessible, machine-readable information is critical to modernizing the corporate reporting process,” said Thomson. “Taking action through the steps outlined in the report will greatly simplify compliance and ensure both financial and non-financial information can be used to enhance business decision-making.”

The paper outlines several steps that must be followed in order to fully digitalize compliance and reporting processes:

  • Establish a stakeholder task force committed to the digital transformation of regulatory reporting. 
  • Ensure standards setters, framework developers, and best practices are committed to the repository as the authority of digital taxonomies for industry bodies of knowledge around reporting and compliance. 
  • Prepare a high-level solution blueprint for implementing a global digital framework within products. Use a high-level understanding of the regulatory ecosystem and its scope with a view to assessing the value that digital transformation programs provide to both policymakers and regulatory authorities. 
  • Ensure software vendors and service providers develop a prototype implementation to test mapping and lodgment of the reporting requirements.

“Through the creation of a universally common approach to exchanging and reusing regulated data, we can significantly lower compliance costs and reduce risks,” said Watson. “The technology now exists. The next step is getting all stakeholders on the path to a solution.”

To read the full report, visit here.

About IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants)
IMA®, named the 2017 and 2018 Professional Body of the Year by The Accountant/International Accounting Bulletin, is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. Globally, IMA supports the profession through research, the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) and CSCA® (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis) programs, continuing education, networking and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices. IMA has a global network of more than 125,000 members in 150 countries and 300 professional and student chapters. Headquartered in Montvale, N.J., USA, IMA provides localized services through its four global regions: The Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe and Middle East/India. For more information about IMA, please visit