IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) leaders had the opportunity to speak with several important gatherings of educators and students about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I), career options for students, and key issues impacting the profession as well as the curriculum as it relates to technology and digital transformation of the accounting and finance functions.

Beta Alpha Psi (BAP)

For BAP’s Spring Virtual Event on February 15, Loreal Jiles, IMA vice president of research and thought leadership, spoke on the topic of “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion—Why It Should Matter to You.”

In her talk, Jiles discussed how DE&I is about genuinely embracing and valuing the full range of differences that make each individual unique. She also explained how beyond physical demographics such as gender, race, and ethnicity, DE&I is also about embracing cognitive, occupational, relational, and societal aspects of humans as individual beings. During her presentation, Jiles covered the impact of DE&I on business disciplines and shared resources individuals can use to grow in their understanding of this topic.

AAA Accounting Program Leadership Group (APLG)/Federation of Schools of Accountancy (FSA) Annual Joint Seminar

At the APLG/FSA Annual Joint Seminar, a two-day gathering held in Dallas in mid-February, Jiles led a plenary session on February 19 on the topic of integrating technology with the accounting curriculum. 

Immediately following that session, Laurie Burney, Ph.D., CMA, CSCA, CPA (TN-Inactive), associate professor of accounting at Baylor University and IMA professor-in-residence, led a panel discussion on “Corporate Accounting Career Opportunities, Entry Trends, and Career Development.” The session featured a conversation about corporate employment paths, internship models, talent development, and rotation programs. Key discussion points included:

  • Is public accounting gaining (or losing) its competitive recruiting advantages? 
  • Are corporate accounting roles untapped opportunities to curb declines in accounting majors? 

Featured panelists included Rachael Kohler, Associate Manager, Finance Training and Development, Stryker; and Logan Butler, Finance Digital Reporting COE Lead, Phillips 66. 

AAA Strategic and Emerging Technologies (SET) Section

On April 1, Jiles led a presentation for academic members of AAA’s Strategic and Emerging Technologies (SEC) Section on “Accounting and Finance in the Digital Age.” 

In this one-hour webinar, Jiles discussed how digital technology is transforming the way accounting and finance professionals deliver value. As a result, she explained, this disruption of roles due to emerging technologies like advanced analytics, Big Data, AI, data visualization, and robotic process automation (RPA) influences the evolving expectations of finance and accounting employers. Jiles covered the latest IMA research in this area, as well as IMA resources and opportunities for accounting academics to bolster the profession’s ability to meet future demands.

Visit the IMA website to learn more about other resources for educators