IMA Releases Enhanced Management Accounting Competency Framework for Professionals in the Digital Age

Giuseppe Barone
(201) 474-1681

Taylor Fenske
Stern Strategy Group
(908) 325-3866

Montvale, N.J., February 5, 2019 IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) has released its enhanced Management Accounting Competency Framework. The updated Framework reflects the skills management accountants will need to remain relevant and be future-ready.

The enhanced Framework keeps pace with the rapidly-changing business and technology environment and is offered to the profession as a guide for skills assessment, career development, and talent management. With technology redefining the role of the management accountant and significantly changing the business landscape and the management accounting profession at an unprecedented speed, IMA updated the Framework to keep pace with these changes. The Framework was the result of significant collaboration across IMA’s content owners, led by Education and Career Services.

“At IMA, we are excited to lead the industry in identifying and publishing critical competencies for the finance and accounting profession,” said Jeff Thomson, CMA, CSCA, CAE, President and CEO at IMA. “We analyzed existing and emerging competencies needed by management accountants today in order to update the Competency Framework. This work was fully vetted and validated by industry professionals to ensure accuracy and relevancy.”

The Framework identifies six domains of 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, many of which are included in the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) credential curriculum. Some domains were renamed to reflect their broader reach of competencies:
  • Strategy, Planning and Performance – The domain’s eight competencies guide professionals in leading the strategic planning performance, assessing the current state of the business and planning for the future
  • Reporting and Control – The domain’s seven competencies give professionals the tools to measure and report their organization’s performance in compliance with relevant standards and obligations
  • Technology and Analytics – The domain’s four competencies show how data can work to enhance a company’s analytics and how technology can move the organization forward
  • Business Acumen and Operations – The domain’s four competencies display how professionals can work cross-functionally across the business to transform operations throughout the organization
  • Leadership – The domain’s seven competencies help professionals become leaders and build and guide their teams to reach their personal and organizational goals
  • Professional Ethics and Values – The new domain and its three competencies ask individuals to demonstrate their professional values, ethical behaviors, and legal compliance in order for their careers and their businesses to be ethical and sustainable

“It is important for management accountants to have the proper skills to do their jobs. It is even more important that they do their jobs in an ethical manner in line with their core values which is why the Professional Ethics and Values domain was added to the Competency Framework,” said Debbie Warner, CAE, CPLP, Vice President, Education and Career Services at IMA.

IMA analyzed the emerging competencies needed by management accountants and developed a draft of an enhanced Management Accounting Competency Framework. The enhanced Competency Framework was available for public comment from June through September 2018 and after reviewing all feedback, IMA published a final version of the updated Framework. The Framework and associated materials are offered as guidance for skills assessment, career development, and talent management within the profession. To learn more, visit

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) program, continuing education, networking and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices. IMA has a global network of more than 100,000 members in 140 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