ACCA links up with IMA

ACCA and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) announced a global strategic partnership at the latter’s annual conference in Las Vegas on Monday.

The alliance will include research collaborations, CFO roundtables, joint chapter events and initiatives to raise awareness of their respective certifications, according to IMA chair Brian McGuire. IMA president and CEO Jeff Thomson summarised the strategic partnership as “two global bodies empowering accountants and financial professionals to drive business performance”.

However, it is hard to shake off the suspicion that the move is more of a defensive response to the creation of the global Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) alliance between CIMA and the AICPA. If that project takes serious hold within the management accounting world, the IMA’s qualification would be seriously threatened.

With 65,000 members in 120 countries, and outposts in Zurich, Dubai and Beijing, the US-based IMA has a much smaller catchment than the CGMA global alliance. ACCA brings a global membership of 154,000 to the party and in contrast to the corporate orientation of the CGMA, both IMA and ACCA focus more on small and medium-size businesses.

“ACCA’s mission and history is very similar to IMA’s – one of inclusivity, community, and service to the global profession. There are clear synergies between both organisations,” said McGuire.

The alliance with IMA will raise ACCA’s profile in the USA and was already bearing fruit in the shape of research and “thought leadership” projects, said ACCA chief executive Helen Brand.