CGMA sets agenda for thought leadership
CIMA and AICPA marked the launch their joint CGMA designation simultaneously in London, New York today with a research study emphasising the “thought leadership” that management accountants can bring to corporate performance and sustainability.
The joint venture is based around a new organisation, the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants that will oversee a new management accounting designation of Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).
Members of the new joint venture would remain with their respective bodies, which will oversee the designation in its main territories - North America in the case of the AICPA, while CIMA will look after members in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Existing CIMA members will be able to use the CGMA designation or add it to their current FCMA or ACMA credentials for no extra fee. CPAs who adopt it won’t have to pay anything for the first six months.
A new website has been created for the body, plus a magazine from London-based contract publisher Seven.
According to the two organisations the partnership will “elevate the discipline of management accounting, which sits at the intersection of finance and strategy”.
The agenda for the trans-Atlantic launch event, broadcast live via satellite (above) was set by ‘Rebooting Business: Valuing the Human Dimension’, a survey conducted by Oxford Economics that found global organisations are putting more emphasis on value derived from non-financial assets such as intellectual capital and customer relationships.
The CGMA has been a long time coming, and reflects a significant shift within the profession’s global structure. In much the same way that CIMA defected from the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies (CCAB) last year, the US-based Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) pulled out of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).
While CIMA is going it alone in the UK, the IMA move opened the door to a closer relationship with the AICPA. CIMA members are expected to benefit from the widespread recognition the new designation would gain in the United States. AICPA members will have access to a global management accounting designation and the knowledge and experience base of the CIMA.
In an interview with our US sister site AccountingWEB.com, IMA CEO Jeff Thomson questioned the rigour of the CGMA qualification process for members of the two bodies.
“The market will determine the future of management accountant credentials. But the market is not as rational as we would like, and it is very forgiving. When an organization has credibility and has reached a critical mass, people do not ask the tough questions, often building in inefficiencies,” he said.
Asked at the CGMA launch event whether the current economic climate was the right time to engage in institutional turf wars, CIMA chief executive Charles Tilly answered, “Is this about a turf war? Absolutely not. It’s about raising the profile of management accountants.”
He explained that CIMA was founded in 1919 by the Lever Brothers founder Lord Leverhulme because he didn’t have the information he needed to run his business and wanted to develop people to have those skills.
“Nothing’s changed on that front,” said Tilly. “But the world’s changed immeasurably and people need new skills to get information. That’s the aim of our event.
“We see [the CGMA] as a way to elevate management accountants and to make them more effictve. This is about driving forward and supporting business with our quality of decision-making.”
Also see: Editor's blog - will it play in Purley?
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