Photo of Charles Tilley, CIMA chief executiveThe American
Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Chartered
Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) are planning
to launch global management accounting designation
called the Association of International Certified
Professional Accountants

The not-for-profit joint venture aims to
promote a new professional accounting designation across
the world. The Association of International Certified Professional
Accountants will not replace the AICPA or CIMA designations
but provides AICPA members an accelerated pathway to
obtain a management accountancy

The joint venture would be 60 percent owned by
the AICPA and the is subject to CIMA and AICPA council
approval in May. The partnership would have equal
decision making through a 50:50 board with CIMA and AICPA rotating
the role of chairman. Charles Tilley and Barry Melancon would each
have management roles in CIMA and AICPA to ensure

Mutually beneficial

The alliance will allow CIMA to break
into the US market while it benefits the AICPA by promoting its
brand across the world. AICPA is largest professional
body in North America with 370,000 members while CIMA is
the largest management accountancy body in the world
with 183,000 members in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia
and elsewhere.

“There is a gap in our provision in the US and
the Americas, we don’t have significant recognition in that
marketplace, so this will fill a strategic gap and reinforce our
global claims,” CIMA chief executive Charles Tilley told The

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“Having the management accounting skills
provided to a much wider community from the perspective of skills
training, accreditation and thought leadership are crucial goals
for us.”

AICPA President and chief executive Barry
Melancon added: “High-quality management accounting professionals
who combine expertise with a deep commitment to ethics and
integrity serve the public interest. This joint venture and new
designation would recognise professionals around the world
committed to excellence in management accounting, enterprise and
performance strategy.”

Tilley said the joint venture will allow the
two bodies to work closely on CPD development, thought
leadership, advocacy of best practice and other common areas.

How it works

AICPA voting members working in management
accounting for at least three years would qualify for an
accelerated route to obtaining the new designation. Non-voting
AICPA members would enter a rigorous training programme through
their employer or on their own consistent with the current
CIMA qualification requirements.

AICPA members based in the Americas but
outside of the US can obtain the new designation as AICPA
international associates after an assessment process. In the
rest of the world, new designation holders can become members of
CIMA after the same assessment process.

Existing CIMA members could retain their
current “FCMA” or “ACMA” letters after their names or use these in
conjunction with the new designation.

Those holding the new designation are required
to commit to an ongoing programme of competency in management
accounting which will focus on competency maintenance rather
than required hours in coursework.

The proposed new designation will be issued by
the joint venture on behalf of the AICPA and CIMA, with membership
remaining with the existing organisations.