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August 27, 2009

CIMA challenges institute’s decision to adopt post-nominals

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is appealing a decision by a Sri Lankan accounting body to use the designatory letters granted to CIMA members.

The Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICMA) was recently incorporated under an Act of Parliament, which granted it more power and responsibility. It previously operated as the Society of Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka.

At the same time the new law passed, the ICMA said it would begin granting its members the post-nominals used by CIMA – the ACMA for associated chartered management accountants and FCMA for fellows.

The ICMA previously granted its members the post-nominals ASCMA and FSCMA.

CIMA has more members in Sri Lanka than anywhere other than the UK. The institute was established in the South Asian nation in 1965 and now has about 2,000 members and 12,000 students.

CIMA director of professional standards Robin Vaughan said that while the ICMA syllabus is “perfectly reputable”, it is more equivalent to a technician qualification. The local qualification is, however, much more affordable than CIMA, which means it is accessible to many more students.

Vaughan said that while CIMA supports the role of the ICMA in Sri Lanka, the change in post-nominals is “entirely unnecessary”.

“One is hugely supportive of an education agenda and giving access to people but throwing the market into confusion by having designatory letters that are identical to different qualifications does seem mildly unhelpful and arguably somewhat improper,” he said.

The avenue of appeal for these matters in Sri Lanka is the Consumer Affairs Authority.

“We have made the most strong objections to the Consumer Affairs Authority, who are no doubt considering them, but not as quickly as I think everyone would like,” Vaughan said.

The Accountant contacted ICMA for comment but received no reply.

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