The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) has
eased its members’ access to qualification from institutes in
Canada, Australia and India.
The UK-based institute has signed a new reciprocity agreement
with CPA Australia; agreed to mutual advanced entry for students
from the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants in India (ICWAI);
and renewed an agreement with the Society of Management Accountants
of Canada (CMA Canada).
The agreement between CIMA and ICWAI introduces a new CIMA
Professional Gateway examination, available from May, for ICWAI
students who have completed the whole ICWAI professional
The exam will enable a fast track route into CIMA’s strategic
level examinations, where they will sit the institute’s last four
The gateway is a new product that CIMA hopes could be a template
used in discussions with other bodies. CIMA students wishing to
gain membership of the ICWAI will also have a fast track route.
Breaking into India
The agreement is part of a wider joint education and training
agreement designed to lower accounting education barriers between
the UK and India.
As part of the project the Institute of Chartered Accountants in
England and Wales has also formed an agreement with the Institute
of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). Other UK-based institutes
may participate in the next phase.
India is a hard market for foreign accounting institutes to
enter as national legislation dictates that accounting
professionals must be licensed by ICWAI or ICAI. CIMA education
director Robert Jelly explained that CIMA has always known it can’t
operate in India on its own and needed a partner.
“So that was the real driver behind this – that we establish a
good working relationship because we have got quite a number of
large businesses in India that signalled quietly that they want to
use CIMA as their main training,” Jelly said.
CIMA is already receiving enquiries from costs and works
students in India asking how they can sign up, Jelly added.
ICWAI president Kunal Banerjee added that the agreement is not
just about education. The two bodies also want to undertake
research together and learn from each other’s systems.
CIMA’s new agreement with CPA Australia is a full mutual
recognition agreement that removes the need for members of one body
to sit any examinations with the other. Each of the bodies reserves
the right to look at the practical experience requirements of
CPA Australia offers both an audit and business qualification,
so the agreement with CIMA is open only to students who take the
CIMA’s new mutual recognition agreement with CMA Canada is the
renewal of an agreement initially signed in 2005.
Aside from mutual recognition for students, other benefits
include access to extended resources for joint research, economies
of scale and a joint professional development programme.
CMA Canada president and chief executive Steve Vieweg said the
Canadian institute entered the agreement because the two
organisations had similar goals and objectives focussing solely on
CMA Canada is an umbrella body for organisations in 10 Canadian
provinces. Its member organisations have 40,000 certified members
and 10,000 students combined. Vieweg said about 100 to 150 members
have already taken advantage of the agreement.
National audit bodies have been forming international alliances
for some years now and Jelly conceded that management accounting
organisations have moved a bit slower.
“Obviously the world is all about alliances and franchising and
so on, this is all part of our new 2015 strategy, realising we
can’t do it all on our own – we need to work together,” he
“This is the future, as well as growing our own base organically
we want to work in partnership with others.”
The cross-border relationships are not limited to CIMA. CMA
Canada has had a mutual recognition agreement with CPA Australia
since April last year and Banerjee told The Accountant
that the ICWAI is currently in talks with CMA Canada and the
US-based Institute of Management Accountants.
CIMA is also in discussions with the Institute of Cost and Works
Accountants in Pakistan.
Vieweg said feedback from the Australian and CIMA agreement has
been extremely positive throughout and although there are no
specific plans to extend relations to other countries at present,
it may be something of future consideration.
Carolyn Canham and Melanie White