Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) chief executive Charles Tilley told The Accountant its joint venture with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to launch the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation has been a "success".

A year on from the launch of the CGMA and there has been a substantial uptake of the designation with Tilley reporting AICPA, whose qualified members have to pay a subscription to be a CGMA, have had 38,000 people sign up while all CIMA’s qualified members (91,430) now also use it.

Tilley noted that to become a CGMA from the AICPA side "you have to have 3 years management accounting experience" while from a CIMA perspective "because they already have 3 years management accounting experience and have passed our exams they get the CGMA automatically".

According to Tilley, of the 29,000 new students which joined the institute globally in the past year "13% said the reason they were joining was because of the joint venture, CGMA designation and the wider geographic footprint".

When CGMA launched in 2012, the two institutes issued their first joint report, Rebooting Business: Valuing the Human Dimension, in an effort to highlight the importance of the role of the management accountant in today’s business world and the role they can play in helping companies to move from mere financial reporting to one that provides investors with information such as customers’ and employee satisfaction or environmental sustainability.

"At that time [top level chief executives we surveyed and interviewed for the report] said there were four things at the top of their mind. First was they were really struggling to measure non financial elements of business. We know that today about less than 20% of the market value of a company is on their balance sheet, the rest is very much the value of their intellectual property, people and so forth. Having better measures was something they regarded as really important and there was just too much focus on the financial measurements. The other concerns were the continued focus on short termism particularly within the investment community, transparency and how to connect the dots like ‘how do we get our business working as one solid team working together rather than a series of silos?’," Tilley explained.

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He said these issues are "as relevant as they were then, now and will continue in on in the future".

Management accounting way forward
The CIMA chief executive added the results prove there has never been a better time to be a CGMA: "Management accountancy is critical in any business, it always has been, it was the reason CIMA was founded, and it’s about getting the right information, the right data, both internally and externally, the right analysis, to take better quality decisions. In today’s world, where there is more data than ever before, the ability to get the right data and do the right analysis is just crucial."

"From an employer’s perspective, multinationals around the world are obviously very keen to have a consistent measure of skills and that is what this is focused upon. In that respect, our research shows 90% of employers felt it was really important to integrate management accountants into their business. Therefore a common standard is hugely important in that regard," he added.
Despite the joint venture between CIMA and AICPA, Tilley said the two bodies have no plans to merge their institutes.

"I think professional institutes are extremely proud of their heritage. I can assure you that all of my members and I are very proud of our heritage, which started more than 90 years ago in 1919. I also know the AICPA, whose heritage is even older than ours, are also very proud of it. So merger is not a word we are using. Where we are focused, is on the success of the joint venture," he said.
According to most recent world survey report by The Accountant, AICPA is the world’s second largest professional accounting body with 386,000 members across 130 countries while CIMA is ranked at number 10 and has members.

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