The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI) and
the US Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) have entered into
a memorandum of understanding.

A key element of the agreement is mutual recognition of the
respective certifications. One exception is IMA members cannot hold
a license to undertake statutory work in India due to local

As well as the mutual recognition, the IMA and ICWAI will work
together on joint research projects and on developing management
accounting guidelines and standards.

This is the first full mutual recognition agreement for the IMA.
However, the institute has agreements with other organisations,
including the Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants
and the Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants, which
give partial exemptions.

This is the third international agreement for the ICWAI. It signed
a fast-track agreement with CIMA at the beginning of this year and
is helping to develop an institute of management accountants in

Both the IMA and the ICWAI are discussing further agreements with
other institutes, but no details can be revealed at this

IMA director of international development Jim Gurowka told The
the agreement with the ICWAI came about through a
shared vision of creating a “global management accounting
community”. He credits the Indian institute with working hard to
bring all the international management accounting bodies together
to represent one voice.

Building this community includes comparing syllabuses, curriculums
and examinations to see if they are similar and test the same

“Why would we want to make members of one association have to write
examinations to become members of the other association, if they
have already passed the test?” Gurowka explained.

ICWAI president Kunal Banerjee said creating a worldwide profession
is important due to globalisation and because India has opened up
to the world.

He noted that management accounting is also coming more onto the
global stage.

The first stage of the ICWAI strategy was the agreement with CIMA;
the IMA was the second stage.

“CIMA is well established in the Commonwealth countries and has a
global presence and the IMA is established in the US and other
regions,” Banerjee said.

As well as the IMA’s geographic attractions, Banerjee said the
ICWAI admired the US institute’s work on management accounting in
the public sector and work with the US Securities and Exchange

“We are in discussion with the Securities Exchange Board of India
and would like to do certain joint research projects on all those
issues,” Banerjee said.

One group of IMA members who are likely to benefit from the
agreement are Indian expats who have been working in the Middle
East, where the IMA has a strong presence.

Gurowka said due to economic shifts, a lot of these people are
finding better job opportunities back at home.