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August 14, 2014

US management accounting profession consolidates growth through internationalisation

The US Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) has disclosed its membership figures, revealing a 7% growth to 72,921 members in the year to 30 June 2014. Membership abroad grew by 23% to 28,000 members during the same fiscal year.

Candidates undertaking IMA’s professional qualification, the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation, increased by 19 % in fiscal year 2014 to a total of 22,277.

Fresh CMA candidates reached 14,662 in the same year, according to the US professional body.

The total number of CMAs grew 6% percent in the last year, with the total number of professionals holding the CMA certification standing at more than 43,000, of which 3,003 were awarded in 2014.

"Our strategy is to continue globalising. I can look back into this last year and say not only we grew but we grew with confidence and integrity," IMA chief executive Jeff Thomson told The Accountant in a recent interview.

In 2014 IMA opened two international offices in Shanghai and Cairo, adding to its existing branches in Zurich, Dubai and Beijing.

"The Chinese government within the last 12 to 18 months officially proclaimed management accounting as important for companies to enrich the Chinese economy. We are very proud and inspired by the Chinese government recognising the importance of management accounting," Thomson said.

Thomson noted that the Chinese economy was previously growing at a double figure rate but now that it has slowed down to 7.7%, management accounting competencies need to be "put into the equation to sustain growth".

In relation to IMA’s move into Cairo, Thomson told The Accountant that Egypt is a big market for the CMA program as professionals in the country value professional certifications and see the CMA as a "way to a better life".

"At one point, Egypt accounted for 6 to 7% of our total CMA candidates, which for the country is a big number. And they are so eager to engage and learn about leadership development," Thompson said.

Related stories:

Country survey: USA’s ins and outs

Accountancy profession keeps alive the American dream

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