Paul Ash, FCMA, CGMA, has been elected the 88th President of The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the world’s largest professional body of management accountants, and the 6th Chair of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association)., Combining the strengths of AICPA & CIMA, the Association represents 696,000 members, students and engaged professionals in management and public accounting across 192 countries and territories.

During his one-year term, Paul will concentrate his efforts on a digitally focused agenda, reimagining the services that accounting professionals provide and demonstrating the value that they bring in a fast-changing business world. He will encourage members to take new opportunities to help their organisations adapt and thrive in this challenging environment. Paul will work closely with Bill Pirolli, CPA, CFF, PFS, CGMA, who will serve as AICPA Chair and Vice Chair of the Association.

On his appointment, Paul said: “I am proud to have been elected as CIMA President and serve as Chair of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. It will be a privilege to serve our members and students around the world.

“The shock created by the pandemic has accelerated the transformation of our profession to meet the demands of an ever-changing business world, harness the power of new and emerging technologies, and to remain at the forefront of business decision making for years to come.

“AICPA & CIMA have worked tirelessly over the past five years to ensure that we train the management and public accountants the world needs. And now more than ever, we are here to support them to embrace change and innovation, evolve their skills and competencies and to create more value as strategic partners for their businesses.

“As accounting professionals, we must step out of our own comfort zones and dare to help our businesses navigate paths out of the crises many now face, and build a more resilient and sustainable future for both our businesses and all of their stakeholders.”

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Paul became a CIMA member in 1981 and was awarded his fellowship in 1986. He first volunteered with CIMA during the mid-1980s while with the London Stock Exchange, where he initiated and managed a CIMA-approved training programme and was a founder member of the CIMA City Interest Group.

In 2013, Paul was elected to CIMA Council for the Central and Southern England area. In addition, he was a member of the inaugural governing Board of the Association, served on CIMA’s Membership, Global Markets and Executive Committees and was Vice Chairman of the CIMA Benevolent Fund Committee. Paul also served as Chairman of the Association’s Lifelong Learning Committee, where he helped lead the changes required to drive CIMA’s syllabus into the digital age.

Paul has a degree in economics from the University of Leicester and began his career in the industrial manufacturing sector. He then moved into the financial services sector and joined the London Stock Exchange in 1980 as a Management Accountant. He worked his way up to become Chief Accountant and led the changes that were necessary to the Exchange’s reporting systems during the deregulation of the financial securities markets in 1986.

Following a 12-year career in the City, Paul returned to industry and commerce undertaking corporate finance roles with British Gas plc and Greenergy International Limited, before joining Institute for International Research (IIR) as Group Finance Director in 1996.

More recently Paul has founded, financed, and developed several businesses in the energy, media, and property services sectors. His energy businesses provide power and heat to their customers in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors, using the latest technologies to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and carbon emissions.

Other appointments ratified at the CIMA annual general meeting:

Melanie Kanaka, FCMA, CGMA, was elected as Deputy President

Sarah Ghosh, FCMA, CGMA, was elected Vice President