The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) has announced that it has appointed finance transformation business leader, Simon Bittlestone, as 91st president of the Institute. He will also serve as 9th chair of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the world’s largest accounting membership body of public and management accountants.

Commenting on this, Bittlestone said: “The world is ripe with opportunities for the accounting and finance profession to create sustainable value, innovate and be inclusive. Despite prevailing uncertainty in the world, these are exciting times for our profession and over the next year I intend to help accelerate and lead its continuous evolution to make the most of these possibilities.”

During his year in office, the focus of the profession will be on three critical areas:

  • Innovation & Transformation. New technologies, including generative AI and robotic process automation, are quickly revolutionising accounting and finance. CIMA and the association will work on further empowering accounting and finance professionals to cultivate the mindset, skills, and knowledge they need to draw on the enormous possibilities they present.
  • Value & Sustainability. As businesses further integrate sustainability into their strategies and operations, CIMA and the association will put great emphasis on promoting the role of accounting and finance professionals as trusted advisors, who are equipped to support organisations to drive meaningful, long-lasting change and sustainable value creation.
  • Inclusion & Opportunity. Workforce demographics are rapidly evolving, and the profession must adapt to attract top talent. CIMA and the association’s work will focus on fostering an inclusive profession, where anyone with the right aptitude and dedication has the opportunity to join the profession, seize opportunities for growth, and build a fulfilling career.

In this pivotal role, Bittlestone will work closely with Carla McCall, who serves as co-chair of the association and chair of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). Together they will work to provide nearly 600,000 AICPA and CIMA members, candidates, and registrants with the tools and resources they need to succeed and catalyse the profession into the future in a world of constant change.

Further commenting on his appointment, Bittlestone added: “It is a great honour to serve the profession and I want to say a huge thank you to CIMA members for putting their trust in me to act as CIMA President and Chair of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.”

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