Free Site Registration


More Debits & Credits Posts

IMA Positions Itself to Compete with AICPA

Print
Email
Reprints
By Michael Cohn
July 5, 2012

The Institute of Management Accountants has recently allied with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, but according to IMA president and CEO Jeff Thomson, it is not doing so to counter the alliance between the American Institute for CPAs and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

The AICPA-CIMA joint venture provides a Chartered Global Management Accountant credential, which competes with the IMA’s own Certified Management Accountant credential.

Last month, the IMA and the ACCA said they were setting up their own strategic partnership (see ACCA and IMA Set up Partnership). Plans for the IMA-ACCA partnership include research collaborations, CFO roundtables, joint chapter events, and the exploration of opportunities to increase awareness and adoption of their organizations’ respective certifications.

Jeff Thomson

Thomson told me Tuesday that he sees his organization as competing with the AICPA now that the AICPA and CIMA have launched the CGMA joint venture. “Prior to the launch of this joint venture, we didn’t consider ourselves as competitive with the AICPA,” he said. “In fact, they invited us into some very prestigious forums, like the Blue-Ribbon Panel on Private Company Reporting, the Pathways Education Commission, and in the past we have joined with them on things like COSO. However, without our knowledge they announced their intentions to form this joint venture last March announcing a credential in management accounting that clearly makes us competitive.”

However, Thomson contends that his group’s own partnership with the ACCA is a separate matter.

“We don’t view this as a ‘me too,’” he said. “Much like ACCA, part of our explicit strategy is to form significant partnerships. In fact we have dozens. I think between ACCA and IMA, we have hundreds of partnerships around the world. This one is a significant value to the profession and to employers by leveraging our complementary assets. That’s kind of a long-winded way of saying that we’re not jumping to the conclusion that we need to merge and one of us goes away, whereas the AICPA and CIMA have almost publicly announced that the end game here is a merger. And coming from a competitive markets background, you never ever allude to a possibility of a joint venture becoming an acquisition. These two organizations have done that. I’m not saying they’ve done the wrong thing. I’m just saying they’ve made it very clear that this is all about size, that you need to have size in this profession in order to be influential. They have basically said the way that we can best serve the profession is by integrating and becoming larger, and we’ve taken a much different approach. And, by the way, having worked at AT&T, I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. Sometimes that works in terms of mergers and acquisitions, and sometimes it creates a slow-moving behemoth that can’t serve the needs of the profession.”

The AICPA has denied in the past that it plans to merge with CIMA (see IMA Ready to Compete with AICPA for Management Accountants). Thomson admitted that his main basis for believing they will eventually merge is a statement that CIMA chief executive Charles Tilley made to Accounting Today in January, in which he wrote, “This is a new joint venture between the AICPA and CIMA, and a merger isn’t part of the current plan. Both organizations intend to work together to take advantage of each other’s respective strengths. When the success of the JV is established, other options, including a merger, could be considered in the future.” (see CIMA May Consider Merger with AICPA).

Thomson also noted that the CGMA joint venture’s formal name is the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, and the AICPA holds a controlling interest in it. In a public speech in February, Thomson added, AICPA president and CEO Barry Melancon had said that CIMA offices would soon bear the designation of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, or AICPA for short.

However, the AICPA continues to deny there are plans for a merger or acquisition. “The answer is still the same; there are currently no plans to merge,” said AICPA spokesman Gil Nielsen. “As for the name and the controlling interest held by the AICPA, that’s old news and was disclosed when the JV was first announced more than a year ago.”

But Thomson is not reassured. “We are planning as though these two organizations will vote for a merger in the next two to four years, and that the CIMA organization and credential as we know it will go away,” he said.

0 Comments

Be the first to comment on this post using the section below.

Add Your Comments...

Already Registered?

If you have already registered to Debits & Credits, please use the form below to login. When completed you will immeditely be directed to post a comment.

Forgot your password?

Not Registered?

You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.


Follow Accounting Today
Advertisement


Advertisement

Trends in the Accounting Profession

April 18, 2014

Jim Metzler, former AICPA vice president of small firm interests, and founder of Metzler Advisory Group, talks about how the CPA profession is changing.

Lessons in M&A: Client and Staff Retention

April 14, 2014

Transition Advisors president Joel Sinkin talks about what firms should do after a merger to retain their clients and staff members.

Are You Missing These Growth Opportunities?

April 2, 2014

Gale Crosley of Crosley + Company discusses the practice areas and international opportunities that firms often overlook in trying to grow.

Advertisement

SLIDE SHOW

Dumbest Employee Excuses for Being Late

March 31, 2014

Running a little late could have big repercussions, especially at a firm in the midst of busy season. From escaped zebras to must-see TV, employers told CareerBuilder some of the most memorable excuses they've heard from tardy employees.

Common Taxpayer Misconceptions

March 19, 2014

The NAEA’s collection of ridiculous things tax clients believe.

The 10 Fastest-Growing Firms in the U.S.

March 10, 2014

The firms with the highest 2013 revenue growth in our Top 100 Firms/Regional Leaders list.

Top 10 Tech Trends for 2014

March 3, 2014

As companies gain more affordable access to new technology and platforms, they also seek to make smarter investments.

Strangest Tax Deductions

January 31, 2014

The Minnesota Society of CPAs recently conducted its annual survey about the most strange and unusual tax deductions proposed by clients.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement