Rising gas prices, a declining housing market, the weakening of the dollar and fear of a recession — today’s economic conditions continue to point south, with no light at the end of the tunnel. Critical to these issues is the role of internal accounting and finance professionals, who in large part are responsible for making decisions that contribute to the success or downfall of an organization.For our economy to remain competitive, there needs to be a renewed emphasis on proper regulation and guidance within the profession. The demise of financial institutions over the years (the collapse of Bear Stearns, as an example) continues to validate why fundamental changes should be made to help ensure that financial reporting and internal control standards shift to a globally accepted method of risk management.

As president and chief executive of the Institute of Management Accountants, a professional trade association dedicated to the career-long training and development of accountants who work inside organizations, I’m well aware of the importance of educating today’s young and seasoned professionals to support good decision-making, planning and control functions. More and more new accounting graduates are entering the workforce, yet they aren’t equipped with the skills they need on the job.

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