The Institute of Management Accountants has released an exposure draft of a proposed Management Accounting Competency Framework in an effort to fill the skills gap for accountants who choose careers in private industry.

The framework includes a number of areas under the broad categories of planning and reporting, decision-making, technology, operations and leadership. Under those categories are various competencies and skills such as financial recordkeeping, strategic and tactical planning, forecasting, budgeting, performance management, cost accounting and cost management, internal controls, financial statement analysis, operational decision analysis, enterprise risk management and more.

The exposure draft coincides with the 30th anniversary of a 1986 report from the American Accounting Association in 1986 predicting a “growing gap between what accountants do and what accounting educators teach.” Since then, the IMA has worked on aligning the undergraduate accounting curriculum with the skills needed in the management accounting profession. The framework represents the culmination of that work with the goal of serving as a guide for accounting educators and practitioners, particularly those who teach or practice management accounting.

“For three decades, IMA has been focused on real-world solutions to the growing talent gap that has evolved with the expectations of the CFO growing beyond value preservation to include value creation,” said IMA president and CEO Jeff Thomson in a statement. “This framework, and its underlying career-enhancing development resources, will help close the talent gap to the benefit of organizations and society. What is unique about this framework is the ‘ecosystem’ approach that IMA has consistently applied to the talent challenge, whereby academia, employers/corporations and associations have a stake in the game.”

The IMA is asking for comments and feedback on the exposure draft via email to research@imanet.org by Aug. 31, 2016.

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