IMA's first textbook aims to boost students' soft skills

The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) announced this week that it has published its first textbook, titled Management Accounting: An Integrative Approach, which will look to provide more soft skills and business acumen to the more traditional technical studies.

Written by C.J. McNair-Connolly, Ph.D., and Kenneth Merchant, Ph.D., the book will look to bolster student's real-life readiness for management accounting.

"The textbook, with three accompanying databases, offers students the opportunity to work with realistic data and real-world scenarios," stated Raef Lawson, IMA vice president of Research and Policy and professor-in-residence. "With this focus, students improve critical thinking skills and enter the workforce with confidence."

Research conducted by the IMA and the APQC has found substantial gaps in both the technical and non-technical aspects desired by senior-level management accountants when hiring new staff, requiring a broader set of skills from the get-go. Rated on a scale of 1 to 5 - with 5 being considered "extremely important...to their organization's success" - top desired technical skills by polled hiring managers included planning, cost management, and internal financial reporting. Coveted non-technical skills included leadership, strategic thinking, and change management. IMA's new textbook was developed, in part, to reduce these skills gaps and produce more well-rounded professionals.

"Much like the CMA certification, IMA's textbook helps students understand how finance managers use key information and reflects the planning and decision-making processes accountants face on the job daily," added Lawson.

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For more on the new textbook and the IMA, head to the Institute's site here.

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