The Institute of Management Accountants has decided to waive its bachelor’s degree requirement for members of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants who want to earn the IMA’s Certified Management Accountant credential.

The Institute of Certified Management Accountants Board of Regents, which represents the certification division of the IMA, voted to waive the bachelor’s degree requirement for ACCA members.

The IMA has been competing with the American Institute of CPA, which began offering its own Chartered Global Management Accountant credential, the CGMA, last year in a joint venture with the London-based Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. In turn, the U.S.-based IMA has allied itself with U.K.-based ACCA, which also operates globally, while accusing the AICPA of waiving education requirements to hand out the CGMA to nearly any CPA with management accounting experience (see IMA Positions Itself to Compete with AICPA and IMA Ready to Compete with AICPA for Management Accountants).

The IMA appears to be following a similar strategy now of lowering its educational requirements to compete for management accountant members.

The bachelor’s degree waiver will allow all ACCA members around the world, regardless of background, access to IMA’s CMA credential, according to the two organizations. ACCA members who would like to take advantage of obtaining a U.S. credential can earn the CMA after successfully completing the two-part CMA exam and satisfying the two-year experience requirement in a management accounting job role. ACCA members who wish to have a U.S.-based credential or who wish to have additional recognition of their expertise in management accounting and access to practitioner tools will be able to benefit from the arrangement.

“ACCA and IMA share consistent values, one of which is opportunity,” IMA president and CEO Jeff Thomson said in a statement. “This waiver offers a clear and tangible opportunity for all ACCA members. Both organizations recognize the value of certification and learning that comes through a rigorous exam process.”

“Our global strategic partnership with IMA was created with the aim of bringing benefits to our members,” said ACCA chief executive Helen Brand. “Our partnership agreement is based on ‘empowering accountants and financial professionals to drive business performance.’ We welcome this new opportunity for our members specializing in management accounting roles and the enhanced recognition this can bring, especially for our many members who work for U.S.-headquartered corporations.”

Further details about the program are available at

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