CIMA's current corporate logo
|Predecessor||The Institute of Cost and Management Accountants|
|Formation||18 April 1919|
|Legal status||Chartered body|
|Member's designations||ACMA, FCMA and CGMA|
|IFAC member since||7 October 1977|
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is a UK based professional body offering training and qualification in management accountancy and related subjects. It is focused on accountants working in industry, and provides ongoing support and training for members.
CIMA is one of the professional associations for accountants in the UK and Ireland. Its particular emphasis is on developing the management accounting profession. CIMA is the largest management accounting body in the world with more than 227,000 members and students in 179 countries. CIMA is also a member of the International Federation of Accountants.
CIMA was founded in 1919 as "The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants" (ICWA). It specialised in the development of accounting techniques for use in the internal control of manufacturing, service and public sector operations. It developed a position as the leading professional body in the areas of product costing, budgeting, management accounting, investment appraisal and business decision making.
In October 1944, the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants organisation in Ireland was formed.
The institute changed its name from ICWA to the "Institute of Cost and Management Accountants" (ICMA) in 1972 and subsequently to the "Chartered Institute of Management Accountants" (CIMA) in 1986, after it was granted a Royal Charter, a globally recognised accounting qualification, based in the UK and particularly honored in Commonwealth countries. Its membership has grown from 15,000 in 1970 to 79,757 members and 92,909 students in 2009. It has played a role in founding fraternal professional bodies such as the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan, the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Bangladesh, the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India and the Institute of Management Accountants (USA).
CIMA operates a master's degree standard scheme of qualifying examinations for prospective members. It promotes local education, training and management development operations, and new techniques through its research foundation and the dissemination of management accounting practices through publications and other media related activities. CIMA has been active in recent educational and vocational initiatives in former Eastern bloc countries. It publishes a monthly journal, supplied free to members and registered students, called 'Financial Management'.
CIMA is recognised as a professional accounting body for various statutory purposes by UK and various overseas governments. The institute regulates the activities of its members by a code of practice, a discipline committee and (a recent innovation) a continuing education scheme. Its governing body is its council, comprising members elected from regional branches. Each of the branches has a committee and is responsible for much of the 'grass roots' activity. Activity such as qualification development is undertaken from the London head office.
The CIMA Global Business Challenge, an annual international business and strategic management competition for undergraduates around the world, is designed to bring out the best in the young business leaders of tomorrow.
In July 2009, CIMA added an online community – CIMAsphere – to its website. The community consisted of a range of blogs, discussion boards, groups, community answers, expert Q&A sessions and some social networking features for members, students and the general public. This has since been shut down. Members are instead encouraged to join the CIMA LinkedIn group, and students are directed to CIMAconnect, an online study support portal.
In 2011, CIMA entered into a joint venture with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to launch a global management accounting designation called the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). In the Americas outside the U.S., non-U.S. CPAs can obtain the new designation as an AICPA International Associate, after a rigorous assessment process. In the rest of the world, new designation holders are able to become members of CIMA after the same assessment process.
CIMA is proactive to tie up with American CPA because of the current convergence trend between US-GAAP and IFRS, reinforced following the merger of the iconic New York Stock Exchange with Germany’s Deutsche Boerse AG. "It remains to be seen whether companies listed in a combined exchange would be required to report under IFRS, US GAAP or both, but as the US appears to be moving towards IFRS adoption it is more likely the international standards would be the accounting rules of choice"
In 2014 CIMA created the Global Management Accounting Principles (GMAPs). The result of research from across 20 countries in five continents, the principles aim to guide best practice in the discipline.
CIMA has two grades of full membership:
- Associate – designated by the letters ACMA
- Fellow – designated by the letters FCMA
To be admitted as an Associate, a candidate must have:
- completed a period of qualifying practice of at least three years, documented and signed by appropriate witnesses
- passed the institute's 18 qualifying examinations, including 3 integrated case study exams under 2015 syllabus
- been proposed and seconded for membership by two individuals who have direct experience of the candidate's work experience.
To become a Fellow, a candidate ACMA must, in addition, have appropriate experience at a senior level.
In the past, CIMA has offered forms of association which do not amount to full membership, for example an "Affiliate" membership class was promoted in the 1970s.
CIMA members have access to a number of strategic alliances, including:
- Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP)
- An accelerated route to Associateship of the Association of Corporate Treasurers
- A mutual recognition agreement with the Society of Management Accountants of Canada
- A mutual recognition agreement with CPA Australia
- A strategic alliance with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia
- On 26 September 2006, CIMA announced a joint qualification program with the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants
- MOU with Institute of Cost Accountants of India
- Strategic Alliance with the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan (ICMAP)
- A joint venture with the AICPA to establish and promote a new, internationally recognised designation for management accounting — the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).
- Recognition from the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants
In recent years, CIMA has been party to merger talks with other professional accounting bodies including the ICAEW in 1995 and again in 2005.
- CIMA, CIMA About Us, 14 Sep 2015
- Our History – CIMA – History of the CIMA in Ireland
- CIMA Annual Report 2009 – History of the CIMA in Ireland
- AICPA, AICPA Press Release Published 23 May 2011, 1 Feb 2014
- The Accountant-online, Bloomberg talks up US GAAP as merger talks continue Published 14 February 2011 by TA editorial, 14 February 2011
- King, I. "New set of accounting principles can help drive sustainable success". ft.com. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- ACT route
- CMA Canada agreement (pdf)
- Pathway for CIMA members to CPA Australia membership (htm)
- ICA-Australia alliance
- New Zealand joint qualification on CIMA website
- CIMA recognition
- CIMA Website
- Key Facts and Trends in the UK Accountancy Profession, annual publication by the Professional Oversight Board
- Key Facts and Trends in the UK Accountancy Profession – July 2007
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