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Strengthening our voice for management accountants.

I am extremely honored to be IMA's Chair, and I look enthusiastically to continuing the path established by Larry White and Carl Smith in partnership with Paul Sharman that is increasing IMA's contribution to the important regulatory issues that are impacting our profession. As we all know, management accounting is at the forefront of assuring that corporations are governed in a way that achieves the expectations of their stakeholders, including investors, employees, and society at large. What a great time to be an accountant--challenged by responsibilities to provide accurate and meaningful external reporting, assuring compliance and ethical behavior, and, most importantly, participating with corporate leadership in developing and implementing strategies and practices that assure the sustainability of the enterprise.

In an increasingly global economy, economic development depends on a new and growing business community. Businesses exist because accountants facilitate them. The most important accountant is the one who works inside the organization to design, implement, manage, and monitor business performance--the management accountant. We have the appropriate education, certification, and experience as professionals to drive business performance. Without businesses facilitated by management accountants, there are no salaries to be paid, no tax liability, and nothing to audit.

In my view, the role of IMA has never been more important. As members, we have supported research in the profession of management accounting, provided training for development of skills, created opportunities to practice leadership, and developed certifications that validate the capabilities and skills that are critical for successful employment and career advancement. Today, however, IMA must reach out and become an active advocate for the management accountants working within businesses. I know that we are all concerned with the cost and difficulty of complying with the increasingly complex regulations that impact the corporation from new reporting requirements to certification of the adequacy of controls. We need to influence the environment in which the management accountant and the corporation work, aiming to achieve accounting practice guidelines and rules that enhance the meaningfulness and ease of understanding of reporting while simplifying the complexity and difficulty of complying. By embracing a more active stance, IMA will enhance its profile with the financial community and industry leaders, enabling it to leverage this heightened awareness to strengthen the recognition of the Certified Management Accountant (CMA[R]).

This past year we have raised our voice and engaged with some success the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), and COSO (the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission). We have also influenced the direction of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) to increase their support of programs that are oriented toward supporting the professional accountant in business. Although our membership is smaller than it should be, IMA does represent on the order of 90% of all finance function workers in the United States. By increasing IMA's visibility and acting as an advocate for appropriate accounting procedures, I believe we will greatly enhance the value to our members and society in general. I hope you agree that your dues are a small price to pay to have a voice that represents the management accounting profession. As we increase our impact on the external forces, we expect to attract new members who recognize the importance of joining an organization that can impact the course of regulations imposed on the corporation.

If you'd like to share your thoughts about IMA and what we are doing, please e-mail me at
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Author:Brower, William
Publication:Strategic Finance
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2006
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