Institute of Management Accountants
Member | Established: 1919 | Member since 2013
IMA is a voluntary member association focused on addressing the needs of management accounting professionals. Qualified members of IMA hold the designation of Certified Management Accountant (CMA). Founded in 1919, IMA states in its mission that its role is to provide a forum for research, practice development, education, knowledge sharing, and the advocacy of the highest ethical and best business practices in management accounting and finance. IMA sets ethical as well as initial and continuing professional development requirements for CMAs, and maintains an investigation and discipline system to enforce ethics requirements.
Statements of Membership Obligation (SMO)
The Statements of Membership Obligations form the basis of the IFAC Member Compliance Program. They serve as a framework for credible and high-quality professional accountancy organizations focused on serving the public interest by adopting, or otherwise incorporating, and supporting implementation of international standards and maintaining adequate enforcement mechanisms to ensure the professional behavior of their individual members.
SMO 1: Quality Assurance
In the United States, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants are responsible for quality assurance (QA) reviews for public business entities and nonpublic entities, respectively. The IMA is an organization that represents management accounting professionals who do not provide auditing services and therefore are not subject to mandatory QA reviews. Nevertheless, as reported by IMA, it is aware of the close relationship between management accountants and audit professionals and is committed to promoting best practices related to the accountancy profession.
Consequently, the IMA leadership has considered and evaluated the need to be actively involved in this area and concluded that at this time, given the existing environment and its mandate, its involvement in QA reviews of audits is not deemed necessary.
SMO 2: International Education Standards
The IMA is responsible for initial and continuing professional development (IPD and CPD, respectively) for Certified Management Accountant (CMAs) in the United States. Individuals wishing to qualify as a CMAs are required to complete a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, complete practical experience requirements in management accounting or financial management, successfully complete the CMA Exam and fulfill minimum annual CPD credits. The IMA reports that it has implemented IPD and CPD requirements for its Certified Management Accountant qualifications that fulfill those of the revised IES.
IMA’s Committee on Academic Relations developed a process for identifying business programs that meet the quality educational standards required to enable students to earn the CMA designation, and helps other schools develop such programs. In 2017, IMA released the Management Accounting Competency Framework to define professional competencies in the accounting profession. The Framework is revised on an ongoing basis to reflect changes in the profession.
IMA offers CPD programs which are approved by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and geared towards the professional development of accountants and financial professionals in business. Furthermore, the IMA have been working on enhancing its examination process.
Lastly, the IMA indicates that it participates in the international standard-setting process on an ongoing basis by providing comments on exposure drafts and other IAESB pronouncements.
SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
The Public Company Oversight Board is responsible for setting auditing standards for public business entities and the Auditing Standards Board of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is responsible for setting auditing standards for nonpublic entities. The IMA does not play a role in setting auditing standards and is focused on addressing the needs of management accounting professionals, which are distinct from professionals working in public accounting roles. Nevertheless, IMA has committed to enhance its members’ knowledge of audit-related standards through organizing webinars and conferences and disseminating information on international developments. IMA also participates in international standard-setting process by providing comments to IAASB exposure drafts.
SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
IMA is responsible for setting ethical requirements for its members and reports that it has adopted its Statement of Ethical Professional Practice that is, according to IMA, are no less stringent than the IESBA Code of Ethics. In 2017, IMA released a revision to its Statement of Ethical Professional Practice, following review of the ethics codes of other organizations, the IESBA Code of Ethics, and NOCLAR. In addition, the IMA has mechanism in place to periodically review its Statement of Ethical Professional Practice to ensure that is no less stringent that the IESBA Code of Ethics.
To support its members, the IMA has a Standing Advisory Committee to evaluate IMA’s Statement of Ethical Professional Practice, requires completing ethics-related courses as part of its contiuing professional development requirements, and maintains an ethics helpline as a resource to any professional to provide clarification on applying the IMA Code for on-the-job ethical situations.
SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
Given IMA’s focus on management accountants, the institute reports that it does not directly participate in the adoption and implementation of IPSAS. Nevertheless, IMA reports in its SMO Action Plan that maintains relations with the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board and provides input on technical matters affecting IMA members.
IMA reports thay its leadership has considered and evaluated considered ways to comply with the requirements of SMO 5 and, apart from its general intention to perform policy dialogues, does not deem further involvement in public sector accounting matters to be feasible at this time.
SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
IMA is responsible for establishing an investigative and disciplinary (I&D) system for its members and, accordingly, has established Board Policy C-400 “Ethics Compliance Procedures.” IMA conducted an assessment of its I&D policies and processes against the requirements of SMO 6 and has identified only one gap, members of the I&D committee do not include non-accountants. In addition, IMA indicates that it has processes in place to review and amend its Board Policy as required.
During the next submission of its Action Plan, it is recommended that IMA consider to address the existing gaps of its I&D policies based on the comparison against the requirements of SMO 6, and report its conclusion and potential plans in its SMO Action Plan accordingly.
SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
In the United States the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is the entity responsible for the adoption of accounting standards and it has been working with the IASB since 2002 to achieve convergence of IFRS and U.S. GAAP. While the IMA has no responsibility for the adoption of IFRS, it indicates that it is active in this area through ongoing initiatives which include: (i) monitoring the convergence project of the FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) standards; (ii) communicating developments and updates to its members on the standards and developments; and (iii) providing continuing professional education and webinars on the standards.
In addition, the IMA reports that it maintains relations with the FASB and the IASB and participates in the standard-setting process by providing comments to the standards consultations.
IFAC bears no responsibility for the information provided in the SMO Action Plans prepared by IFAC member organizations. Please see our full Disclaimer for additional information.