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Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)


The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) is a professional organization dedicated to advancing the management accounting profession. It offers resources like professional development opportunities and industry certifications (like the Certified Management Accountant). The IMA is globally recognized, promoting high ethical standards and best practices in corporate financial management.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)” is: In-stit-yoot ov Man-ij-ment Uh-count-uhnts (Eye-em-ay)

Key Takeaways

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  1. Global Network: IMA is a global organization associated with driving the professional development of management accountants. The institute has more than 140,000 members spanning over 150 countries, which emphasizes its global reach and influence in the field of management accounting.
  2. Educational and Certification Programs: IMA offers a variety of educational resources and certification programs, including the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis (CSCA) credentials. These programs are designed to enhance the professional competency and marketability of its members.
  3. Advocacy for Professionals: IMA advocates for the profession through its commitment to high ethical standards, by providing networking opportunities through its numerous chapters and councils, and through research and publications, such as the “Strategic Finance Magazine” and “Management Accounting Quarterly”.



The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) is a critical organization in the field of business and finance because it greatly contributes to the advancement and standardization of management accounting practices. IMA is known for its globally recognized credentials, such as the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) which represents a benchmark of proficiency in the financial management and accounting industries. IMA provides a forum for research, practice development, education, knowledge sharing, and advocacy of the highest ethical and best business practices, fostering a broader understanding of the importance of the management accounting profession. Therefore, IMA is instrumental in enhancing the skills, capabilities, and ethical standards of its members, leading to improved business performance.


The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) is a global entity that operates with the primary intention of advancing the financial and business management skills of professionals engaged in private and public entities, non-profits or academic institutions. The IMA’s core purpose revolves around enhancing the professional development of its members in areas such as financial analysis, planning, control, decision support, and professional ethics. They do this through fostering ongoing education, certification (namely the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certification), and networking opportunities for accounting and finance professionals. The IMA serves as a resource platform that provides a wealth of knowledge, best practices, and latest trends in management accounting. What signifies the IMA apart is its focus on “inside” accounting, or those aspects of accounting necessary to manage a business. IMA members rely on the resources offered to explore new ways to enhance internal financial management techniques, improve their descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics capabilities, and better comprehend business strategy and decision making. Ultimately, the IMA aids its members in driving business performance and fostering organizational success.


1. Cargill: Cargill, the international food conglomerate, often employs professionals who have been certified by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). These professionals have received certification in management accounting and financial management. IMA ensures that they are equipped with the skills necessary to interpret and use financial information for decision-making purposes. 2. Johnson & Johnson: Known globally, this pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods manufacturer uses IMA certified professionals to aid in creating and following the company’s financial strategy. These professionals provide detailed financial analysis and aid in decision-making processes to ensure profitability and sustainability. 3. KPMG: This Big Four accounting firm often has accountants on staff who are members of IMA or who have obtained its coveted Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation. The specialized training that these individuals receive helps them to effectively advise clients on a range of financial matters, such as financial planning, analysis, control, decision support, and professional ethics.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)?

The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) is a professional organization focused on improving the financial and accounting management skills of its members. IMA is known for offering the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certification which is highly valued in the financial and business fields.

What is the main purpose of the IMA?

The main purpose of the IMA 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.

Who can join the IMA?

Anyone involved in finance, accounting, or business management can join the IMA, irrespective of their career stage. It is beneficial for professionals, academics, and students for career advancement and educational opportunities.

What is the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certification?

The CMA certification is a globally recognized certification offered by IMA. It signifies that the holder has knowledge in areas like financial planning, analysis, control, decision support, and professional ethics.

What is the significance of an IMA membership?

Being an IMA member provides numerous benefits. These include access to a broad array of educational resources, networking opportunities, professional development tools, as well as preparation materials and eligibility for the CMA exam.

How does the IMA promote ethical practices in management accounting and finance?

The IMA has a Statement of Ethical Professional Practice which all members and certified CMAs are obliged to comply with. It contains principles like honesty, fairness, objectivity, and responsibility to uphold ethical conduct.

How does IMA help in career advancement?

IMA offers various resources for career growth, including webinars, publications, networking opportunities, job listings, and volunteer leadership roles. They also provide the opportunity to earn the CMA and CSCA (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis) certifications.

How often does IMA hold conferences and events?

IMA holds annual and regional conferences, as well as regular webinars and chapter meetings, providing a platform for members to discuss industry trends, network, and learn from experts. Dates and details can be found on their official website.

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