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PERSPECTIVES: OUR PUBLISHING LEGACY

By Joseph A. Vincent, CMA
March 4, 2015
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Joe Vincent_web

In his acceptance speech after being elected the first president of the National Association of Cost Accountants (NACA), J. Lee Nicholson concluded by saying, “It is hoped that at an early date the organization will be able to establish a monthly journal devoted exclusively to cost accounting.”

 

That was in 1919, and, during these past 10 decades, Nicholson’s hope has been fulfilled. You’re holding in your hands (or viewing on your screen) the most recent iteration of that vision, a vibrant monthly publication produced by what is now a global association of management accounting professionals.

 

It’s been a long journey from those initial remarks to this redesigned, refocused, and 21st-Century-looking version of Strategic Finance. The origins of this magazine really date back to just a few months after Nicholson’s speech when a Committee on Publications was one of the early standing committees established by NACA’s Executive Committee. That committee voted to publish two periodical booklets, which by 1925 merged to become the NACA Bulletin. It appeared twice monthly and was mailed to all members.

 

That Bulletin was widely read and highly respected within the profession. In 1957 it became the NAA Bulletin, a change that reflected the dropping of the word “Cost” from the association’s name to National Association of Accountants (NAA). Then in 1965, after more than 40 years of publication under the Bulletin title, the periodical was renamed Management Accounting, signifying the shift in overall NAA emphasis from purely cost accounting to a broader focus on management accounting. Three years later, Management Accounting had a major style change: to an 8″ x 10″ magazine (from its original 6″ x 9″ format). Two decades later it evolved into the magazine most of us became familiar with, including the use of four-color graphics and state-of-the-art electronic composition. In 1991, the association’s name was changed to IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants), and in 1999 this magazine was renamed Strategic Finance.

 

Through these changes—name changes, format changes, style changes—several things have remained constant. One important one has been Kathy Williams, current editor-in-chief, who joined the NAA staff in 1972 and, along with a variety of Publications team members, has helped guide this evolutionary process over these many years.

 

What also has remained constant is this award-winning magazine’s commitment to providing thought leadership to the management accounting profession and, equally important, our belief that our members—who provide leading-edge content for our articles each month—are the best source for innovative accounting techniques and technological advances.

 

I hope you enjoy this new and improved version of Strategic Finance. Remember: It’s the result of nearly 100 years of change and progression…with the content of each issue shaped only by our imaginations.

 

I welcome your thoughts and comments at jvincent@imanet.org.

 

Joseph A. Vincent, CMA, is Chair of the IMA Global Board of Directors. Joe has been an active member of IMA at the local, regional, and global levels for the past 40 years and previously served as Chair of the ICMA Board of Regents.
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