SF Editorial Guidelines & Submissions

Strategic Finance publishes only original material that contributes to the accounting and financial management profession.

We recommend that you study several issues of our magazine before you write and submit your manuscript. The best advice is to write only about the topics you know best and with which you’ve had experience.

To query about potential articles or article topics, contact Christopher Dowsett at cdowsett@imanet.org. For any questions about submitting a manuscript or any of the information below, contact Alice Schulman at aschulman@imanet.org.

SUBMITTING YOUR MANUSCRIPT

Manuscripts should be submitted via e-mail to aschulman@imanet.org. Include the manuscript as an attachment to your message.

Format. Files should be in Word format. We can also take TXT or RTF files. Do not send PDF filesstaff must be able to make and save changes to the document in order to prepare it for review. Do not put an author’s name on anything within the manuscript fileAll manuscripts are reviewed “blind.” Using the author’s name within the manuscript itself will cause delays in the review process. If it must be used within the context of the article, black out the name. The editorial staff and reviewers will understand it is referring to the author. Names may also be used in citations and other references if there is no indication that the person listed is also the author.

Submission Form. Manuscripts must be accompanied by a completed Manuscript Submission form. Manuscripts will not be processed without a form.

The criteria for acceptable manuscripts are:

  1. IMA is given exclusive publication rights.
  2. The manuscript must not have been previously published and is not available to other publishers.
  3. It must be submitted in English and in completed form for publication.
  4. The manuscript must not be a poem, outline, abstract, thesis, school term/research paper, unedited speech, or previously accepted manuscript.
  5. The content of the manuscript must be timely.

Length of Manuscript. Ideal length is about 2,500 to 3,000 words for Strategic Finance. The main body of the manuscript must be at least 2,000 words, or it will not be sent out for review.

Tables and Figures. Your manuscript will be strengthened if you can illustrate your points. Graphic illustrations should be kept simple and in proportion to the manuscript’s length. Make a specific reference in the text to each table or figure in your manuscript, and put each table or figure on a separate sheet of paper. If you use a table or figure from another publication, you must have obtained written permission to use it. Include a copy of the permission when submitting the manuscript.

Each manuscript is assigned a control number after it is submitted. When you want to know the status of your manuscript, please refer to this number when you contact staff.

EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD

Each manuscript undergoes a double-blind review by members of the Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) who are academics and practitioners with expertise in the specific topic areas the manuscript covers.

The EAB is led by Bruce R. Neumann, Ph.D., academic editor. He is assisted by the associate academic editors, Ann Dzuranin, Ph.D., CPA, and William R. Koprowski, Ph.D., CMA, CFM, CFE, CIA.

The members of the EAB are:

Felix Amenkhienan, CMA; Dennis Applegate, CMA, CFM, CPA; William Bockanic, J.D.; Rich Brady, CMA; A.J. Cataldo; Anthony Cavalieri, CMA, CFM, CPA; Kimberly Charron, CMA; Anthony Curatola; Charles Davis, CMA, CPA; Jennifer Dosch, CMA; Thomas M. Ennis, CMA, CPA; Gary Fleischman, CMA, CPA; Margaret Goldstein, CMA, CPA, CITP, CFE; Lawrence Grasso, CPA; Parveen Gupta; Nitham Hindi, CMA; Bridgette Hobart, CPA; Dawn Hukai; Thomas Jordan, CMA; Jorge R. Keith, CMA; Alfred King, CMA, CFM; Jolene Lampton, CPA, CFE, CGMA; Randall Luecke, CMA, CFM, CPA; Roland Madison, CPA; Ariel Markelevich, CMA; Edward McCracken; Sameer Mustafa, CMA, CFM, CPA; Marco Otti; James Rinier, CPA; Peter D. Sheldrick, CMA; Katherine Silvester; Anne Smith, CMA; Audrey Taylor, CPA; Neal VanZante, CMA, CFM, CPA; Kenton Walker; Robert West, CPA; Jidong Zhang, Ph.D., CMA, CIA, CISA; Yan Zhang, CMA

THE REVIEW PROCESS

Members of the EAB base their evaluations on the following seven major criteria:

  1. Is the topic of the manuscript relevant for our readers?
  2. How well was the topic covered? Was it a thorough analysis and description of the topic? Were any assertions made that were not supported by the evidence and data supplied?
  3. Is the manuscript original and not a rehash of what has been published previously?
  4. Is it practical? Can our readers use the information to benefit their companies and careers?
  5. Is it technically correct and sound?
  6. Is the topic timely? Does the manuscript reflect the latest pronouncements and research? Does it represent a new development or innovation of which our members should be aware?
  7. Is the material presented clearly and concisely?

Reviewers recommend that the manuscript be published, revised, or rejected. They also provide reasons for their recommendations and suggestions on how the technical content of the manuscript can be improved.

Based on the review committee’s comments and further evaluation by the editorial staff of the magazine, manuscripts will either be considered for publication or rejected. You will be notified once a final decision has been reached. Turnaround time for the review process is 120 days.

PUBLICATION

Once the editor-in-chief has selected a publication date, a staff member will edit your manuscript and send you the edited version and an assignment of copyright form. Please review the editing, make any changes, sign the copyright form, and return all material within five days of receipt. During the editing process, an editor may contact you to discuss tables or figures to illustrate the article or any other matters pertaining to the content.

Complimentary Copies. After the article is published, you will receive 10 copies for your personal use. You may order additional issues or reprints by contacting Alice Schulman at (800) 638-4427, ext. 1547; (201) 474-1547; or aschulman@imanet.org.

LYBRAND AWARDS

The IMA member authors of the top manuscripts submitted, determined by the average grade, and published during the chapter competition year are presented Certificates of Merit for their outstanding contributions to accounting and finance literature. IMA member authors of the top three manuscripts, as determined by an editorial advisory committee, will be presented Lybrand Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals, respectively.

Nonmember coauthors of Lybrand-eligible manuscripts receive Certificates of Appreciation.

TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE WRITING

Staff editors carefully edit every manuscript scheduled for publication. They follow a number of general principles in the editing process. Here are some suggestions for effective writing:

  • Write punchy lead paragraphs that will “grab” readers and pull them into the article.
  • Avoid long introductions. Get right to the point. Tell the reader exactly what you plan to do.
  • Avoid jargon and acronyms. Readers don’t like to go back and check their meaning.
  • Don’t pad your manuscript. It will be obvious to the editor and to the reader—if the editor lets the material stand.
  • Avoid long, complex sentences. Break a complex thought into two or more sentences.
  • Don’t assume that the reader knows as much as you do. Carefully explain or define a term that isn’t commonly used or was coined at your company.
  • Use the active voice, not passive. Instead of writing “It was accomplished in 10 days,” say “We finished the project in 10 days.”
  • Write a conclusion that sums up your major points and makes a statement on why the article is important to the reader.