Mastering Technology

By Jeffrey C. Thomson, CMA, CSCA, CAE
January 1, 2020

Giving advice is easy, but following it can be difficult. That’s especially true when we talk about the challenges ahead for the accounting profession and the need to be prepared.


Recently, we at IMA® have been talking a lot about technology and analytics. I’ve met with IMA members as well as other accounting and finance professionals around the world, at organizations both large and small, to discuss how digital technology is creating risks and opportunities. As a leading global association for the accounting and finance profession, IMA takes seriously its role in helping our members contend with these risks and opportunities, including helping them learn the skills needed to maintain their relevance and increase their influence.


As part of that leadership role, IMA has begun an organization-wide initiative focused on providing more technology and analytics content and offerings for our members and the profession. This includes magazine articles, research reports, educational courses, podcasts, and a variety of other resources, many of which will be highlighted on our Technology & Analytics Center webpage.


One of the new offerings debuting early this spring will be a Data Analytics and Visualization Fundamentals certificate course. This four-part online course aims to help members understand how to become data-driven, how to visualize the present and predict the future, and how to apply data analytics and visualization to address core business challenges.


In addition, this month marks the launch of the new CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) exam, CMA 2020, which incorporates new content in technology and analytics. It’s a change we’ve been planning for a long time, and I’m excited to see it realized. This update to our exam content ensures that the CMA is more relevant than ever to the work that accounting and finance professionals are being asked to do.


Within IMA, we’re heeding our own advice by pursuing “mastering technology” as one of our core strategic goals. We recently hired our first-ever director of analytics, who will be using some of the latest analytics tools to help us deliver more value to our members. Last year, we upgraded our enterprise resource planning (or back-end) systems, enabling us to provide new products and better service, such as automatic credit-card renewal. This year, we’re embarking on a new project to reimagine the IMA website and improve the user experiences for mobile and personal devices, and we’ll be seeking your input on these front-end engagement opportunities.


I’m looking forward to what we’ll accomplish together in 2020 as we continue to seek out new ways to use technology to benefit members and the profession. I hope you are as well.


Jeffrey C. Thomson, CMA, CSCA, CAE, is IMA president and CEO. He also is a member of IMA’s Bergen-Rockland-Meadowlands Chapter. You can reach Jeff at jthomson@imanet.org or follow him on Twitter: @IMA_JeffThomson.
3 + Show Comments
    Gunner March 7, 2020 AT 10:23 am

    I am extremely pleased how IMA continually gives members the opportunity to keep up with technology in accounting. Many accounting organizations just raise their membership fees and provide no additional value to members and are just thinking now in 2020 about incorporating data analytics into their programs.

    Oliver Becker February 25, 2020 AT 3:44 pm

    Will the data analytics and visualization certificate be similar to the CSCA or just an online certificate? When exactly will it start?

    sfadmin February 26, 2020 AT 9:59 am

    The IMA Data Analytics & Visualization Fundamentals Certificate course is scheduled to launch at the end of March. It differs from the CSCA in that it is not a certification where you need to take an exam at one of the centers. This is an online course, and passing the course will earn the learner a professional certificate, a digital badge, and CPE credits. Check back here for information in the future: https://www.imanet.org/education-center/tech-and-analytics-center?ssopc=1

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