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A Time to Reflect

By Paul E. Juras, Ph.D., CMA, CSCA, CPA
June 1, 2021

I started my first column as IMA® chair with a quote by Albert Einstein: “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” With my term nearly over, it’s a perfect time to reflect on the value IMA has provided to members over the past year.

 

As the world struggles to recover from COVID-19, I remain amazed at how we embraced technology as a tool for connection, communication, and business continuity. When I consider the virtual events I was part of in China, India, Europe, and the United States, it reaffirms my belief that IMA’s efforts to support accounting and finance professionals globally have provided value.

 

Consider the more than 70 webinars and 20 courses, representing more than 130 continuing professional education credits, that we provide for free to members. I’m so proud of our ability to do that, as it’s a true reflection of our global core values.

 

Our effort was rewarded with growth, both in membership, now at about 140,000, and in the CMA® program, where we’re approaching 100,000 CMAs since the program began.

 

But the story goes beyond membership and CMA numbers. For example, IMA’s Higher Education Endorsement Program, which recognizes colleges and universities that offer curricula that enable students to pursue the CMA certification, continues to grow. To date, approximately 100 educational institutions have earned this distinction.

 

We also continued to influence the profession through representation in organizations such as the International Federation of Accountants and the International Integrated Reporting Council as well as our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, reflected in the recent IMA/CalCPA report and our Diversity & Inclusion tool kit.

 

One of my predecessors in the role of IMA Chair, Ben Mulling, often talked about the three P’s of volunteerism: people, places, and pride. His view of volunteerism resonated with me, and I often think about the people I’ve encountered, the places I’ve visited (albeit virtually this year), and my pride in what we’ve accomplished. No one person can claim credit for IMA’s accomplishments during my time as Chair. I’m very grateful to those who provided support throughout my term, from staff to volunteers and partners to members.

 

I’m also compelled to take a small glimpse at what lies ahead. What I see is commitment to our global membership. IMA will have a new Board committee—the Global Markets Committee—and incoming Chair-Elect Gwen van Berne will make IMA history as the first Chair-Elect based outside the U.S.

 

In my new role as Chair-Emeritus, I look forward to working with incoming Chair Steve McNally, the Global Board, IMA staff, and volunteers around the world who work to bring value to the profession.

Thank you for allowing me to serve as IMA Chair. Together, we’ve helped IMA deliver value during a difficult year—a successful term, as I hope you’ll agree.

 

Paul E. Juras, Ph.D., CMA, CSCA, CPA, is the Jefferson Vander Wolk Chair of Management Accounting and Operational Performance at Babson College and Chair of the IMA Global Board of Directors. ­Follow him on LinkedIn, or Twitter, @pauljuras.
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