Invested in the Future

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

Resilience, courage, and compassion typify IMA’s fiscal 2019-2020, which ended June 30. In the face of an international health crisis, IMA® remained strong financially and culturally and is well positioned for further growth as the world contends with, and eventually comes back from, the pandemic.


Here are some highlights that demonstrate how IMA invested in the future:


Investment in the CMA: IMA ended the fiscal year with some positive KPIs for the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) program. We grew year-over-year in total active CMAs (up 19%) and total new CMAs (up 17%, including 21% growth in the United States). We also achieved new CMA candidate growth in all regions except China, which has experienced many more months of the pandemic than other regions (and related shutdowns or deferrals in exam windows and promotional campaigns). Our five-year compounded annual growth rate for new CMA candidates, our most important leading indicator, remains a solid 20%.


Investment in new products and services: Our Education and Career Services team developed many new products that members could access remotely and while working from home. These included a new foundational certificate course in data analytics and visualization, an experiential Block­chain 101 course, new Excel courses, and the Beyond the Basics: Data Analytics and Visualization certificate (co-branded with University of Illinois). We also completed a successful inaugural year of our Count Me In podcast and developed 140 bi­lingual localized educational e-learning courses, more than 40 WeChat courses in China, and a variety of regional webinars and virtual events.


Investment in free resources and access: We delivered on our credo of “compassion over commercialism” by including free offers of continuing education resources (more than 100 free hours of CPE credits) plus limited-time free offers on several of our new courses. We also helped nonmembers in need (including prospects and those whose membership expired) by offering free access to IMA’s career and educational resources for 90 days.


Investment in groundbreaking research: At times in collaboration with others, IMA completed numerous research projects on topics such as the CFO as value creator, integrated thinking and sustainability, finance transformation and digital technology, and business planning during COVID-19. This research—delivered via Statements on Management Accounting (SMAs), C-suite reports, webinars, courses, and more—helped to enhance IMA’s reputation as a global leader in the profession.


Those are just the highlights. We also entered new markets (India), continued our successful CMA advertising campaign, and reaffirmed our commitment to diversity and inclusion with a new D&I toolkit. Overall, we have begun fiscal 2020-2021 with a very healthy balance sheet, and we’re well prepared to meet the pent-up demand and market opportunities that lie ahead. I look forward to investing in the future with you.


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.
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