AICPA, CIMA propose deeper partnership

Association would integrate operations, strategy, and management.

Building on their existing joint venture, and based on environmental trends and demographic shifts, the AICPA and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) are proposing to create a new association while preserving their existing membership bodies.

The association would integrate operations, strategy, and management of the two organizations to further advance advocacy and achieve economies of scale, thereby driving enhanced support for, and promotion of, both public and management accounting.

"We believe this proposal would strengthen the accounting profession today and for future generations," said AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, who described the proposal as critical to staying ahead of demographic, talent, business, and marketplace trends.

In 2011, the AICPA entered into a joint venture with CIMA, the world's largest management accounting professional body that prepares people for careers in business and establishes best practices. The joint venture created a new complementary designation, the Chartered Global Management Accountant, or CGMA, for the nearly 50% of the AICPA's members who work in businesses of all sizes and in ownership structures.

Under the current proposal, AICPA members would remain members of the AICPA and be awarded membership in the new association as part of their regular AICPA dues. CIMA members would similarly remain members of CIMA and be part of the new association. While the AICPA and CIMA would maintain their respective membership bodies and governing councils, the deeper partnership would enable the organizations to advocate for the public interest and promote designations with the power of 600,000 current and next-generation accounting professionals worldwide, the Institute said. Integrating operations, strategy, and management is intended to also accelerate and expand the research, resources, and services the organizations provide.

The AICPA would continue to focus efforts on keeping the CPA strong in the United States and extending its influence.

Creation of the proposed association would require an affirmative member ballot for both AICPA and CIMA. The AICPA is talking with members about the proposal and what it would mean for all stakeholders. If that dialogue is positive, a ballot initiative could occur in late spring 2016.

To learn more and share comments, visit aicpa.org/horizons.

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