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AICPA Globalized With New CGMA Designation

On May 23, 2011, the governing bodies of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), headquartered in London, agreed on the creation of a new professional designation, the Chartered Global Management Accountant, which will be a worldwide standard of professional excellence in management accounting.

Now approved by the AICPA and CIMA’s councils, the two accounting bodies will create the new CGMA designation to give management accountancy a higher profile in the United States and promote the professional development of management accountants across the globe.  An AICPA-CIMA joint venture will be backing the new CGMA designation with international resources and experience in management accounting and business.    The joint venture will promote and establish the CGMA as the preeminent, globally recognized management accounting designation.  CGMA will have the combined strength of the AICPA in North America with CIMA’s presence in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and elsewhere.

“Economic globalization is a reality for all businesses now and in the future and so it’s critical that we have a universally accepted standard of excellence for management accounting,” said AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon.  “Combining that commitment to excellence with ethics and integrity, the CGMA will help produce and recognize top management accounting professionals worldwide.”

Both organizations are committed to strict ethical standards.  CIMA President George Glass said: “We are delighted that management accountancy is to be given a strong new global impetus by this joint venture.  This advances our strategic aims and will ensure management accountants, committed to strict ethical standards, will receive world-class support in a fast-globalizing world.”

The new CGMA designation is proposed to be issued to members early in 2012.  AICPA voting members with at least three years experience  working in management accounting or a financial management role would qualify for an accelerated route to obtaining the new designation.  CIMA members, all of whom hold either an ACMA or FCMA, will be entitled to use the letters CGMA if they wish to.   The new CGMA will be issued by the AICPA and CIMA through a license with the joint venture, with membership remaining with the existing organizations.

Those holding the new designation will commit to a program of developing and maintaining competency in management accounting as well as leadership and strategy.  This knowledge base will be derived from an expert-panel assessment of skills and competencies needed to succeed in various career paths in management accounting.   

“This is truly an historic moment for management accounting and the accounting profession worldwide,” AICPA Chairman Paul Stahlin said.  “Our joint venture with CIMA creates long-term strategic value for our members and literally opens up the world for U.S. CPAs in management accounting.”