AICPA and CIMA Agree to Offer New CGMA Designation

LONDON / WASHINGTON, DC. (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, today agreed on creation of a new professional designation, the Chartered Global Management Accountant, that will be a worldwide standard of professional excellence in management accounting.

With approval now given 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. Backing the new CGMA designation will be an AICPA-CIMA joint venture with international resources and experience in management accounting and business.

“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.”

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.”

CIMA is the largest professional body in the world focused exclusively on management accounting and the AICPA is the world’s largest professional accounting organization with members in a wide range of accounting and financial executive roles. Together, the new venture will cover more than 550,000 members and students worldwide.

The new AICPA and CIMA joint venture will promote and establish the CGMA as the preeminent, globally recognized management accounting designation. The joint venture will combine the strength of the AICPA in North America with CIMA’s presence in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and elsewhere.

CIMA Chief Executive Charles Tilley said: ”The new CGMA will be recognized throughout the world as the gold-standard designation for management accountants who play a vital role in building sustainable business value. The joint venture will raise the profile of the profession and be a passport for careers throughout the world.”

“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.”

It is proposed that the new CGMA designation will be issued to members early in 2012.  AICPA voting members with at least three years 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 ACMA CGMA or FMCA CGMA if they wish to.

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.

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.

The AICPA and CIMA first announced the proposal on March 17.

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