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CIMA's 2019 milestones and opportunities for the future.

By Amal Ratnayake, FCMA, CGMA, President, CIMA Chair, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants

Technological, social and economic changes are happening all around us. They are transforming communities, businesses and organisations and disrupting how we work both locally and around the globe.

The world is moving too quickly for us to pause — to rest on our laurels as others steam ahead. We must embrace change and develop an adaptive and responsive mindset to remain successful in the long term. Reimagining and reinventing must be our new normal as we become catalysts for change in a profession that boldly pursues the future.

That’s exactly what CIMA is doing.

CIMA has a long history of advancing careers and preparing members and students for the future. As a founding body of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants — an organisation I also chair — we are better positioned to do just that. As we close our Centenary year — 100 years of leading the management accounting profession — it’s my pleasure to report on the steps we’ve taken to reimagine our profession for the next century.

At CIMA, our focus remains on promoting competencies and setting up our members and students for success. By going beyond the familiar and embracing reinvention, we’re encouraging a tech-powered profession that’s ready and able to handle anything that lies ahead.

In January, we released findings from 18 months of comprehensive research to help us understand how the role of finance is changing in the digital age. Through this research, we updated the CIMA Professional Qualification syllabus and CGMA framework. The first Objective Tests under this syllabus took place in November. We also updated our CIMA Code of Ethics to better help finance professionals like you and me deal with ethics and independence challenges in the modern digital business world.

Continuous learning allows finance professionals to evolve with these changing times. To help, we developed and launched comprehensive learning resources to guide you at every point in your career journey. For example, we released the Digital Mindset Pack, which includes free on-demand courses for CIMA members. In addition, our popular Go Beyond+ Disruption series can equip you with digital-era skills. You can browse podcasts on new and emerging technologies, attend webcasts and conferences and explore certificate programs geared towards your professional success.

But our focus isn’t only on members. We must pave the way for the profession of tomorrow. That means engaging with students and potential students and influencing public discussion on topics that affect much more than finance. This year, we expanded our accounting apprenticeship offerings by rolling out the Level 7 pathway, and we continue to advocate for reform of the apprenticeship programme to help boost productivity and social mobility. Always looking ahead, CIMA is exploring new opportunities and pathways and lighting the way for those management accountants who will inherit the profession. 

Wherever you live or work — whether it’s Australia, India, Sri Lanka, London or Toronto, where I call home — you are on the front lines of unprecedented change. Your dynamism, dedication and strength drive the management accounting profession, and you are who will bring it into the future.

It’s my great pleasure to wish you a happy and fruitful holiday season and a splendid new year.