Push or Pull: Message from the Chair

By Brower, William | Strategic Finance, October 2006 | Go to article overview

Push or Pull: Message from the Chair


Brower, William, Strategic Finance


When I was in college, I remember trying to write a paper on whether labor wage increases were a cause of inflation or if they were a response to inflation. Another time, someone told me that science had demonstrated that it is easier to pull a wagon than push it. We have all read articles on the "glass ceiling" and how difficult it is to push our way up the career ladder but how easy it is to believe that successful careers are assisted by a pull from mentors who are paving the way.

IMA[R] seems to face a similar situation today. A few management accountants have asked: "Why should I become or even remain an active CMA[R] and an IMA member when most companies do not recognize, reward, or even know what a CMA is?" In response, should IMA increase the effort behind creating a pull, or should members exert greater push to influence the companies that they work for to support the Certified Management Accountant designation and program? I believe we need both the pull and the push.

Let's look at IMA's efforts to increase the pull, beginning with marketing the CMA. We are rolling out a series of tactical marketing initiatives designed to increase awareness of the credential in the profession. This includes an aggressive public relations campaign targeting the business, accounting, and management trade press; speaking engagements; and case studies profiling the careers of CMA professionals. IMA is also revamping its marketing materials to increase support of the program. A new certification brochure was recently introduced to position the CMA as the "gold standard" of accounting and finance professionals working inside organizations.

Further, a renewed focus on corporate development will help build an understanding of the significance of the CMA credential at the corporate level. Steve Weiss was hired as director of corporate development to lead this charge. Many professionals and employers don't know that they are, by definition, management accountants, representing more than 90% of finance function professionals who work in industry. IMA's corporate development initiative has begun tapping into the training and development needs of corporations to ensure their staffs are properly trained and certified. …

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