Magazine article Strategic Finance

To Be or Not to Be

Magazine article Strategic Finance

To Be or Not to Be

Article excerpt

"To be or not to be: that is the question:" This quote from Shakespeare has great application to the IMA as we face the challenges before us in our association. We can even paraphrase it to "What to be or what not to be?" as we consider the direction that IMA must take as we move forward to provide members with real value.

A number of years ago, IMA passed a bylaw that instituted a continuing education (CPE) requirement of 10 hours per year as a condition of membership. In subsequent years IMA has continued to defer the implementation of the requirement. Beginning January 1, 2001, the minimum standard of continuing education will increase to 20 hours per year. All CPE hours must meet the qualitative specifications set forth by the Institute of Certified Management Accountants. Of course, holders of IMA professional certifications must continue to meet a minimum standard for CPE as established by the ICMA Board of Regents.

At the time the bylaw change was made I recall thinking about the need to professionalize the IMA and that having a CPE requirement would force members into getting the education they needed and might also include other side benefits such as increased applicants for the CMA and now the CFM. I thought that the educational programs and chapter meetings might even get a boost from the need to find inexpensive opportunities for satisfying the CPE requirement. But I was mistaken! Having such a requirement has not helped in those areas. Membership continues to decline, and although we can't directly attribute it to the CPE requirement, I think most of us would agree that having such a requirement hasn't helped membership growth.

The time has come for the leadership of IMA to listen to what the grassroots members are telling us, whether we agree or not, and then act accordingly. We cannot continue to postpone the effective date of the CPE requirement if implementation is what the general membership wants. …

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