Global Game-Changer: The Impact of the CGMA Designation: It's Been Almost a Year since the Launch of the CGMA and There Is Now a Connected Community of More Than 120,000 Chartered Global Management Accountants around the World. Lawrie Holmes Explains How the New Designation Became a Game-Changer for the Management Accounting Profession

By Holmes, Lawrie | Financial Management (UK), November 2012 | Go to article overview

Global Game-Changer: The Impact of the CGMA Designation: It's Been Almost a Year since the Launch of the CGMA and There Is Now a Connected Community of More Than 120,000 Chartered Global Management Accountants around the World. Lawrie Holmes Explains How the New Designation Became a Game-Changer for the Management Accounting Profession


Holmes, Lawrie, Financial Management (UK)


In a climate of increasing uncertainty, organisations the world over are calling for greater competence when it comes to financial discipline and effective strategy. The financial crisis, the eurozone meltdown and the effects of globalisation are forcing both companies and public-sector organisations to seek a cadre of leaders who are able to meet these expectations.

Like never before, the all-round values that management accountants offer are being recognised, be it in managing change, understanding risk or promoting operational efficiency. This is especially the case in forward-thinking organisations that understand the fast-moving changes that are taking place around the world. They understand that a new breed of management accountants, schooled in financial management techniques and able to comprehend business strategy, will be the best candidates to drive organisations as myriad threats and challenges continue in a globally connected world.

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CIMA council had, at several meetings, identified the changing world as a key factor in driving the institute's strategy.

Charles Tilley, chief executive of CIMA, says that the first discussion with AICPA president and chief executive Barry Melancon that would lead to the launch of the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) took place in November 2009. "Barry and I had an initial conversation about what we might be able to do together to respond to the changing world," says Tilley. "We agreed that management accounting would be crucial to the long-term, sustainable success of any organisation. And the reason I say that is that what a business does, more than anything else, is take decisions. And the quality of those decisions leads to whether an organisation is successful or not."

Barry Melancon picks up the story. "Charles and I had a discussion about what we could envision, and that was to create a global credential recognised by businesses around the world, regardless of their location, and powered by a joint venture that would leverage the successes and the core competencies of both organisations and their incredible teams, and the strong brands that we have. It would create something new and different, elevate management accounting and marry skill set development and tools and leadership with what people need today in the management accounting world."

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"The opportunity to work with the AICPA, to be able to jointly drive forward and promote the role of the management accountant, was really what was so exciting," says Gulzari Babber, the current CIMA president. "It was the opportunity to extend the perception of CIMA from an international management accounting institute to one that was truly global in outlook."

Launching the CGMA designation brought together the strengths and geographic reach of two of the world's most prestigious accounting institutes to address these new challenges. CGMA was formed in recognition of an understanding that a powerful new designation, encompassing the core values that have evolved in CIMA and AICPA over many years, would address the needs of the world's leading organisations, and in doing so set both bodies apart from their shared competition.

"CGMA is the first time that there has been a designation in management accounting that is genuinely recognised in every economy across the world on every continent," says Andrew Harding, CIMA's managing director. "That's a first. All sorts of accounting designations and professional bodies claim that. CGMA is the only one that genuinely delivers that." Harding says that on a recent visit to Bangalore in India he saw at first hand the impact CGMA is having for IBM and Hewlett-Packard, which both have big operations there. "What they're looking for is for their staff is to have designations that are understood and that can give the head offices, be they in New York, London or Paris, confidence in the competence of their staff. …

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Global Game-Changer: The Impact of the CGMA Designation: It's Been Almost a Year since the Launch of the CGMA and There Is Now a Connected Community of More Than 120,000 Chartered Global Management Accountants around the World. Lawrie Holmes Explains How the New Designation Became a Game-Changer for the Management Accounting Profession
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