Get the CSCA Credential to Accelerate Career Growth: The New Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis Credential Is Designed to Secure a CMA's Place at the Head of the Organizational Strategy Table

By Whitney, Dennis | Strategic Finance, April 2017 | Go to article overview

Get the CSCA Credential to Accelerate Career Growth: The New Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis Credential Is Designed to Secure a CMA's Place at the Head of the Organizational Strategy Table


Whitney, Dennis, Strategic Finance


Great news! ICMA[R] (Institute of Certified Management Accountants) soon will be offering a new credential: CSCA[TM] (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis). Continuous learning is essential as you progress on your career path, and earning a credential validates competence while enhancing your resume. To meet the market need for continuous career growth, ICMA has designed a program that complements the CMA[R] (Certified Management Accountant) certification.

In September 2014, IMA[R] (Institute of Management Accountants) created a task force composed of staff and IMA volunteers from the IMA Global Board of Directors and the ICMA Board of Regents. The goal was to evaluate the need for additional credentials and create a business case in support of such a new offering if the group believed it would serve a market need as well as help advance the profession of management accounting and the careers of our certified members.

Based on a comprehensive statistical research study, the task force concluded that, yes, there's a market need among our certified members for additional credentials, and it recommended that IMA invest in specialty credentials. The IMA Global Board of Directors approved the new credential program in October 2015.

SPECIALTY CREDENTIALS

Specialty credentials will be rigorous programs whose content focuses on specific topics that will provide accounting professionals with deeper, more specialized knowledge as they progress in their careers. The plan is to introduce one specialty credential at a time and ideally offer a steady stream of incremental value to our certified members.

The benefits to our certified members include improved career prospects, better perceived value in the marketplace, and an increased level of competence in specialized areas. These specialty credentials are consistent with the missions of IMA and ICMA, educating and certifying the world's best management accountants.

Certification in business insight skills is increasingly important in a world of accelerating change and innovation. While innovations can generate dramatic value for customers and organizations, they also can disrupt the business model and result in organizational failure. Senior financial leaders are called on to apply their analytical and business skills to more strategically oriented organizational decisions, increasing the value that they provide to their organizations and leading the drive to create sustained competitive advantage. Finance leaders are forming business partnerships with operations teams to provide and use both financial and non-financial data to make better business decisions. The finance team is being asked to be value stewards and value creators, combining skills in strategy, operations, technology, and leadership. IMA is especially well-suited to deliver education and certification that can help these teams drive value in the organization.

This new credentialing program aligns with our goals of increasing the value of the CMA program and improving member expertise. The specialty credentials will enhance the value of both the IMA and CMA brands by providing our certified members the opportunity to expand their skill set and further advance their careers.

NEW CREDENTIAL: CSCA

Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis, the first specialty credential, encompasses strategic analysis, strategy formulation, implementation, and evaluation. CMAs can further develop their expertise with such a credential that goes into depth in these subject areas. Management accountants in leadership positions have the advantage of seeing the organization as a whole and understanding the relationships among the various departments and value-creating activities. Planning, analysis, risk management, decision support, and performance management are integrated organization-wide skills.

The CSCA credential builds on these skills by strengthening the knowledge base in the specific discipline of strategic planning. …

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