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September 27, 2023

AICPA, CIMA Want to Give the CGMA Its Own Accounting Association (UPDATE)

Update clarifies purpose of proposed association and includes letter from AICPA Chair Tim Christen to members.

Here's a thing that the AICPA and CIMA are doing:

The American Institute of CPAs is proposing the creation of a new accounting association in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

In a letter sent to institute members, the AICPA’s chair, Tim Christen, outlined the thinking behind the proposed association, which would “integrate operations, strategy and management from both organizations to further advance advocacy, achieve economies of scale and better support accounting professionals.”

The new association’s primary focus would be on accountants working in industry and management accounting.

Alright, well, that sounds like, uh, a merger? 

The AICPA and CIMA have been involved in a joint venture since 2011 that created and maintain the CGMA, or Chartered Global Management Accountant, credential. Sources close to the proposal process stressed that the new association would not in any way be a merger of the two groups, but rather a natural evolution of the original joint venture.

Okay, so an evolution of a joint venture, the purpose of which was to "promote the professional development of management accountants across the globe" through the CGMA will now become "a new accounting association." I think?

So is that like a start-up non-profit trade organization, the purpose of which will be, "to further advance advocacy, achieve economies of scale and better support accounting professionals." That is, management accounting professionals? That is CGMAs?

While you think on that, here are more details:

  • Both the AICPA and CIMA would continue doing AICPA and CIMA stuff.
  • Members of both the AICPA and CIMA would get membership in the new association, with no increase in dues.
  • Both orgs will "discuss the proposal" with their members for the next 5-6 months.
  • Memberships will vote in "late spring 2016."
  • Leadership of the new organization would rotate but the first leader would likely be…wait for it…Barry Melancon.

I have an email out to AICPA with some questions. I'll update after I hear back. In the meantime, try to sort this out amongst yourselves.

UPDATE, 11/3/15:

The AICPA got back to us and said that the new association "would not be specific to management accounting/CGMA." Rather, all AICPA and CIMA members would have "automatic membership" in the proposed group which would "focus on advocating for and promoting both public and management accounting." 

We also obtained the letter from AICPA Chair Tim Christen to members:

Dear Fellow AICPA Member:

Today, I’d like to start a conversation about a proposal to further drive our profession’s vitality and relevance for generations to come.

Quality is one of our core values. The AICPA Board believes quality is strengthened when we drive enhancements in public and management accounting alike.

In 2011, the AICPA entered into a joint venture with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). You may not have heard about AICPA’s joint venture with CIMA, but CIMA is the world’s leading and largest management accounting professional body that prepares people for careers in business and government and establishes management accounting best practices. This joint venture has already seen participation by more than 50,000 CPAs in the U.S. It has allowed us to deepen resources and offer a complementary designation, the CGMA, for the approximately 50 percent of AICPA members who work in businesses of all sizes and in ownership structures.

Research shows increased employer demand for management accounting competencies. Talent shortages, international trends and demographic shifts will alter the face and expectations of the next generation. The AICPA Board has assessed the success of our work with CIMA in light of extensive trends research and believes it’s in the best interests of the profession to take the next step in the evolution of the joint venture.

We are proposing to create a new association – in addition to the AICPA and CIMA – that would integrate operations, strategy and management from both organizations to further advance advocacy, achieve economies of scale and better support accounting professionals. The main functions of the AICPA will continue to be growing and strengthening the CPA in the US and extending its influence. The new association will provide us with a broader platform for protecting, promoting, and growing the entire accounting profession.

AICPA members would remain members of the AICPA and be awarded membership in the new association as part of their regular AICPA dues. Similarly, CIMA members would remain members of CIMA and be part of the new association. Together, we would advocate for the public interest and promote your designations with the power of more than 600,000 current and next generation professionals worldwide. We would accelerate and deepen the research, resources and services we provide.

Over the coming months, the conversation will continue and we will share more information about our vision for the future of the accounting profession. We want to hear your perspective on this proposal. I encourage you to visit to learn more and share your comments. Thank you for your time and for your support of our profession.

It’s a great day to be a CPA!

Tim Christen, CPA, CGMA
Chairman, AICPA Board of Directors

I think I got it — it's a SUPER COLOSSAL GLOBAL accountant association. Or something. Things like "integrate operations, strategy and management from both organizations" still make it sound like a merger, but I get it, not a merger! 😉


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