Skip to main content

The Institute of Management Accountants has released a report outlining the essential skills it deems necessary for all entry-level accountants.

In the report, the IMA urges colleges and universities to require two separate management accounting courses – introductory and intermediate – for all accounting students. The report was developed by the IMA Management Accounting Competencies Task Force, a team of professionals and academics with extensive experience in curriculum development.

The IMA has long offered a Management Accounting Competency Framework in which it increasingly emphasizes technology skills in areas such as data analytics, management information systems, data governance, and technology-enabled financial transformation. The new recommendations come in response to the CPA Evolution initiative which is led by the American Institute of CPAs and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, which are also calling for more technology skills for CPAs and changes in the testing of CPAs. uniform CPA exam. .

“The skill sets that were sufficient in the past are no longer sufficient to meet the needs of today’s professional accountant,” IMA Research Foundation committee chair Raef Lawson said in a statement. “Schools need to re-evaluate what is taught in their curriculum regarding management accounting in light of the significant changes currently occurring in practice.”

The task force chaired by Lawson asks entry-level accountants to learn skills in areas other than technology, such as strategic and tactical planning, decision analysis, budgeting and forecasting, performance management, revenue management, cost management, profitability management, personal ethics and organizational ethics.

The report also calls for accounting students to be taught by management accounting specialists who are subject matter experts. “It is imperative that entry-level accountants in all areas of the profession have the management accounting skills to meet the needs of business and society in an increasingly complex and uncertain environment,” said Roopa Venkatesh, President of the IMA Academic Studies Committee. Relations, in a press release. “In this digital age, skills in decision support, data modeling, financial planning and analysis, performance management including non-financial metrics, etc. are needed to drive the business forward. “

The IMA report argues that while other business areas use management accounting information, some critical topics are learned only in management accounting courses, including the theory and application of budgeting, budgeting techniques, costing and allocation, profitability analyzes of organizational segments, responsibility center management, costing by activity. and management. Even if the topics are included in another management course, the importance of the topic may not be emphasized enough.