Institute of Management Accountants – Definition

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Institute of Management Accountants Definition

The largest corporate association for accountants and professionals in the finance and business industry is the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). IMA trains and educates individuals and also exposes them to the best practices and ethics of the accounting and financial industry. IMA is an internationally recognized body of top accountants and financial professionals. Founded in 1919, IMA is a respected and exclusive association that also offers the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) credential to accountants and financial professionals across industries. Accountants who belong to this international association add prestige to their credential and are often sought for globally.

A Little More on What is the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)

The Institute of Management Accountants organizes training and seminars for members to enhance their knowledge in management accounting and finance. IMA has an open and global membership, this means there is no discrimination of accountants of financial professionals that can be members regardless of the industry they work., usually, members of IMA work for public companies, private organizations, non-profit agencies, schools and colleges and other range of businesses.

This institute offers professional certification to members, it is a forum for building and nurturing world’s best accountants and financial professionals who are ethical, result-oriented and passionate about their work.

Overview of the IMA

As of 2018, IMA has a membership strength of about 112,000, it offers services in five continents and has regional offices around the globe. Members of IMA are often from Africa, America, Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia Pacific. The institute started offering Chartered Management Accountant (CMA) designation in 1972 and it has awarded over 60,000 professional credentials (CMA) since then.

There are some core values that bind members of IMA, these include integrity, honesty, passion, and respect for the profession. As part of its commitment to raise the world’s best practitioners in the finance and accounting field, the Institute of Management Accountants offers educational programs where professionals can stir their leadership skills.


IMA was founded in 1919 in Buffalo, New York. To increase knowledge and awareness among accountants and financial professionals. IMA held its first annual conference in Atlantic City. It has different chapters across the world, with its first chapter formed in 1920 in Chicago. The first organized code of ethics for accountants and financial professionals was issued by IMA in 1983.

The Institute of Management Accountants has had different names before it stuck to IMA. The initial name of IMA was the National Association of Cost Accountants, it was changed to the National Association of Accountants in 1957 and its present name was formulated in 1991.

Membership Benefits

The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) is a network of professionals is committed to building a community of experts. Membership of IMA expand the professional knowledge and expertise of individuals, It also offers them opportunity and connection at the global level and enhances their innovative capacity.

Access to training and educational materials is another benefit of membership in this institute.  Career development is crucial to IMA, members of this professional body belong to chapters, communities and get information that develops their career. Other benefits of IMA that members enjoy include discounts of business services, research on trends and development in the industry, insurance, and others.

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