National Association of Accountants – Definition

Cite this article as:"National Association of Accountants – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated June 9, 2019, last accessed October 19, 2020,


National Association of Accountants Definition

National Association of Accountants (NAA) is a previous name for the organization that formed the Institute of Management of Accountant (IMA) in the United States. Its main objective is to manage the non-certified accountants working in various organizations.

The non-certified accountants have no educational attainment requirement, unlike certified accountant. For the certified accountant, there must be a relevant educational training, assessments as well as continuous training involved. The certified public accountants are audited by the State Board of Accountancy and in case they are found guilty of not following the standards set, their certifications may be revoked.

The high cost of hiring the services of certified accountants has created opportunities for non-certified accountants. A smaller company with a smaller budget usually prefers non-certified accountants to lessen the financial burden. The fact that they are not certified doesn’t mean they do not have enough skills as the rest.

History of National Association of Accountant (Currently the Institute of Management of Accountant)

The National Association of Accountant was established in Buffalo, New York in 1919 and was previously given the name of National Association of Cost Accountants (NACA). Its main role was to support cost accountants by promoting knowledge and competence. Also, the organization aimed to help them understand their objectives in management.

Later, the name was changed to National Association of Accountants (NAA) in 1957. Thereafter, in 1991 the group changed its name to what is now the Institute of Management Accountant (IMA). Consequently, the organisation’s role was broadened spreading to 140 countries and has more than 300 students and/ or professional chapters. Currently, It has over 100,000 members who benefit from the association through strengthening their skills and helping them to accelerate their careers.

The institute management accountant formerly National Association of Accountant is one of the best associations for financial professionals. It’s a worldwide group of financial professionals and accountants who work for NGOs, public companies, learning institutions or the private sector. It is unique in that it’s the only association offering Certified Management Accountant (CMA) that is acquired through multi-part examination.

The organization’s vision is to be the principal resource to develop, certify and support top accountants and professionals in the finance sector in the whole world. The organization is able to achieve its vision by:

  • Offering the best certification (Certified Management Accountant -CMA) for financial management roles which include budgeting, decision exploration, planning, and risk management among others.
  • Supporting the career development of members by accessing a dynamic professional body, access to valuable information and resources and continuing education.
  • Offering support to members and their organizations in promoting business performance.
  • Providing members with opportunities to promote advanced research and offering journals and newsletters with current information on the industry.

Membership benefit

Institute of Management Accountant gives their members researched information on trends in the industry, publications, and symposiums. They also give a discount on professional services and business services to their members such as insurance, office materials, and training.

Other Benefits of being a member of the National Association of Accountant include:

  1. One earns the designation of Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and is able to develop plan aided by our customized career management tool.
  2. Continuous learning – there is a Continuous Professional Education (CPE) requirements with several courses at every stage of one’s career progression.
  3. Build a network – The institute organizes conferences for members where they build on networking and experiences. Generally, the aim is to engage in building connections with industrial financial professionals and accountants.
  4. Stay current – there are up to date timely publications with valuable information to accountants and financial professionals.
  5. Leadership – Members have access to well prepared and researched information on best practices and techniques in accounting. It offers leadership programs that increase and expands professional knowledge.
  6. Upholds ethics – Members are able to access confidential ethics center for advisory as well as general guidance in matters business.

Certified Management Accountant (CMA)

The CMA certification issued by the Institute of Management Accountant is a title in accounting that denotes the knowledge in accounting and strategic management. CMA exam is a two-part exam with part 1 and part 2 sections.

Part 1 entails courses like Planning, performance, control and financial reporting while part 2 covers financial decision making. The plans are that from 2020 will include technology and analytics segments into the syllabus. This is planned in order to ensure the CMA students are well acquainted with the latest technology which will have some effect on their jobs. There is a worldwide pass mark for the CMA exam which is 35% for part 1 and 49% for part 2.

There are some requirements which need to be fulfilled for a student to be certified as a CMA. This includes both education and also experience requirements. The student must have:

  • A Bachelor’s degree from a recognized University
  • Basic knowledge of economics, financial accounting, and statistics
  • Uninterrupted two years of experience engaging in financial accounting and principles of management accounting

The differences between CPA and CMA

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is the designation of qualified accountants. It is a certification to offer accounting services to the public. The CPA certification prepares accountant to customer-facing roles in small and large firms.

CMA, on the other hand, is a mix of knowledge in financial accounting and strategic management. CMA on most cases is for a managerial and executive role. The holders of CMA usually end up as management accountants. Management accountant mostly deals with the managerial and decision making roles among others.

In summary, CPA advices and prepares financial report whereas CMA manages and make financial decisions.

Roles of a management accountant

  1. Stewardship accounting – the management designs a   structure on the cost and financial accounts, also prepares reports for the decision making of the business operations.
  2. Planning – this includes both short term planning and long term planning. The management accountant plays a very crucial role in predicting the economic measures of the business for future planning. It helps to re-evaluate and formulate the business strategy and engage in the market study.
  3. Coming up with the Business Management Information System (MIS). MIS provides all the necessary data for the company that is required by the directors and other managers. It pinpoints all the operational plans and financial success and limitations.
  4. Maintaining top capital structure – the role of a management accountant is managing the company’s funds. There must be a balance between the company’s debts and equity. He is also responsible for how to raise funds for the company. Raising the funds through debts is inexpensive due to tax benefits. However, it is hazardous for the company as the interest accrued from the debt has to be paid whether the company gets profit or not.
  5. Contributes to the management process – the management account has a role to play as he has the authority over all other accountants employed in a business and other staff in his office. He educates and advises the executive on how to control the company’s information.
  6. Control – management accountant analyses budgets and other standard costs, prepare reports and interpret them. He also deals with the management of the company’s liquidity and performance assessment.
  7. Decision making – management accountants collects and analyses information which he gives to the management for financial decision making. These may be short term decisions like pricing of products, lease or buy decision stop the dealing in certain products or a long term decision like asset appraisal or financing a project among others.

Reference for “National Association of Accountants (NAA)”

Research articles for “National Association of Accountants (NAA)”

Research in Management Accounting by the National Association of Accountants, McFarland, W. B. (1961). The Accounting Review, 36(1), 21.

[CITATION] Human resource accounting: Past, present and future: Edwin H. Caplan and Stephen Landekich (New York: National Association of Accountants, 1975), Gambling, T. (1976). (New York: National Association of Accountants, 1975). Accounting, Organizations and Society, 1(2-3), 281-281.

National Association of Accountants, ACCOUNTS, T. A. F. O. F. (1992).

Marple (editor),” National Association of Accountants on Direct Costing”(Book Review), Cowperthwaite, G. H. (1966). The Accounting Review, 41(2), 390.

National Association of Accountants.” Statements on Management Accounting Practices: Management Uses of the Statement of Changes in Financial Position”(Book …,

Etherington, L. (1980). The Accounting Review, 55(2), 367.

National Association of Accountants,” Research Report 43, Financial Analysis to Guide Capital Expenditure Decisions”(Book Review), Luneski, C. (1968). The Accounting Review, 43(3), 622.

… of: “CURRENT PRACTICE IN ACCOUNTING FOR DEPRECIATION” Research Report No.33. The National Association of Accountants (formerly National Association …, Norton Jr, P. T. (1959). THE ENGINEERING ECONOMIST, 4(1), 42-46.

National Association of Accountants : “Planning for Long-Term Benefits” (Book Review), García, JR (1971). Bulletin of Economic Studies , 26 , 460.

National Association of Accountants : “Information and Decision Making in Small and Medium Enterprises” (Book Review), Mayner, S. (1970). Bulletin of Economic Studies , 25 , 853.

National Association of Accountants : “Information and Decision Making in Small and Medium Decisions” (Book Review), Aguirre, JL (1970). Bulletin of Economic Studies , 25 , 858.

Was this article helpful?