Accounting Groups to Members: Here’s Why We Should Team Up

Two of the accounting industry's largest trade groups are considering whether to form a new association that would consolidate management of the two groups, while expanding member benefits and keeping the original organizations otherwise in place. They're currently pitching the idea to their members.

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the London-based Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) want their members to see the potential in joining forces, so they’re telling them all about the vision driving the plan.

This week, both associations informed their members of their proposal to launch a new collective association, telling the story of what led them to this point. It started with a partnership between the two groups that began in 2011, when they worked together to launch the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) certification.

Each association launched a website, complete with videos, to showcase the potential of the new organization, which would represent 600,000 professionals worldwide. (AICPA’s site is here; CIMA’s is here and its announcement video is above.)

Under the plan, AICPA and CIMA wouldn’t go away, but a separate association would be created, in which members of both organizations would automatically be enrolled without paying additional fees.

“We believe this proposal would strengthen the accounting profession today and for future generations,” AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, said in a statement to the Journal of Accountancy.

The campaign for the proposed venture, which would integrate the two associations’ operations, is necessary for both organizations: Members have to sign off on the final result in a series of votes that would take place next year. Both organizations reassured members that everything they love about the current associations would remain, emphasizing the potential for additional opportunities.

“This proposal would allow us to accelerate the development and delivery of resources relevant to our members and students, speak for the public interest with an even stronger voice, and help businesses and people succeed,” CIMA said in an FAQ on its website.

AICPA Chairman Tim Christen stressed that the new association would be complementary.

“Anything you’re receiving now as a member, you’ll continue to receive, and the focus the AICPA puts today on its core services, it will continue to place on its core services,” he said in an introductory video, according to Accounting Today. “The ‘and’ is the additional focus on management accounting and the evolution of the CGMA designation and the increased relevance of that designation, which can bring additional value to members.”


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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