The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is a United Kingdom-based professional body offering training and qualification in management accountancy and related subjects, focused on accounting for business; together with ongoing support for members. CIMA is one of a number of professional associations for accountants in Ireland and the UK. Its particular emphasis is on developing the management accounting profession within the UK and worldwide. CIMA is the largest management accounting body in the world, with more than 203,000 members and students in 173 countries. CIMA is also a member of the International Federation of Accountants.
CIMA was founded in 1919 as "The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants" (ICWA). It specialised in the development of accounting techniques for use in the internal control of manufacturing, service and public sector operations. It developed a position as the leading professional body in the areas of product costing, budgeting, management accounting, investment appraisal and business decision making.
In October 1944, the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants organisation in Ireland was formed. The institute changed its name from ICWA to the "Institute of Cost and Management Accountants" (ICMA) in 1972 and subsequently to the "Chartered Institute of Management Accountants" (CIMA) in 1986, after it was granted a Royal Charter, a globally recognised accounting qualification, based in the UK and particularly honored in Commonwealth countries. Its membership has grown from 15,000 in 1970 to 79,757 members and 92,909 students in 2009. It has played a role in founding fraternal professional bodies such as the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan, the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Bangladesh, the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India and the Institute of Management Accountants (USA).
CIMA operates a Masters degree standard scheme of qualifying examinations for prospective members. It is active in promoting local education, training and management development operations, the promotion of new techniques through its research foundation and the dissemination of management accounting practices through publications and other media related activities. CIMA has been active in recent educational and vocational initiatives in former Eastern bloc countries. It publishes a monthly journal, supplied free to members and registered students, called 'Financial Management'.
CIMA is recognised as a professional accounting body for various statutory purposes by UK and various overseas governments. The institute regulates the activities of its members by a code of practice, a discipline committee and (a recent innovation) a continuing education scheme. CIMA's governing body is its council, comprising members elected from regional branches. Each of the branches has a committee and is responsible for much of the 'grass roots' activity. Activity such as qualification development is undertaken from the London head office.
The CIMA Global Business Challenge, an annual international business and strategic management competition for undergraduates around the world, is designed to bring out the best in the young business leaders of tomorrow. In July 2009, CIMA added an online community – CIMAsphere – to its website. The community consists of a range of blogs, discussion boards, groups, community answers, expert Q&A sessions and some social networking features for members, students and also the general audience.
In 2011, CIMA entered into a joint venture with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to launch a global management accounting designation called the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). In the Americas outside the U.S., non-U.S. CPAs can obtain the new designation as an AICPA International Associate, after a rigorous assessment process. In the rest of the world, new designation holders are able to become members of CIMA after the same assessment process.
CIMA members have access to a number of strategic alliances, including:
An accelerated route to Associateship of the Association of Corporate Treasurers
A mutual recognition agreement with the Society of Management Accountants of Canada
A mutual recognition agreement with CPA Australia
A strategic alliance with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia
On 26 September 2006, CIMA announced a joint qualification program with the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants
MOU with Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India
Strategic Alliance with the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan (ICMAP)
A joint venture with the to establish and promote a new, internationally recognised designation for management accounting — the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). Recognition from the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants