Partnership is good news for accountants

CIMA is looking to the future, writes Paul Gosling

The qualification offered by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants has a rising value. While the Institute of Chartered Accountants is largely tied to the world of audit, and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy has little relevance to the private sector, CIMA's training provides a firm basis in both financial management and accountancy, allowing members to develop skills important in any trading sector.

CIMA has ambitions to grow from the small and fairly marginal institute it once was into the leading provider of qualifications for accountants in business. Its vision can be seen in its just-announced strategic alliance with the Association of Corporate Treasurers.

CIMA members and students have now been given a fast-track route to parallel membership of the ACT. They are exempt from the first four ACT exam papers, and instead of two three-hour examinations in money management and corporate finance and funding, have only to sit one three-hour paper and another of an hour and a half. The two exams, which provide associate ACT membership, can be taken at any time after enrolment as a CIMA student. Those passing can go on to sit a second level of examinations, leading to full ACT membership, with a qualification equivalent to the finance specialisation level of a good MBA.

Fully qualified members and associates of the ACT often move into corporate treasury departments or into banking. The Association claims its training provides a practical approach, neatly paralleling CIMA's own qualification. Banks, it says, value the ACT qualification because it helps students to work with customers. It also increases understanding of the values and dynamics of their business, placing a strong emphasis on corporate finance and risk management. Accountants seeking senior jobs within corporate treasury departments will find the Member of Corporate Treasurers qualification an essential requirement. Pay is commensurate with the additional study, with full members earning 70 per cent more than associates.

CIMA's current president, David Melvill, welcomed the arrangement between the two bodies: "Employers prefer CIMA because it is anticipating the wider role of financial managers for the twenty-first century."

One of the driving forces in the agreement between CIMA and ACT was Norman Lyle, a former CIMA president and an ACT member. "The ACT qualification is complementary to CIMA," he says. "It gives a broader and deeper knowledge of finance, funding, foreign exchange and liquidity management."

These views are echoed by Philippa Foster Back, ACT president. "The senior financial management jobs of the future will require the combined skills of an accountant and treasurer," she says.

Barbara Moorhouse, group finance director of Morgan Sindall plc, and both a CIMA fellow and an associate member of ACT, endorses the value to senior finance officers of obtaining the two qualifications. "I embarked on the ACT examination when I realised that, as a group finance director, there were aspects of corporate finance and money management that could not be covered by 'on the job' training.

"I wanted to increase my knowledge and understanding as a firm foundation for the next stages of my career," Moorhouse continues. "I feel that I have benefited from doing the ACT qualification at this point in my career. It has been a useful refresher in some areas and I have been able to appreciate the full business and management context of the major issues. Both CIMA and ACT qualifications give members an excellent 'tool kit'. However," she warns, "any technical skills also depend on the calibre of business analysis and management ability with which they are used."

CIMA is now looking at other co- operative arrangements. David Melvill explains: "This partnership model has the potential to be applied to relationships with other professional bodies that can add considerable further value to the unquestioned strengths of the CIMA qualification."

David Bills, acting CIMA director for student affairs, confirms that the institute is now in negotiation with other bodies. "Obviously we recognise and demonstrate that getting a CIMA qualification within a climate of lifelong learning is only the first step in someone's personal career," he says. "We do have a fairly comprehensive career development programme and there are opportunities for CIMA members to obtain other qualifications."

It may take some months before new strategic alliances are announced, but in its partnership with the ACT, CIMA has put down a clear marker for the future. With proposals for mergers between the accountancy institutes apparently out of the question in the short term, CIMA is instead staking its claim to become the market leader.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Life and Style
Men with beards rejoice: Your beard probably doesn't harbour faeces-like bacteria
health
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before