How do you see the financial profession evolving over the next decade?
For accounting and finance professionals who adopt and apply new skills in digital finance, the demand for their talents will increase. The rapid pace of change we have experienced in recent years has made it clear to us that we can no longer rely on traditional accounting and past financial performance to ensure long-term business success. We must focus on analytics, using the data at our disposal to ensure that business decisions within our organizations effectively enable innovations, are sustainable and create value for all stakeholders.
Nigeria is undoubtedly a key market for CIMA. But what do you think your current visit will bring in relation to the organization’s future growth plans?
I am here to show that the Institute of Chartered Management Accountants (CIMA), through the association, is ready to support students, members and partners no matter what the future holds. We are committed to not only helping them meet today’s challenges, but also helping them prepare for a business world led by digital finance.
I hope my visit will help solidify existing relationships with employers, academics, government and create new ones. Also, thanks to the valuable insights gained during my visit, I now have a better understanding of the needs of our members, students and partners in Nigeria, which will help us refine our future plans.
Recently, the association has embarked on several collaborations and partnerships such as the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) and universities, among others. How did this decision reflect on the accounting profession?
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) was formed by bringing together the largest public and management accounting bodies i.e. AICPA and CIMA to form the largest accounting and financial body in the world . The spirit of collaboration is in our DNA and we have a reputation for doing so.
We are delighted to have collaborated with renowned organizations such as CIBN, ICAN and ANAN – we can be proud of what we have achieved together. They have enabled us to help develop highly skilled finance and accounting professionals who can guide and direct their organizations, and in turn national economies, to lasting success. We fully intend to further develop our partnerships with these organizations in the years to come.
You chose “Dare Together” as the platform to transform CIMA and take it to the next level when you became president. How relevant do you think the platform is to the massive disruption caused by COVID-19, the war in Ukraine, environmental and governance issues?
As we continue to deal with global uncertainty and disruption, I believe my “Dare Together” platform is even more relevant than at the start of my presidential year.
What we have learned over the past two and a half years is that the future belongs to those who work with each other, not against each other, and in doing so, learn from each other. That’s what I mean by daring together.
We must now use our diverse experiences to increase the value of our profession, support economic recovery, and use our wisdom and expertise to tackle other emerging issues facing society, such as climate change.
There is no doubt that the emerging gaps in digital skills, especially artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, etc., an informed update for your curriculum in 2019.
The professional qualification brings together skills in management accounting, financial accounting and business, giving all our students and future members the practical skills that employers need. Once qualified, they will be able to work in a wide range of roles in the private and public sectors, from finance and IT to business consulting and management positions.
The changes we have made reflect advances in the world of modern finance and business and continue to meet the employability needs of businesses and individuals. While we have retained the main structure, number, form and duration of our exams, we have added new key areas such as technology, business models, integrated reporting and cybersecurity to our core accounting topics, finance and business.
In addition to professional qualification program updates, we have developed and launched exam blueprints, a first in the management accounting industry. Exam blueprints clarify our expectations and spell out what students will be assessed on on our exams, ensuring they learn the skills they need for a successful career in business.
We’ve also made changes to our CGMA Competency Framework, first launched in 2015. We use it to clearly define the skills and abilities that employers across different sectors and industries have told us are essential for their finance teams. . It now adds and integrates the new area of digital skills to the existing four core knowledge areas of technical, business, leadership and people skills.
Besides finance professionals, what other category of professionals can benefit from the learning resources offered by your organization?
Understanding accounting and finance is an essential skill for working and managing any organization, whether commercial, public service or non-profit.
Although we are best known for our professional qualification and CGMA designation, we offer a wide range of learning and development opportunities that business leaders, managers and entrepreneurs will find valuable.
These range from podcasts, webcasts, lectures to learning modules and certificate programs on topics such as financial forecasting to using Microsoft XL. In fact, we created something we call the CGMA Store to allow anyone interested in our content, not just our members and CIMA students, to access our learning portfolio.
CIMA and your good self both have strong pedigrees. Can you tell us briefly about yourself and CIMA?
As President of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and President of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association), representing CIMA and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), I am honored to belong to an organization and to lead it. based on the four pillars of learning, ethics, trust and professionalism.
Together, AICPA and CIMA have over 200 years of combined experience in training and supporting accounting and finance professionals. It’s a legacy we proudly carry today and will continue to carry in the future.
The Association serves a large and diverse profession. Our 689,000 members, students and engaged professionals in 196 countries and territories are employed by approximately 164,000 companies.
I know that without my CGMA designation, I would not be where I am today. He opened doors that would not have been opened otherwise. I have worked in many industries – industrial manufacturing, financial services, energy, media and real estate and led companies as CFO, COO and CEO with interests in more than 40 countries.
My CGMA designation and membership in the profession has served me well over the past 40 years. As they will serve our students and members throughout their careers, opening up a world full of opportunity and enabling varied career paths in organizations around the world. It’s not just about the letters and membership, it’s about the skills they will acquire and the lifelong learning journey they will have embarked on when they decide to become a management accountant.
Tell us more about CIMA in Nigeria.
We work hard around the world to bring our global community together, help grow key markets, increase the employability of CIMA students and members, and gain recognition for the CGMA designation. This is reflected in our activities in Nigeria.
In fact, over the past two years, we have grown exponentially in Nigeria and we hope to continue on this path.