Raising the accounting bar – Business – Al-Ahram Weekly
The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) is finalizing procedures to open a branch in Egypt, J. Stephen McNally, chairman of its global board, said this week.
The IMA has been targeting the move for some time, McNally told Al-Ahram Weekly, adding that Egypt has a distinguished accounting record.
With 150 branches worldwide, the IMA is the only organization to offer the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) qualification, achieved through a multi-part examination. The CMA is a globally recognized accounting degree that has been the global benchmark for management accountants and finance professionals for the past five decades.
The IMA is celebrating the graduation of 100,000 management accountants alongside the 50th anniversary of its accredited CMA, McNally said.
According to McNally, the IMA supports the profession internationally through research, the CMA program, continuing education, networking, and adherence to the highest ethical business practices. IMA has a global network and provides its services in four regions: the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
It cooperates with 100 universities around the world, including the American University in Cairo and the German University in Cairo. McNally added that the IMA also conducts accredited cooperation with public universities in Egypt, such as those in Cairo, Alexandria, Ain Shams and Tanta.
The cooperation comes in the form of scholarships for students majoring in finance and accounting, McNally said.
The Egyptian market is at the forefront of those in which the institute intends to expand in light of the increase in demand for management accounting services and the increase in the number of graduates from colleges of commerce and business administration, McNally told the Weekly.
He explained that improvements in the country’s economic performance have been followed by changes in business performance, which increases the demand for skilled and competitive labour.
The IMA, according to McNally, annually offers 10 scholarships to about seven Egyptian universities.
Some 1,700 Egyptian accountants have obtained the CMA, including 300 chartered accountants, he said, noting that a member of the IMA’s Middle East financial control is an Egyptian national.
The institute has partnership agreements with a number of leading Egyptian companies like Al-Sewedy for electrical cables and Talaat Moustafa Group to help their staff obtain the CMA certificate.
It also cooperates with Egyptian banks like the Egyptian National Bank and the International Commercial Bank.
McNally said the accounting sphere has changed after the coronavirus pandemic. Work systems had shifted to working from home, and if they hadn’t had the right technology, it wouldn’t have survived, he added.
Once the IMA opens its office in Egypt, it will offer a 50% discount on its CMA qualification to Egyptians, McNally said, noting that it will also open many work fields to Egyptian CMA holders.
The digital economy will change the face of accounting in a positive way and in a global global framework because it allows remote access, is fast and devoid of the usual routines, he continued.
The IMA will also offer training and workshops on financial inclusion, administrative accounting for small and medium enterprises, control and governance. It will enter into bilateral agreements with various parties to enable them to benefit from the institute’s programs, he added.
Accounting plays a major role in developing scenarios for the future and alternative plans if the original ones change, he concluded.
* A version of this article appeared in the July 7, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.