‘I commend the innovative spirit at CIMA’s heart’

After what seems like no time at all, I find that this is the last column of my presidential year.

One of the greatest privileges of being CIMA president is being able to visit so many members and students around the world. The past 12 months have found me in Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Zambia, Malawi, Dubai, Australia, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland.

Although each trip has been a unique experience, the warmth I have received from CIMA members and students, and the enthusiasm I have felt from CIMA staff, have been consistently inspiring.

I think that as individual members we often fail to see the wide-ranging opportunities that our qualification offers, within and beyond the conventional boundaries of financial management.

Despite ongoing economic instability in many countries it has been reassuring to see CIMA go from strength to strength during my tenure. The Institute has had a record year for student intake and a healthy increase in membership. And our members’ influence is being felt more than ever. In 2010 we achieved our target of establishing a significant presence (ten or more members and students) in 72 per cent of CIMA’s top 500 employers.

We have also continued to develop stronger international links in regions such as the Philippines, Russia and Pakistan and via joint venture discussions with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

One of the reasons why chartered management accountants are so highly valued is that they are bound by a rigorous code of ethics. Throughout 2010 CIMA staged a series of high-level, round-table discussions on the future of business ethics with senior executives, which highlighted a clear link between ethics and business performance.

This emphasis on ethics means CIMA members are equipped to play an essential role in repairing the global financial infrastructure and driving businesses towards a successful, sustainable future.

We are also leading the way in developing business best practice. In 2010 CIMA’s thought leadership programme launched more than 30 pieces of research on subjects ranging from cost leadership to the gender imbalance on many company boards.

One of the Institute’s key focuses is on encouraging businesses to develop strategies that ensure their long-term survival. I firmly believe that our members’ finely tuned skillset puts them in a unique position to provide the right business intelligence and support strategies for true sustainability.

We are delighted to be contributing to the Prince of Wales’ Accounting for Sustainability project, as well as the newly established International Integrated Reporting Committee, which focuses on the critical importance of sustainability.

Finally, I would like to commend the innovative spirit at the heart of the global CIMA community. Not only does CIMA produce some ground-breaking research, but it leads the field in terms of marketing. The Institute’s staff produce events such as the annual Global Business Challenge (more than 2,100 teams are registered for this year’s competition) and CIMA Sri Lanka’s televised Spellmaster competition. Such events instil in young people the core CIMA values of discipline, honesty, respect and integrity.

In Canada, CIMA members are the driving force behind the annual Mayor’s Trophy cricket match. At first glance, the worlds of cricket and management accounting may seem poles apart. But on closer inspection, there is an evident synergy. Both produce fantastic team players, nurture a sense of fair play and aim to use their skills to bowl over the opposition.

I look forward to seeing the Institute and its members play an increasingly important role in the development of business excellence around the world. To lead such a powerful team has been a pleasure and a privilege.

CIMA’s 2010 Annual Review can be found at www.cimaglo



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