The view from the President: A privilege to serve

David Stanford

‘I remain convinced that our roles matter.’

A year ago I said it was my intention to engage with as many members and students as possible during my year as president and to be at key events. As the year ends I am confident that I have delivered on that promise.

I have attended many new-member celebrations across the UK and globally, and where possible I have been at face-to-face membership assessment sessions.

The CFO Forum and CGMA Annual Awards in December in Shanghai, which is a must for any president to attend, was also combined with a celebration of new members — the future of our profession. I always take the opportunity to encourage new members and students to get involved and stay involved with our organisation throughout their careers.

As part of our growing influence, I have had the opportunity to advocate widely for our profession, our members, and our organisation — by speaking to regulators, government representatives, and business leaders.

But it has been meeting members and students — CIMA's lifeblood — that has been the main highlight. In what has been a busy year, some things stand out. In Canada, I was able to see at first hand how CIMA members go far beyond their accounting work to deliver projects for local communities. In Toronto, members sponsor the Cricket Across the Pond (CAP) programme, where youngsters across city boundaries are motivated by and develop life skills through the game. The annual CGMA Mayor's Trophy cricket tournament, which raises money for the CAP programme, might have been disrupted by rain last year, but it remains a great annual event and a strong mark of our influence and standing in the Toronto community.

There have been other standout moments in my year. During a series of successful member and student meetings in Africa, I met a woman who is a lieutenant colonel in the Zambian army — an example of how our members take their careers to places far from the traditional corporate office block. I have also seen a new member in South Africa literally jump for joy on learning that she could add the ACMA letters to her name.

In October I was at the CIMA Celebrating Success event in Moscow to mark the achievements of new members, finalists, and prizewinners across different CIMA qualifications, including the Russian Certificate in Performance Management programme. Launched in 2011, it was followed last year by the Diploma in Business Management, which builds on the success of the certificate and is now the most advanced global accountancy programme available in the Russian language.

Being at CIMA Council, Association Board, and regional board meetings has also been an important part of my year — an opportunity to take a key part in the strategic steering of our organisation and represent fully management accounting in our governance structures.

As a member of IFAC, CIMA continues to influence how the accountancy profession serves the public interest globally, and I was also pleased to attend one of IFAC's key meetings.

As management accountants, we know that our influence goes far beyond spreadsheets — our role as trusted advisers at the heart of a business's decision-making is how we continue to lead change within business.

As we approach CIMA's centenary and look forward to the next 100 years, I remain convinced that our roles matter — in business, in the communities where we live, and across the globe.

As my year as the 84th CIMA president ends, I am privileged to have had the opportunity to serve our profession, our organisation, and you — our members and students. Thank you.