On June 18, 2016, the AICPA  approved the proposal to create a new accounting organization with CIMA. CIMA stands for The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. 

This AICPA CIMA merger will not take effect until 2017. 

This new organization will represent more than 600,000 current and next-generation professionals

The reason the AICPA pursued this path was because they saw a changing business environment in which they needed to adapt. They particulary cite two trends as to why they are pursuing this course of actions. Those two trends are trade and technology. They see trade as moving towards emerging market cities and technology as moving to the cloud. 

Since trade is moving overseas, the AICPA sees the need to be able to advocate overseas. Therefore, combining two large organizations will increase the AICPA’s ability to advocate. 

The AICPA specifically cites the OECD Base Erosion Profit Sharing (”BEPS”) study as an example of increasing global regulation. By combining with CIMA, the AICPA will enable CPAs to have a voice in measures being drafted before those measures impact the U.S. It took time for pieces of BEPS to be adopted in the US by the Internal revenue service. The AICPA could not opine on BEPS until the measure hit US shores. If they organizations work together, they can use their combined power to impact legislation and proposals like BEPS.

With CIMA the AICPA will have access to 600,000 accountants worldwide which are located in 91% of the worlds countries. The merger between the AICPA and CIMA increases the CPA profession’s impact around the globe. 

Nothing has changed form a day-to-day perspective for CPAs but after the new organization created, CPA’s will have access to international advocacy that will help them and their clients. 

What is CIMA

CIMA stands for Chartered Institute of Management Accoutants.

CIMA is the world’s largest professional body of management accountants. They have more than 229,000 members and students in 176 countries. 

CIMA is committed to upholding the highest standards and maintaining a strong public brand which is probably a key reason why the AICPA chose to partner with them. 

In 2011 CIMA partnered with the AICPA to establish the Chartered Global Management Accountant (“CGMA”) designation. This was the first step towards the international strategy of both professional bodies. 

Conclusion

The AICPA CIMA merger is necessary for both organizations to have an impact on worldwide governing bodies. It is yet to be seen how this will impact either organization.