Institute Of Management Accountants - IMA

DEFINITION of 'Institute Of Management Accountants - IMA'

The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) is one of the top associations for financial professionals. It offers the prestigious Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation. The IMA's mission is education and development in management accounting and finance, advocacy of the highest ethics and best business practices, and providing a forum for research.

BREAKING DOWN 'Institute Of Management Accountants - IMA'

IMA is a global membership association of accountants and financial professionals who work at nonprofit, private and public companies and academic institutions. Its vision is to be the leading resource for certifying, supporting, maturing and linking the world’s best financial professionals and accountants. The association’s core values include integrity and trust, passion, respect, innovation and continuous improvement. It achieves these core values by providing access to career opportunities, building a network of industry professionals and developing partner connections. It offers educational programs to increase leadership opportunities and expand professional knowledge. IMA provides a forum for members by promoting forward-thinking research and industry best practices and offering newsletters and journals.


IMA provides services in the Americas, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and Europe. It has offices in Beijing, China; Zurich, Switzerland; Dubai; and the United Arab Emirates. The association has more than 80,000 members worldwide. It has over 300 professional and student chapters worldwide. Members can achieve career development through access to one of IMA's local chapters. The association strives to raise the awareness of the management accounting sector.

IMA operates an online training center that provides educational materials. It also offers continuing professional education products. Members receive career development training through local chapters, continuing education, information and resources, and online communities.


Since 1919, IMA has been an advocate and resource for accounting and financial management professionals. It was founded in Buffalo, New York, to promote knowledge and professionalism amid cost accountants and promote a wider understanding of the role of cost accounting in management. The original name of the association was the National Association of Cost Accountants, but in 1957, the name was changed to the National Association of Accountants. In 1991, the name was changed again to the Institute of Management Accountants.

In 1920, the first chapter formed in Chicago, and the first annual conference was held in Atlantic City. In 1972, the association created the CMA certification program. In 1983, it issued the first code of ethics for management accountants in the United States, titled Standards of Ethical Conduct of Management Accountants. In 1996, IMA established the Certified Financial Manager program but discontinued it in 2007.

Membership Benefits

IMA offers membership benefits such as publications, conferences and research on industry trends and advances. It also offers discounts on business and professional services such as office supplies, insurance, rental cars and training.