This article originally appeared in Strategic Finance Magazine.
Dear IMA Members,
One hundred years, a century, 10 decades. Over the past 100 years, monumental changes have occurred in our world and our profession—changes that have shaped and are still shaping what we value, how we live, and how we work. One hundred years is amazing, which is why at IMA we’re taking a long time to celebrate an important milestone: the 100th Anniversary of our association (it was known as the National Association of Cost Accountants back when it was founded in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1919, and later it became the National Association of Accountants).
In June, we’ll kick off the 100th Anniversary celebration at our Annual Conference & Expo in Indianapolis, Ind. ACE2018, like others from previous years, promises an inspiring lineup of speakers and educational events—this time under the banner of “Infinite Potential.” It’s an opportunity to come together as members to learn from each other, exchange ideas, and gain skills needed to succeed in our rapidly evolving profession.
I’ve previously discussed some of the monumental changes that are shaping the evolution of the profession. Chief among these seismic shifts is the growing reliance on automation—including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and robotics—which is driving the need for accounting and finance professionals to cultivate new skills. These skills include expertise in leadership and strategy management but also those needed to help harness the power of machines and optimize assets as good accountants do, as well as new capabilities in “data” such as governance, life cycle, design, query, advanced analytics, visualization, and storytelling. (See my recent “live chat” on this topic at https://youtu.be/NB0J3ddNg3A.)
ACE2018 offers a perfect opportunity to grow your expertise in some of these areas. We’re bringing back the Specialty Tracks that we launched last year so you can customize your learning experience to your job or CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification.
We’re introducing a Strategy and Competitive Analysis track that will align with our new CSCA®(Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis) specialty credential and focus on skills needed to become a CFO, such as the strategic management process, environmental scanning, competitive intelligence, and more.
In order to succeed over the next 100 years, accountants and finance professionals in business will need new capabilities. IMA is your partner in helping you “future-proof” your career and prepare you for the challenges and opportunities ahead. I hope you’ll join us in celebrating our 100th Anniversary. A century behind us, a century (and more) ahead.