This article originally appeared in Strategic Finance Magazine.
I became a member of IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) in 2005 when I took coaching classes to study for the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) exam in Kuwait. Because I have an MBA with a specialty in finance and had attained the final level in ICWAI (Institute of Cost & Works Accountants of India), the journey wasn’t much harder to become a CMA.
Yet the depth of the exam questions was very impressive. You don’t earn this certification unless you have proficiency and advanced knowledge in the field of management accounting and strategic finance. In 2008, after passing all four parts of the exam and proving my work experience, I received my CMA certification. I was filled with joy. In March 2009, my IMA Life article, “Achieving Certification,” was published in Strategic Finance, which was another milestone in my life.
The CMA also has made me more valuable to Ali Alghanim & Sons, the company where I have worked for more than 20 years. When I earned the CMA, I had reached the level of group financial manager. Now I am general manager—finance.
I didn’t stop my involvement in IMA after obtaining my CMA. I increased it. I attended the great IMA Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla., in 2011, where I was given an opportunity in the Brown Bag Lunch to discuss where management accountants fit in an organization. It was my first visit to the United States, and I felt a true part of the IMA family. I still remember the applause for CMAs.
I came away with enriched knowledge that I always try to implement in my organization wherever it fits. I thank our managing partner, Mr. Khaled Alghanim, who gave me this opportunity.
I also promote the CMA certification and exams whenever possible. And I enjoyed being a question writer for the exam, which gave me excellent experience. Now I am an IMA Leadership Academy faculty member, a Silver Level Leader, and a mentor for CMA aspirants. I recommend these activities for all members. In addition, make sure you earn CPE credits from IMA as the courses are very worthy.
I also have enjoyed serving my chapter, IMA’s Kuwait Chapter. I was present when IMA President and CEO Jeff Thomson inaugurated it. He spoke on financial planning and analysis, risk management, internal control, and strategy, as well as the value of IMA membership and serving the accounting profession. I have been vice president of events and vice president of administration, and I have taken part in discussions about ways to increase chapter growth and participation.
Our chapter board has vibrant officers, and our chapter has increased membership strength. In fact, the Kuwait Chapter received IMA Gold Medals for Membership Acquisition and Growth last year, and I was fortunate to attend ACE2018 in Indianapolis, Ind., as our representative to receive the awards.
My more than 13 years of involvement in IMA have made me a versatile and mature person. My main concern is ethics in business since, in my view, ethics in business leads to prosperity for humanity in which you are a part. I feel proud to be a part of IMA’s 100-year history.