100 Years and Counting

Letter from the CEO

Dear IMA Community:

This is an exciting moment to be part of the IMA family, as we celebrate 100 years of service to our members and to the profession. We’ll be commemorating our dynamic history throughout the year, culminating in a spectacular centennial celebration at our 2019 Annual Conference & Expo, with input from IMA’s 100th Year Anniversary Committee, in San Diego next June. I look forward to seeing you there!

Founded in 1919 in Buffalo, New York, IMA – originally named the National Association of Cost Accountants – was created to acquire and share the most up-to-date accounting information among its original 97 members. IMA’s founder, Major J. Lee Nicholson, said at the time that he was “optimistic this organization is going to become one of the largest and most successful organizations of this kind in the country.” One hundred years and more than 100,000 members later, he would be proud to learn IMA is now one of the leading accounting associations in the world.


When I reflect on how far we’ve come, it’s clear that IMA’s longevity and strength come from continuously innovating new programs and services that benefit members. The creation of the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification, the world’s leading management accounting credential, is an obvious example, but IMA’s advancements extend across the areas of research, education, career development, ethics, and leadership. It’s inspiring that many of these innovations are owed to the engagement and expertise of our vibrant IMA community.

The world around us may be changing rapidly, but IMA is already leading management accounting into the next 100 years. How? By meeting the era of digital disruption head on. Our latest research is focused on future-proofing the profession and its professionals. To support this effort, we’re evolving our Management Accounting Competency Framework to reflect changes in the profession and the skills necessary to thrive in a world of technological advancement.

The world around us may be changing rapidly, but IMA is already leading management accounting into the next 100 years.

While looking forward with confidence, we’re also giving back by increasing our investment in students – the future of IMA and the profession. In honor of our 100th Anniversary, we’ve established the IMA Century Student Scholarship Fund. Please join your fellow IMA members in providing critical financial support to motivated students who need assistance. Your tax-deductible donations make a profound difference in the lives of young people starting their professional journeys. In turn, they will become the next generation of leaders and continue our rich tradition of helping others.

We have much to celebrate over the next year. Please help tell the IMA story by sharing your memories on social media using #IMA100Years. Thank you for helping make IMA the influential association it is today – here’s to 100 years and counting!

Jeff Thomson

Jeff Thomson, CMA, CSCA, CAE
IMA President and CEO