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ACCA and IMA® announced today that their Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA), previously scheduled to take effect in early 2014, will not proceed.

ACCA and IMA remain strongly committed to their wider strategic partnership, the Financial Leadership and Performance initiative, which aims to support the career development goals of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and other aspiring professionals, through a variety of resources including research, thought leadership, and a joint website.

After a review of the MRA implementation options, ACCA and IMA concluded that there were too many risks that the MRA would be misused as an inappropriate entry point by some in the market for ACCA students and CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) candidates rather than, as originally intended, a member benefit for existing qualified members to gain a second credential. 

In particular, both bodies were concerned that some students might make career decisions based on perceived ‘shortcut routes’ to qualification rather than on the merits of each qualification. ACCA and IMA made the difficult decision that this misuse could not be prevented and that it would be best not to proceed with the MRA.

Both organisations will continue to promote each other's qualifications as a post-membership opportunity to enrich careers, organisational capability, and society.

'While we are disappointed the MRA is not going to proceed, both IMA and ACCA are continuing with our strategic partnership. We remain committed to quality credentials based on rigorous testing and a mastery of accounting knowledge and skills,' said Jeff Thomson, CMA, CAE, IMA president and CEO. 'Through our designations, both organisations will continue to enhance the capabilities of professionals, and drive business performance in organizations.'

'ACCA and IMA share a vision centred on public value - which means acting in the public interest, promoting ethical business and supporting economic growth. All this remains a solid foundation to our on-going successful strategic partnership, which we entered into more than a year ago, and which we continue to develop together,' said Helen Brand, OBE, ACCA's chief executive.

  • The joint ACCA and IMA website, Role of CFO, can be found via the 'Related Links' section, left of this article