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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.

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For further information: 

Helen Thompson, ACCA
+44 (0)20 7059 5759
+44 (0)7725 498654 

Ryan Bartholomew
Stern + Associates
(908) 276 4344, x-221

Notes to Editors

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

About ACCA

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants with 162,000 members and 428,000 students in 173 countries worldwide. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. 

We work through a network of 89 offices and centres and more than 8,500 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. 

About IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants)

IMA®, the association of accountants and financial professionals in business, is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. Globally, IMA supports the profession through research, the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) program, continuing education, networking, and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices. IMA has a global network of more than 65,000 members in 120 countries and 200 local chapter communities. IMA provides localized services through its offices in Montvale, N.J., USA; Zurich, Switzerland; Dubai, UAE; and Beijing, China.