The Institute of Management Accountants is trying to attract more people into the accounting profession and get them to register for its Certified Management Accountant designation with a new campaign.
The campaign, launched this month, was developed in partnership with The Gate | New York, an international advertising agency and marketing services company, for the sixth consecutive year. It includes three TV commercials, as well as digital marketing, social media, radio and search engines, and will take place around the world. The ads include humorous vignettes that can be seen on YouTube about the efforts CEOs, managers and recruiters will need to make to attract CMAs, including getting on a job. window washer scaffolding, hovering over a cafeteria table, hanging from a door hook and emerging from a painting.
The ad campaign represents a bit of a reversal from last year, when the IMA took a more serious tone in its marketing to reflect the national mood, as many other organizations have done around the pandemic (see the story). Now, the humor of previous years, when commercials featured robots and people getting CMA tattoos, has reappeared. Nonetheless, this comes at a time when the accounting profession, like many other industries, is struggling to find talented recruits to fill the pipeline. The IMA continued to attract new CMAs even during the pandemic.
“Looking at the numbers, we’ve had a good year,” said Jeff Thomson, President and CEO of IMA. “From July 2020 to June 30, 2021, despite the challenges, we added approximately 30,000 new CMA applicants and we have a total of 76,000 applicants. We have awarded our 100,000th CMA certification since the program’s inception almost 50 years ago. Some 13% of CMAs certified were in the last fiscal year alone. In numbers, we’ve certainly had a strong year in the face of a pandemic, but there is generally a mismatch between job vacancies and skilled talent throughout the consumer and business value chain, in some cases. professions more than others. IT is probably the one that, as a potential candidate for a position, probably allows you to name your price, location, and terms. This is all the more reason for us, as supply chain and value chain organizations struggle to fill these vacancies, CMAs are obviously a trusted choice for these openings.
In response, the IMA has stepped up training its management accountants in technology-related skills, such as data analysis, which are increasingly in demand. “In the higher value-added positions that can take on risk, controls and scenario planning, we certainly hope that CMAs and management accountants fill the void,” said Thomson. “I know that the market is very complex and that there are more and more uncertainties and disruptions for businesses. It seems like it’s getting bigger by the day, whether it’s the pandemic, climate change or the result of natural disasters, managing new supply chains and keeping a balance sheet and ‘strong working capital. The ad campaign is part of our commitment to increase awareness, development and skills building in order to keep our profession strong in the face of much volatility and uncertainty. “
The change in tone in this year’s ads goes back to the tone of previous campaigns. “Last year we switched to a more sincere approach, but they were created just before the pandemic,” said Thomson. “This year we have a lighter tone, but we think they are relevant and realistic. We are seeing a doubling and tripling of job postings that list CMA as the preferred certification on LinkedIn, depending on the region. We think the message, and having that balance this year, is the right approach, and we’re getting very good feedback from the market. We always complement this “aerial cover” or “halo effect,” as we call it, of a multi-million dollar ad campaign with a ground game of field volunteers, chapters and advice. We have something like 367 active chapters around the world, whether professional or student chapters.
The IMA has also partnered with Becker and Wiley on CMA exam review and training offerings. “We need to invest more and more in skills building,” said Thomson. “This includes companies, with the tone at the top for the role of their CFO and their finance and accounting team in a holistic approach to value creation, but also all the way back to the educational pipeline, certainly premier accounting. cycle being more interdisciplinary, and unsilo these silios because that is what the real world expects. This is the only way for us to win the lasting race for relevance.