Two thought leaders in accounting education, IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) and AAA's (American Accounting Association) Management Accounting Section (MAS), are working to bridge the gap between the skills currently provided in accounting education and those required in practice. Ultimately, these skills translate to greater business performance and shareholder protection.
"This achievement reflects IMA's long-standing commitment to education reform and to addressing the talent shortage in management accounting," said Raef Lawson, PhD, CMA®, CPA, IMA vice president of research, who serves as Task Force chair. "Accounting curricula must embrace how accountants today add organizational value in a variety of organizational settings, including content on strategy formulation and analysis, planning, and execution."
The task force's charge of developing a comprehensive integrated educational framework is responsive to recommendations made by the Pathways Commission, on which IMA has a representative. The Commission was formed in 2010 as a joint initiative between AAA and the AICPA to study the future of accounting education.
IMA's research initiatives aimed at addressing the skills gap date back to 1986 with its contributions to the AAA's Bedford Report, "Future Accounting Education: Preparing for the Expanding Profession
," which examined accounting education and found a severe gap between what accounting educators teach and what organizations need from their accounting and financial staff.