Looking at the future of Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)

Looking at the future of Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)
Mike DePrisco, the President and CEO of IMA

Founded over 100 years ago, IMA is a worldwide association of accounting and finance professionals in business. It is the largest and most respected association focused on advancing the management accounting profession, with more than 140,000 members in 150 countries.

Mike DePrisco, the President and CEO of IMA, recently came to India and answered questions for bizmudra.com about the vision for IMA and the impact of technology on it.

What are some of the core values and principles that guide you in your role as the leader of IMA?

It is essential for me that everything we do, we have the member in mind. At IMA, we need to always be member-first and optimize member value. This includes ensuring that our product portfolio is current and delivers what members need to be successful in their careers. Everything we do, we need to ask, how is this adding value to the member and the profession?

How do you see the future of the industry IMA operates in, and what steps is the organization taking to stay ahead in a rapidly changing market?

The role technology is playing in shaping the profession and how business gets done today is top of mind for leaders and practitioners alike. It’s critical that management accountants learn how to harness new technology and use it to unlock new value in their organizations. AI, machine learning, and automation technologies support organization decision-making and it requires individuals to learn and apply skills like professional judgment, data analysis, communication, and collaboration to get the most value out of it. IMA has many resources to help practitioners in this area in the form of research and thought leadership, learning and certificate courses, and publications.

Sustainability and environmental responsibility have become increasingly important. How is IMA integrating sustainable practices into its operations and corporate culture?

IMA is a leader in the industry in helping individuals and organizations embed good practices into their operations. We have convened a Sustainable Business Management advocacy committee that provides perspective and assesses professionals’ needs in bringing sustainable practices into businesses in a meaningful way. We also published a Statement of Position with nine principles for effective sustainable business management practices and a Sustainable Business Practices certificate for professionals to learn about the management accountant’s role in sustainable business practices.

In your opinion, what role can management accountants play in harnessing the power of AI to support sustainability goals within organizations?

While it is an effective tool, AI does have a significant environmental and energy impact. AI can be done sustainably while still driving innovation as long as organizations consider their environmental impact, estimate their carbon footprints and evaluate the most efficient places to store their data, measure the carbon footprints of AI and be transparent with their results, and follow industry best practices to limit carbon emissions.

As AI continues to transform industries, what do you see as the key challenges and opportunities in leveraging AI to drive sustainability initiatives on a global scale?

AI’s ability to automate tasks and improve accuracy and efficiency bodes well for implementing sustainability initiatives at organizations. AI can aid in surfacing data that inform better decision-making and identify patterns and trends that can be leveraged for business performance. What AI tracks can lead to impactful decisions that can lead to sustainable organizations and a more sustainable profession? From a challenges perspective, implementing AI technology to drive sustainable business practices requires an available and skilled talent pool. Recent research IMA conducted shows that there is a significant talent gap in the profession, and unless this gap is filled, organizations could struggle to move forward in both AI and sustainability.

Finally, could you share your vision for the future where AI and sustainability are intertwined, and how the Institute of Management Accountants plans to support this transformative journey?

Our vision is focused on ensuring the long-term relevancy and sustainability of the organization and the profession/professionals we support. We will achieve this through a measured and focused approach to understanding member and organization needs, developing solutions that meet those needs, and engaging our global community in meaningful ways to lead the profession forward.