Will CIMA and AICPA’s courtship bear fruit?

SO CIMA and the US institute the AICPA are courting. Will they consummate the relationship or turn each other off?

Moving swiftly on from mating metaphors, the current details of the agreement between the two bodies unfortunately leaves questions rather than answers.

Having run through several hundred words of the joint CIMA/AICPA press release, plus a 15 minute conversation with CIMA chief Charles Tilley, hard details are scarce.

Describing the deal as “promoting excellence”, encouraging working together to produce “thought leadership” doesn’t really point to a wodge of hard and fast details about what real benefits this agreement will provide the institutes and their members. In fairness, the deal still requires both sets of council to vote in favour.

My feeling is that the deal is a marketing opportunity – in the short term at least.

To invent a new set of designatory letters for members of the AICPA and CIMA with three or more years’ experience doesn’t exactly set the world alight.

As with all “strategic partnerships” the potential long term effects are more interesting – immediate impact is unlikely.

While the ICAEW continues to promote itself internationally, it still has an image as an institute with an audit focus, despite it being the most prevalent qualification among FDs of large listed companies.

Perhaps the latest deal will provide CIMA with some kudos in being tied in with THE institute in the US. The AICPA provides kudos to its management accounting members as ‘international’.

Unfortunately, without a formal institute merger there’s little likelihood of huge productivity – a case of bringing captive pandas together rather than rabbits.

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