Financial Times

CIMA/ICMA - Accounting qualification battle rages on

By Natasha Gunaratne

The clash over the use of accreditations between the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA) is still raging following ICMA’s incorporation under an act of Parliament in April this year.

The issue is over the use of the Fellow and Associate qualification, FCMA and ACMA, which is used by CIMA but after the incorporation, is also being used by ICMA.

CIMA has filed a complaint with the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA), saying the use of the same designations would cause confusion. CIMA CEO Bradley Emerson told the Sunday Times FT this week that they have yet to hear back from the CAA. He also said that the use of qualifications, FCMA and ACMA, cannot be exclusively used by ICMA.

According to the ICMA Act No. 23 of 2009, section 6(1) states that no person shall take or use any title either by description or abbreviation or the logo of the Institute, unless such person is eligible under section 5 which deals with the classification of members and the use of FCMA, ACMA and the title ‘Certified Management Accountants’. Section 6(2) states that any person who contravenes these provisions shall be guilty of an offence.

At the 6th ICMA graduation ceremony held on Monday, ICMA President Lakshman Watawala said foreign institutes want to treat Sri Lankan institutes with ridicule and degrade them. He said it was unprofessional for bodies operating outside their own territories to conduct themselves in this manner.

Mr. Watawala said the new designations for ICMA members as per the Act No. 23 of 2009 consists of Fellow with the title FCMA and Associates with the title ACMA. “This is similar to the global practices in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, UK and Canada and similar to the BSc or BA qualifications granted by local and foreign universities. This principle will require the country of origin, if it is other than Sri Lanka to be given after their designation,” he said.

“This same principle was applied to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka when it was set up in 1959 when the ACA title was used only by those who had qualified from the UK but after incorporation of the local institute, it used ACA/FCA and the English institute had to indicate their origin within brackets, in this instance England and Wales.”

Mr. Watawala said a new era has dawned for the management accounting profession in Sri Lanka with the incorporation of ICMA by an act of Parliament. “All this time, we were dependent on foreign management accounting qualifications with no official recognition by the government.”

He added that ICMA will provide a professional qualification to those in all parts of the country, benefiting the youth and development of the business sector in Sri Lanka.

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