Finance professionals hold the key to business success in an uncertain and demanding age

As a shortage of suitable talent stifles global growth plans, a new report by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), sponsored by recruitment experts Hays, highlights how finance professionals have never had a better opportunity to progress their careers and make a real mark on their organisation.

The fast track to leadership – the challenges, opportunities and action plan’ concludes that as organisations operate in an increasingly challenging climate, a board’s expectations of the finance function are becoming far more complex.

There is an increased demand for finance professionals to act as strategic business partners and help drive long-term sustainable success. This in turn places a greater demand on the skills and experience sought by organisations, especially in areas where management accountants can add real value and offer a competitive edge.

This report draws upon the personal experience of leading CFOs and finance directors to illustrate how management accountants can maximise these opportunities. They apply non-financial, qualitative information alongside the financial facts to inform decision making. Management accountants drive strong performance and are trusted to guide critical business decisions, bringing independence and objectivity.

CIMA and AICPA have formed a joint venture to establish the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation to further elevate the profession of management accounting.

Ana Barco, report author and Head of innovation – talent management at CIMA, said:

“In the more forward-looking organisations, finance is evolving from a focus on the transactional and cost efficiency areas to a real strategic focus where it can make a massive impact. This evolution is influencing the capabilities that finance professionals now need to demonstrate and bring to an organisation. It also highlights the exciting opportunities for CGMAs and those wishing to enter the profession.”

“Despite many organisations cutting investment in training, highlighted by the CGMA Q2 Global Economic Forecast which showed that spending is predicted to decrease in the UK and Europe over the next 12 months, leading employers still recognise our ability to provide these capabilities and support business success. This is reflected by our new student growth, with over 26,000 joining last year.”

Paul Venables, Group Finance Director for Hays, said:

“Organisations are recognising the critical role that the finance function plays in informing the strategic decisions that will define their success. Management accountants who can deliver technical financial expertise along with commercial awareness are in demand from employers and should take every opportunity to develop these skills in order to become the financial leaders of the future.”



For press enquiries please contact:
James Tall
Profile and Communications Officer, CIMA
T. +44 (0)208 849 2427


Notes to Editors

[Please note, we can arrange interviews with Paul Venables, Group Finance Director, Hays; Russell O’Brien, VP Finance Global Retail and Alternative Energies, Shell; and Hamant Lad, CFO, Pelham Capital Management. We can also arrange interviews with Ana Barco, report author.]

Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA)
Two of the world’s most prestigious accounting bodies, AICPA and CIMA, have formed a joint-venture to establish the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation to elevate the profession of management accounting. The designation recognises the most talented and committed management accountants with the discipline and skill to drive strong business performance.

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, founded in 1919, is the world’s leading and largest professional body of Management Accountants, with more than 195,000 members and students operating in 176 countries, working at the heart of business. CIMA members and students work in industry, commerce, the public sector and not-for-profit organisations.

American Institute of CPAs (AICPA)
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is the world’s largest association representing the accounting profession, with nearly 377,000 members in 128 countries and a 125 year heritage. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting.

Get involved in the Twitter discussion at #CGMAtalent


Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 31 December 2011, the Group employed 7,988 staff operating from 247 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2011:

  • the Group reported net fees of £672 million and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £114 million;
  • the Group placed around 60,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 190,000 people into temporary assignments;
  • 31% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific, 33% in Continental Europe & RoW (CERoW) and 36% in the United Kingdom & Ireland;
  • the temporary placement business represented 54% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 46% of net fees;
  • Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA.


Gil Nielson
Director - Media relations
(212) 596-6008 /

Jonathan Cox
Senior manager - Media relations
(919) 402-4499 /

Katie Scott-Kurti
Head of media and communications
+44 (0)20 3814 2347 /