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Frequently asked questions about AICPA & CIMA

These FAQs are intended to provide you with a broad understanding of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the combined voice of AICPA & CIMA, its mission, roles within the accounting profession, and the services the organizations provide to its members, future members and the broader accounting and finance profession.

What is the AICPA?

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is the national professional organization for Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in the United States. The AICPA’s mission is powering the success of global business, CPAs, CGMAs and specialty credentials by providing the most relevant knowledge, resources and advocacy, and protecting the evolving public interest. In fulfilling its mission, the AICPA works with state CPA organizations and gives priority to those areas where public reliance on CPA skills is most significant.

When was the AICPA founded?

The AICPA was founded in 1887 and upon its creation, established accountancy as a profession distinguished by rigorous educational requirements, high professional standards, a strict code of professional ethics, licensing status and a commitment to serving the public interest.

Who leads the AICPA?

The AICPA Board of Directors acts as the executive committee for the governing Council which determines Institute programs and establishes general policies. The Council is made up of elected and appointed members from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. The Board oversees management and organizes the various volunteer committees which report to it.

Barry C. Melancon, CPA, CGMA, is President and CEO of the AICPA and CEO of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. Susan S. Coffey, CPA, CGMA, is CEO – Public Accounting of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. Anoop Mehta, CPA, CGMA, is Chair of the AICPA and Chair of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants

What are the requirements to become a member of the AICPA?

The AICPA offers several different types of memberships in order to meet the needs of the diverse CPA profession. Learn more about the requirements to become a member.

What is CIMA?

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants® (CIMA) helps individuals and businesses to succeed by harnessing the full power of management accounting – not just accounting for the balance sheet, but accounting for business. We provide continuing professional development services, fund academic research, develop thought leadership, monitor professional standards, maintain a code of ethics for members, and work with external tuition providers and assessment services to provide the best study and examination experience.

When was CIMA founded?

CIMA was founded in 1919 and is the world’s leading and largest professional body of management accountants. CIMA is incorporated by a Royal charter, which grants CIMA's powers and sets out the institute’s objectives. The Royal charter, byelaws and regulations are the institute’s governing documents. They are the rules that regulate the conduct of all students and members, and CIMA's management through its council, which governs the institute as enabled by the byelaws.

Who leads CIMA?

CIMA is led by a Council of 55 members; 37 are directly elected by CIMA members. The remaining 18 are the president, deputy president, vice president, immediate past president and 14 co-opted members. Council meets five times a year to discuss and set policy.

Melanie Kanaka, FCMA, CGMA, is President of CIMA and Co-Chair of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. Sarah Ghosh, FCMA, CGMA, is Deputy President of CIMA. Simon Bittlestone, FCMA, CGMA, is Vice President of CIMA. Paul Ash, FCMA, CGMA, is Immediate Past President of CIMA. Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA, is CEO – Management Accounting of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants



What are the requirements to become a member of CIMA?

CIMA is open to everyone, no matter what qualifications or professional experience you have. Visit the CIMA website to learn more.

What is the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants?

Formed by members of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association) builds on more than a century-long heritage of excellence.

The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants is the organization tasked with transforming the global accounting and finance profession through its work on behalf of AICPA and CIMA members and students. The Association is the combined power of AICPA & CIMA and represents a united voice for the profession.

Who leads The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants?

In support of public and management accounting, the Association Board of Directors is the core of the governance structure. The Board is composed of 32 leaders in the profession and the public, representing the diverse perspectives and expertise of the membership and stakeholders they serve.

Volunteer leadership:
Anoop Mehta, CPA, CGMA, is Chair of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, and Melanie Kanaka, FCMA, CGMA, is Co-Chair of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.

Executive leadership:
Barry C. Melancon, CPA, CGMA, is CEO of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. Susan S. Coffey, CPA, CGMA, is CEO – Public Accounting. Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA, is CEO – Management Accounting.

How does the Association benefit the profession?

Membership of the AICPA or CIMA grants access to the Association of International Certified Professional Accountant’s global network of 689,000 members, students and engaged professionals worldwide.

The Association has 32 offices around the world to provide insight from the frontlines of business, support members and students, and advocate on behalf of the profession. We also offer 55 credentials, designations, diplomas and certificates in specialized areas such as business valuation and International Financial Reporting Standards. In addition, we award the CGMA designation, which demonstrates the skillset needed to meet the challenges of a global marketplace and drive sustainable success for organizations around the world.

How do I contact someone at the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants?

We have offices located around the world. To find a location and content information, please visit Contact page.

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