If you’ve kept up with communications from IMA, you’ll know that the Asia/Pacific region represents a strong, burgeoning market for us and offers opportunities that show no sign of abating. The numbers speak for themselves: Total CMA candidates from this region now exceed 20,000, which is higher than any other region by a wide margin. Currently, the region boasts more than 25,000 members (more than 25% of our total members) and more than 4,300 CMAs.

That growth is astounding and reflects IMA’s efforts to increase awareness about management accounting in the region and to promote the advantages of CMA certification. One of the best parts: People are listening.

I believe the attractiveness of our CMA certification in the Asia/Pacific region stems from several factors. It certainly has helped that we introduced a Simplified Chinese version of the exam about 10 years ago. But more than that, becoming a CMA is compelling to management accountants in this region because of the certification’s:

Comprehensive body of knowledge. The exam tests disciplines that are most in demand by employers, whether they are state-owned organizations, multinational corporations, or smaller enterprises. With Part 1 covering reporting, planning, performance, and control and Part 2 covering financial decision making, the exam assesses the very skills that someone needs to succeed as a management accountant.

Portability. The CMA exam that members in China pass is the same exam that professionals everywhere else in the world have passed. That makes the exam portable to any region, country, or organization—something that’s especially attractive to those who are transferred by multinational corporations or who seek positions in the United States or other places outside China.

U.S. basis. The fact that the CMA is a U.S.-based certification makes it compelling to those working in multinational corporations or who place a premium on U.S. institutions.

To serve this region, IMA maintains a staff of 19 professionals throughout China, all of whom work to cultivate relationships with educational institutions, corporate partners, review course providers, and IMA chapter leaders. The activity there is amazing as these staff members seek to identify new opportunities and expand on the efforts that have laid the groundwork for such a strong presence for our association and our certification.

I look forward to reporting on my experiences in China. And if you’d like to discuss this or any other topic, you can reach me at mpalker@imanet.org.

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