I am excited and honored to begin my term as IMA® Global Board Chair. It’s truly humbling to follow in the footsteps of the almost 100 men and women who held this role before me and to reflect on the positive impact each of them had not only on IMA members but also the profession at large.

After I accepted this role, I was often asked how I would evaluate my own success and my contribution to advancing the mission of IMA and the profession. To answer that question, I look to my professional life. I have been part of the academic community for more than 30 years, and I, along with many of my colleagues, recognize that we must be forward-looking to help our students be relevant, impactful, and focused less on the repetitive transaction-based skills that formed the foundation of curricula in the past.

For example, practitioners are now discussing the potential impacts and implementation hurdles from digital transformations, such as the adoption of Industry 4.0. In this age of connectivity, data is a valuable resource, and we need to teach students how to not only analyze but also leverage this data in order to improve decision making and help create the future they want to see.

By empowering students in this way, we’re also supporting and helping advance IMA’s mission of knowledge creation and dissemination. Through cooperation with higher education, IMA can help translate changes in the “real world” into curriculum and educational offerings. At the same time, the academic community can help provide practitioners with unbiased guidance for facing the challenges ahead.

And so, I return to the question of how I would evaluate my own success and my contribution to the advancing of IMA and the profession. Thinking of the quote by Albert Einstein, my answer is this: I will be successful as IMA Chair based on the value I provide to IMA in furthering its mission to help current and future members find ways to grow and succeed professionally as a result of their IMA membership.

Management accountants who will fill the talent pipeline need to be adaptable, resilient, and dedicated to lifelong learning. Many of the valuable skills they need to develop are described in the IMA Management Accounting Competency Framework and are assessed on the exams for both the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) and CSCA® (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis) certifications.

I look forward to working with the Global Board, IMA staff, and all members around the world to accomplish our goals for the next year, including strengthening the foundation that represents the future of our organization and the profession. And I close with a question, or maybe a challenge: How will you find ways to be of value?

I welcome your comments on this or any other topic at paul.juras@imanet.org.

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