President’s Message: Reports Presented at AGM 2019

Prof Brendan O’Connell, FCMA
President, ICMA Australia

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting Held on 21 November 2019 at 6.00 pm at Green Brain Level 7, RMIT University.

President’s Report at AGM 2019

The Global President of ICMA, Prof Brendan O’Connell reported that the Institute is now on its 23rd year, having been incorporated in 1996, focused both on consolidating membership services and laying the groundwork growth both in Australia and internationally in new Asian Markets. The Focus within Australia was on the continuing professional development of our Australian members via webinars and symposiums; and through improving the quality of our website and our publication ‘On Target’. The Focus overseas was the continuing professional development of our overseas members via symposiums and conferences; and venturing into new Asian Markets.  The ICMA launched its first CMA Programs in Nepal / Bangladesh and relaunched in Singapore and India – the first program in Fiji is scheduled for January 2020. Steady albeit slow progress is reported in the new challenging markets of Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and South Korea.

Lifting Institute’s Profile in Australia

Whilst the Institute is well recognised in its overseas markets, it is still not as recognised as it should be in Australia. As such a number of initiatives were undertaken by the Council, as per the recommendations of its Strategy Document, to lift its profile in Australia.Dr Chintan Bharwada, who was our Business Development Manager was promoted as Chief Operations Officer (Australia & NZ) to further implement this strategy. Dr. Chris D’Souza was appointed as Chief Operations Officer (International)

Over the past year the Institute was again successful in canvassing for the role of ‘Management Accountant’ to be maintained for a ninth year in the Australian Government’s SOL for General Skilled Migration (GSM).

A formal application was lodged in April 2018 with the Minister of Education for the ICMA to be recognised as a Migration Assessment Authority for the area of Management Accountant. In August 2019, some communication was made with the relevant branch of the Federal Government that our application has moved forward.

International – CMA making waves across Asia

The ICMA Indonesia Branch held the first CFO of the year awards – The event was a collaboration of ICMA (Australia) Indonesia Branch, Magister of Accounting Program at the University of Indonesia, and the IPMI Business School. This event will be a signature event yearly to be held by ICMA (Australia) Indonesia Branch, in order to recognize outstanding achievements of CFOs in various categories in Indonesia. These CFO awards were also subsequently held in Surabaya and Bali.

ICMA appointed Country Heads and Deputy Country Heads during the year in: Thailand; Bangladesh; Japan & South Korea and Laos.

ICMA signed MOUs during the year with: MICPA in Myanmar, LCPAA in Laos , AUDAN in Nepal, St Xaviers University in Kolkata (India); Universitas Katolik Dharma Cendika (UKDC) Surabaya, Indonesia; UPN Jawa Timur, Idonesia and Universitas Negeri Surabaya (UNESA) Jawa Timur, Indonesia

ICMA ran new CMA Intensive programs during the year in: Bangladesh; Bengaluru (India); Singapore (with Singapore Management University Academy).

Seminars & Symposiums

 Australia: The Frontiers of Accounting 2019 symposium was held on 21st November2019.

Hong Kong: The ICMA Hong Kong Branch was a sponsor of the Innovation and Breakthrough Forum (IBF 2018) and the China Mainland Hong Kong and Macau Digital Economy Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition.The Branch represented ICMA at the Federation of Australasian Alumni Associations of Hong Kong and at the Canadian University Association of Hong Kong functions.

India: IMAC 2019 symposium is being organized by St Xaviers University in Kolkata (India), on 16th December 2019.

Indonesia: IMAC 2019 symposium is being organized by ICMA Indonesia Branch, on 2nd December 2019. The ICMA Indonesia Branch also conducted monthly symposiums and seminars on current issues like Blockchain / Innovation / Executive hiring etc.

Thailand: ICMA and the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) – ‘Accelerate Your Professional Career’ program for aspiring Management Accountants in Thailand.

Bangladesh: Meetings and discussion on collaboration were held with with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) and with the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Bangladesh (ICMAB).

Vietnam: Vietnam Branch held workshops and seminars for CMA Members on “Big Data for Business Management”; “Large Data Analysis in Corporate Governance” and “Data Driven Decision Making in Industry 4.0”.

Sri Lanka: An ICMA graduation ceremony was held at the Galadari Hotel, in Colombo, Sri Lanka on November 15, 2018. Over 150 CMAs, AMAs and GMAs graduated, with a packed hall of over 400 well-wishes attending.

Syme Business School

During the year Syme Business School faced a setback and we had to rework our strategy to deal with it. The CEO outlined that one of the possible options is to concentrate more on in-house marketing of the CMA program and Certificates of Proficiency via SBS. SBS is now owned 100% by ICMA

Publications, Research and Library

Publications: The eNewsletter On Target continued to be published and the web-analytics indicates that it gets on average 2,000 visits and 3,000 page views per month. The first issue of Management Accounting Frontiers (MAF) [the re-launched name for the Journal of Applied Management Accounting Research (JAMAR)] was published in 2018.

Research: Research and professional development also continued in the two organizations set up by the ICMA: The Institute of Certified Carbon Analysts and Auditors (ICCAA) and The Institute for the Advancement of Corporate Reporting and Assurance (IACRA).

Library: The Library now has over 12,000 texts and professional and academic publications, and has now one of the best libraries in Australia in the professional areas of management accounting and risk management.

Committees & Boards

The ICMA has a number of Committees and Boards for its Governance. The Council thanks all who voluntarily served on these Committees and Boards for their time and dedication.

  • Education Committee
  • Education Advisory Board
  • Professional Education Sub-Committee
  • Continuing Education Sub-Committee
  • Academic Education Sub-Committee
  • Membership Committee
  • Membership Advisory Board
  • Membership Services Sub-Committee
  • Industry and Government Engagement Sub-Committee
  • Ethics Sub-Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Finance, Audit & Risk Advisory Board

Services Provided by the Secretariat.

  • Providing Continuing Professional Education (CPE) to members via Calwest University in the USA and the Academy of Finance and Management Australia (AFMA).
  • Re-designing the corporate website that was in keeping with the enhanced international profile of ICMA
  • Maintaining a Member’s Only area on the website.
  • Emailing monthly the Members Update, and Publishing in pdf format 6 copies of the On Target eNewsletter.
  • Increasing the holdings of the Library by over 200 texts and professional and academic publications during the year.
  • Having a World-Class Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to handle the membership, invoicing, examinations and accounts.
  • Conducting Examinations in all Branch locations and in over 20 countries where students undertake the CMA program online.
  • Setting up an CEO Blog, with links to Facebook and Twitter

Membership Committee Chairman’s Report

The Membership Committee Chairman John Donald reported that we had a +6% increase in CMAs and an overall membership growth of +3% . The new Membership Designation of CGBA now has 91 members (85 last year). Although membership growth is not a KPI of ICMA, which instead aims for quality by positioning itself as the only specialist professional body for senior executives with education programs at the master’s degree level, members represent the lifeblood of the Institute. The overall membership of the ICMA now stands at approximately 7,961 members in 60 countries.

Education Committee Chairman’s Report

Prof Janek Ratnatunga, the Education Committee chairman provided an overview of the Education Program of CMA Australia:

The Program has Nine Levels:

  • Certified Accounting Technician (CAT)
  • Registered Cost Accountant (RCA)
  • Registered Business Accountant (RBA)
  • Graduate Program (For School Leavers) – GMA & AMA
  • Graduate Conversion Program (For Non-Accounting Graduates/ Professionals) – GMA& AMA
  • CMA Program (For Accounting Graduates/Professionals) –CMA
  • CGBA – For Non-accounting Graduates
  • MBA, CMA program for Global Leaders
  • DBA, CMA program for Applied Research

The Program can be undertaken via:

  • University Degree (Undergraduate/Masters)
  • Recognised Provider Institution
  • Corporate In-House

Prof Ratnatunga also reported that to facilitate its educational objectives in addition to its own nine-level CMA education program, the Institute has accredited a number of universities which have master’s degree subjects that are equivalent to the CMA program. Some of these universities also provide in-house training and examinations of the CMA program. Accounting graduates can do CMA accredited units at these universities to qualify for CMA status.  The details of these universities and the subjects accredited are listed on the CMA Website.

CMA Australia also has Recognised providers in Australia and in many different countries the details of which are listed on our website.

Certificates of Proficiency

The following Certificates of Proficiency Programs were designed and offered in 2019:

  • International Financial Reporting Standards
  • Risk Management
  • Islamic Banking and Finance
  • Family Business.
  • Foreign Exchange Management
  • Transport and Shipping
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Project Management
  • Takaful (Islamic) Insurance
  • International Business
  • International Business Analysis
  • Logistics Management
  • Wealth Management
  • Telecommunications Pricing
  • Company Secretarial Practice
  • Crisis Management
  • Forensic Accounting and Auditing
  • Human Resource Management
  • Sustainable Procurement
  • Cross-Cultural Negotiations
  • Performance Budgeting
  • VAT Law & Practice (UAE)
  • Performance and Valuation
  • Accounting Practice (Vietnam)
  • Performance & Valuation

Membership Pathways

The Institute of Certified Management Accountant (ICMA) offers a number of membership pathways as follows:

  • University Graduates in Accounting
  • University Graduates in Finance
  • MBA Degree Holders
  • University Graduates with Non-Accounting Degrees
  • Diploma and Advanced Diploma Holders in Accounting
  • Members of Other Professional Accounting Bodies
  • Members of Other Professional Non-Accounting Bodies
  • Part Qualified Students of Other Professional Accounting Bodies
  • School Leavers
  • Academics
  • Distance Education Scholarship Program
  • Emerging Professional Scholarship Program

Treasurer’s Report

Dr Chris D’Souza, the Treasurer was pleased to report that in its 23rd year the Institute is in a stable financial position. However, during the year, we experienced a setback where despite our best efforts Syme Business school was not given TEQSA approval. SBS is working on strategies to earn revenue to recoup its losses failing which ICMA might need to write off its investment of $230K in SBS.  During the Financial Year 2018-19 the Membership Income of the association grew by $17K – 3% over previous year and total Income grew by $33K – 5% over previous year.The accumulated balance of members funds remains over 1 million dollars which is before making any provision for contingent losses from our SBS investment of 230K.

The Financial statements of the Institute were distributed to all members present and discussed. The Treasurer, Chris D’Souza then discussed the accounts in detail.


Professor Brendan O’Connell, FCMA

President, ICMA Australia