Frequently Asked Questions


What are you proposing?

The AICPA and CIMA are proposing to create a new accounting association that will integrate strategy, management and operations and represent the entire accounting profession, while maintaining their respective membership bodies. In other words, members of the American Institute of CPAs will remain members of the AICPA. Members of both AICPA and CIMA will automatically be part of the new association, which will enhance advocacy and expand resources and education opportunities for members. A membership ballot has been authorized, and AICPA members can vote on the proposal through June 16.

Who is CIMA?

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), founded in 1919, is the world’s leading and largest professional body of management accountants, with over 227,000 members and students operating in 179 countries, working at the heart of business. CIMA members and students work in industry, commerce, and not-for-profit organizations. CIMA works closely with employers and sponsors leading-edge research.

What wouldn’t change?

The American Institute of CPAs will continue to do what it has done for more than 128 years. It will remain committed to promoting and protecting the CPA, our profession and its foundation of quality and ethics. You will still be a member of the American Institute of CPAs. The AICPA will continue to be led by CPAs and advocate for the public interest on behalf of the CPA profession; develop and grade the CPA Exam; and monitor and enforce compliance with the profession’s technical and ethical standards. You will continue to receive existing AICPA member benefits such as the Journal of Accountancy, discounted insurance and information relevant to your career, practice or business.  In fact, those resources are expected to expand.

Does CIMA support this direction?

CIMA’s governing council, like the AICPA’s board of directors, fully supports this direction. Like the AICPA, moving forward would also require a vote of CIMA’s membership and with support from a majority of those voting.

What is the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants?

The American Institute of CPAs and CIMA launched the joint venture called the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (“the Association”) in 2011. This proposal would evolve the joint venture and create a new association while preserving the membership bodies our communities have long trusted. The Association would integrate the AICPA’s and CIMA’s strategies, management and operations. All members of the AICPA and CIMA would automatically be members of the Association, which will represent more than 600,000 current and next-generation professionals across public and management accounting. In this way, the Association would significantly enhance advocacy against unnecessary regulations increasingly originating overseas that do not protect the public interest, increase awareness of the profession among the next generation and strengthen our abilities to advance both public and management accounting in the U.S. and abroad.

Have we ever done anything like this in our past?

Yes. The accounting profession has a history of evolving to meet market demand.  The American Institute of CPAs has anticipated and mirrored those changes, making strategic moves to strengthen today’s professionals and position those of the future. There are numerous examples that demonstrate this – letting candidates use a calculator on the CPA exam, allowing CPAs to advertise, computerizing the CPA exam and implementing peer review to enhance quality. Indeed, the modern day Institute was built through the combination of several membership bodies through the years, including the American Association of Public Accountants, Federation of Societies of Public Accountants, Institute of Public Accountants and American Institute of Accountants.

What is the risk of doing nothing?

We can choose to stand still, but the trends will not. The CPA profession is at the hub of an increasingly complex, interdependent, specialized business environment. To retain our relevance into the future, we need to anticipate and adapt to the evolving marketplace so that we maintain a financial system built on the core values of quality, competency and integrity.

Are you going to raise my dues to pay for this?

No. Dues will be adjusted in line with historic norms.