Managers’ Opinions of Management Accountants’ Competency Skills and Personal Qualities

Dahli Gray, Patricia Irons


The Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) Competency Framework published in 2014 describes four knowledge areas (technical, business, people, and leadership skills) and three personal qualities (ethics, integrity, and professionalism). This study used the CGMA Competency Framework as the basis for a survey completed in 2015 of mid-level managers to assess their opinions of management accountants. The mid-level manager demographics reflected a near equal representation of men and women. All respondents were located in the United States and fairly evenly from all parts of the nation. Other demographics supported a representative sample was collected. The survey results revealed that mid-level managers rank technical skills as management accountants’ strongest knowledge area and people skills as the weakest. The research and methodology in this paper set a benchmark for future comparisons as management accountants successfully work toward meeting and eliminating the perceived crisis of not fully meeting the knowledge areas and personal qualities in the CGMA Competency Framework. Surprisingly, cost accounting and reporting were ranked among management accountants’ weakest knowledge areas, which might indicate that management accountants need to more effectively communicate their actual expertise. Earning the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) Certified Management Accountant (CMA) credential could help communicate management accountants’ actual expertise

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