For more than 90 years, IMA has been a champion of—and resource for—the financial management and accounting profession.

The organization was founded in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1919 as the National Association of Cost Accountants (NACA) to promote knowledge and professionalism among cost accountants and foster a wider understanding of the role of cost accounting in management. Our name was later changed to the National Association of Accountants (NAA).

In 1991, the organization name was again changed to the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), signifying our broader role as the association for accountants and financial professionals working inside organizations, and now we are known by the shorthand—IMA.

IMA Timeline

  • 1919 Founding of the National Association of Cost Accountants (NACA) in Buffalo, N.Y., an early incarnation of the IMA
  • 1920 First chapter of NACA formed in Chicago
  • First NACA Annual Conference is held in Atlantic City
  • 1925 NACA Bulletin is introduced
  • 1935 Library established at NACA national office
  • 1943 First international chapter chartered
  • 1945 Research committee established
  • 1949 NACA Bulletin becomes monthly publication
  • 1957 NACA becomes National Association of Accountants (NAA)
  • 1959 Student Publication Services inaugurated
  • 1969 Management Accounting Practices Committee is established
  • 1972 Certified Management Accountant (CMA®) program created
  • The first Statement on Management Accounting (SMA), Concepts for Contract Costing, is issued
  • 1983 Standards of Ethical Conduct of Management Accountants, the first code of ethics for management accountants in the U.S., is issued
  • 1989 Financial Executive of the Year Award (FEYA) program established
  • 1991 National Association of Accountants becomes the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)
  • 1992 IMA becomes a founding member of the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO), a private-sector organization dedicated to improving the quality of financial reporting
  • 1994 IMA celebrates its 75th anniversary and publishes Proud of the Past – 75 Years of Achievement
  • IMA Foundation for Applied Research (FAR) is formed for the advancement of management accounting
  • 1996 IMA establishes the Certified Financial Manager (CFM®) program.
  • 1997 CMA and CFM tests are computerized
  • 1999 IMA relaunches and renames its flagship magazine, Strategic Finance, which also becomes available online
  • Management Accounting Quarterly debuts in Fall 1999
  • 2000 First IMA Student Conference held in Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • 2006 First IMA Global Conference held in Dubai, UAE
  • 2009 LinkUp IMA, our exclusive online professional community, is launched