We’ve all heard the adage ‘knowledge is power.’ And it’s pretty accurate, according to research by the Institute of IMA (Institute of Management Accountants). In a recently released study, it shows organizations that value and support education and certification have more successful finance departments. Alain Mulder, IMA Senior Director Europe Operations, explains why it’s so vital for employers and employees to pursue continuing education in our changing, automating world. 

In recent months, IMA rolled out a survey among its own members and major global corporate employers. It found that organizations grow faster and show overall better performance when their workforce continues to learn and expand their body of knowledge. IMA is one of the largest worldwide associations dedicated to advancing management accounting and finance professionals. “The whole finance spectrum enrols in our CMA and CSCA certifications as they provide excellent training for everybody,” Alain says. “You learn all the core finance skills along with all the big technological changes. Afterwards, everyone can also access our Continuing Professional Education, with targeted courses on things like soft skills, data analytics and technology like RPA, blockchain and communication.”

The world is changing fast. With more and more companies automating their processes, employees want to upgrade their skills to keep pace with technological changes. “Another IMA study among CFOs showed that investments in technology are key. You can expect to see finance professionals adding more value and taking an active role with data-driven and trend-related activities. This development was coming up already, but the pandemic has really kicked automation into high gear.”

With many years of experience as a finance researcher and analyst and running his own real estate management firm, Alain Mulder is well-versed in the interests at play in the finance and IT markets. “At IMA I found everything I wanted: work in finance and IT at a global and enterprising level. And although it’s a worldwide organization, we are very active on a local level and with a large member network in Amsterdam.” For an outwardly-oriented country like the Netherlands, the international recognition IMA offers is absolutely crucial, Alain continues. “Finance professionals who work here are also working in a transnational financial world. Firms want people with an internationally recognized title, and that’s only becoming more important as globalization progresses.”