What Competencies Do Employers Look for in Global Management Accountants?

Today’s businesses operate in a fast-changing world full of volatility, uncertainty, turbulence and ambiguity. No one is assured of continuing business success because business conditions, profitability and competitiveness of even market leaders can change in an instance.

Today’s consumers are fickle too. They will move to your competitors if they can gain improved speed and efficiency; especially at a lower cost.

In such a world, the value of real-time management information and the ability to strategize on the go are crucial for organizational survival and success. And agility in all aspects of a business operation is critical for business success.

400x300blogsAnd this reality applies to companies everywhere, to multinationals, large, medium and small businesses alike.

CEOs and Boards of Directors everywhere recognize this reality. And often the CFO, together with other C-suite officers are the architects that work on ensuring agility of business processes. At the end of the day, organisational success is a highly orchestrated team effort. And you, as a Chartered Global Management Accountant will be in the middle of this process.

The growing demand for global management accounting professionals who can lead their organizations successfully through that change is a natural result of these changing global business conditions. Employers today expect a lot more from management accountants than they did a generation ago. Read Why Employers Value CIMAs.

The global management accounting profession has responded to changing global business needs by proactively by creating the new designation of Chartered Global Management Accountant or CGMA. Created as a strategic partnership between American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the CGMA is the direct result of the recognition that management accountants from CEO and CFO downwards, requires a far wider skill set that extends way beyond traditional accounting and technical skills.

The Value of the CGMA designation

From a member’s perspective, your CGMA designation will power-up your professional resume, demonstrating your business skills, discipline and commitment. It is a way to gain recognition for your skills and experience at a global level. But what competencies are potential employers looking for in a Chartered Global Management Accountant? From you?

The CGMA Competency Framework

The CGMA Competency Framework is a good place to begin exploring. It has been "designed to help management accountants and their employers understand the knowledge requirements and assess the skills needed for both current and desired roles". It is very much forward looking.


What Employers Expect From a CGMA

Based on the above framework, here’s what your employers expect of you:


    1. Technical skills.

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This is a given that employers expect of any chartered management accountant. But Chartered Management Accountants (CIMA members) and CPAs who gain CGMA designation are expected to excel in areas of technical expertise.

As you pass through the foundation, intermediate, advanced and expert stages, you will master technical skills in financial accounting and reporting, cost accounting and management, business planning, management reporting and analysis, corporate finance and treasury management, risk management and internal control, accounting information systems, tax strategy, planning and compliance.


    1. Business Skills.

13 Credit ScoreYour employer is paying a CGMA for way more than the possession of technical skills. You will be expected to master business strategy and be aware of the workings of the market and regulatory environments. You will also be expected to possess an in depth understanding of process management, business relations, project management and macroeconomic analysis.


    1. People Skills.

8 Financial TransactionYour people skills are extremely important for your employer.

Your employer expects you to be a good influencer, both within and outside the organization. You’ll be expected to take a hands on approach in negotiations and in the decision making process. The employers will expect you to be a fluent communicator, both verbally and in the written form. One of the key responsibilities that your employer will hand over to you as a CGMA are the collaborative efforts within and outside the organization. You will be expected to partner with those within and outside the organization to create partnerships that produce results.


    1. Leadership Skills

69 Bull MarketWhen recruiting a CGMA, your employer believes they are recruiting a leader. 

They will want to know how good you are at creating and leading teams. Can you be a great coach and a mentor to your team members? Can you focus on driving performance while tending to the needs of your team members? How good are you at inspiring people and motivating them towards achieving organizational goals? Your ability to lead and manage change—which is the one constant in 21st century business world—is another key factor CGMAs are expected to bring to the table.


    1. Ethics, Integrity and Professionalism.

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The above skills are not enough, on their own. Your employers expect of you a high standard of ethics, integrity and professionalism.

As the CGMA website notes, "The framework is underpinned by the need for objectivity, integrity, and ethical behaviour, and includes a commitment to continuously acquire new skills and knowledge."



Potential employers consider the Competency Framework as a foundation that demonstrates the relevance and capabilities that a Chartered Global Management Accountant brings to the table as a "trusted finance and business strategist."

As you know, gaining the CIMA qualification can help you in your career in many ways. But the CGMA designation take you onto an entirely new level on the global job arena.

You can read the complete CGMA Competency Framework document here.

Visit our blog regularly to be updated on news and career related topics affecting CIMA students and professionals.

How useful is CGMA in your opinion? Share your point of view and write a comment below.


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