Trends in the Accountancy Profession And Where CIMA Stands

By  •  Updated: 11/15/22 •  3 min read

What is going on in accountancy? From time to time, it’s good to explore how the changing trends can affect our decisions and career paths and prospects as management accountants and management accounting, or CIMA students.  Here are some key facts from the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) June 2016 report on Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession that would interest CIMA students and members. 

Please note that the report covers only UK based accountancy bodies.

In addition to the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the other accountancy bodies covered by the report include:

4 Things CIMA Students and Members Should Know

  • The accounting profession is growing. “Total membership of the accountancy bodies continues to grow”, says the FRC report, noting that by end of 2015, the seven accountancy bodies had over 342,000 members in the UK and Republic of Ireland (ROI) and over 497,000 members worldwide.
  • The numbers of accountancy students worldwide are growing. UK and ROI had 163,000 people studying to be accountants at end of 2015. There were over 559,000 students worldwide. Even though the numbers in UK and ROI declined slightly (less than 2 percent), worldwide numbers grew by 2.6 percent from 2014. The compound annual rate of growth for 2011-15 was 3.1 percent.
  • The accountancy bodies differ significantly in terms of their geographical distribution of members and students. They vary in terms of size, growth rate and age profiles too.
  • The numbers of registered audit firms are declining, dropping to 6331 by end of 2015, a drop of 4.6 percent from previous year’s figure.

Global CIMA Stats You Would Want to Know

  • There were 102,942 CIMA members worldwide by December 2015. Over all this shows a year on year growth of 3 percent. Growth rate over the 2011-2015 was a healthy 17.9 percent.
  • Now CIMA members make up over one in five accountancy professionals around the world with a UK qualification. What does that mean for CIMA members? It means CIMA is going global at a good rate.
  • There were 125,763 CIMA students worldwide by end of 2015. This was a marginal drop from the previous year. However, the trend from 2011-15 shows a growth percent of 18 and a compound annual rate of 4.2 percent.

CIMA Members and Students in UK and Ireland

  • In 2015 CIMA membership grew by 1.1 percent to 78,402. However, the growth rate over 2011-15 period was a healthy 13.6 percent.
  • The only accountancy body whose membership grew faster over the same period was ACCA (15.3 percent).
  • CIMA student numbers in the UK and ROI declined by 5.5 percent from 2014. This makes up a decline of 5.4 percent in the 2011-2015 period.
  • Whose numbers are declining faster? CIPFA, with less than 2000 memberships in UK and Ireland saw a 20.5 percent drop from 2014. ACCA, which had 81,460 members by end of 2015 saw a corresponding drop of 8.7 percent year on year.

In the next post, we’ll look at the profile of CIMA members and students worldwide including their sectors of employment.