By: Christine Bessert | College of Business Student | President of the Institute of Management Accounts
Who I Am:
My name is Christy Bessert and I am the President of the Institute of Management Accounts (IMA) for the first semester of the 2015-2016 school year. Aysha Reeves will be taking over my position when I graduate in December. I will be graduating with dual degrees in Accounting and Agricultural Business. Since I will have the two degrees, I am not certain that public accounting will be the best fit for me, and if that is where I end up, the knowledge I have gained from IMA will greatly benefit me.
How an IMA Membership Will Benefit You:
IMA is one of the few, if not only, international organizations on campus that is comprised of accountants and financial professionals working in business. Thus, the conferences we attend are focused on strengthening key skills, connecting with peers, increasing your strategic viewpoint, and expanding your career potential. We are able to network with potential employers, mentors, and an array of other professionals that are more than willing to help us in any capacity. It is also imperative to be involved in campus as a student and I think IMA is a great opportunity to do so!
As a student organization, we want to ensure you find value in your membership. Thus, we want all members to have a say in what companies we hear from, whether this is a local brewing company or a national chain. IMA has members in many different industries and we like to utilize as speakers. We also strive to become a support system for each other, in whatever capacity needed. To better achieve this, we have decided to host one social meeting a month. This will allow us to get to know one another and hopefully relieve some stress as the semester continues on.
Private vs. Public Accountants:
When most people think of accountants, they immediately think of a certified public accountant (CPA). CPA’s perform an array of duties for their clients including: auditing, tax research/preparation, and consulting services. However, there is a large number of accountants who are in the private sector. These accountants are more involved in preparation of financial statements, internal audits, review of internal controls and management procedures. IMA prepares you for a role as an internal accountant through helping you study for your certified management accountant (CMA) exam. The CMA exam is broken into two sections, rather than the four sections the CPA exam has. It covers the topics seen in management accounting and cost accounting such as: financial reporting, planning, performance, control, and financial decision making. Also unlike the CPA exam, the CMA only requires a bachelor’s degree. These two designations are also extremely complimentary in nature, and greatly increase your earning potential.
We hope to see you at our future meetings! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!