Next to CMA, three of the most important letters for business professionals are arguably C, P, and E. That’s because they represent hours of professional development. Continuing Education helps professionals stay up to date on trends in the profession. It ensures that they don’t stop learning once they earn their certification.
After getting a certification like a CMA, CSCA, CPA, or CFA, professionals need to earn CPE credits annually to maintain their certification. Without these annual credits, the certification is no longer valid.
IMA®(Institute of Management Accountants) provides timely and critical content for management accountants. Through a variety of online and in-person resources, IMA offers CPE to accounting and finance professionals.
What does CPE really mean?
CPE may sound like another certification itself, but it stands for Continuing Professional Education. It’s a way to keep professionals learning so they can maintain the skills needed to successfully perform their jobs. It keeps them on top of the current trends and techniques within the industry.
The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) recognizes nearly all of IMA’s CPE credits. Accountants and financial professionals in business must complete NASBA CPE to maintain a valid CMA or CPA certification. You can use our NASBA CPE credits to maintain your CMA or other valid certifications.
Once you're a CMA, you are required to complete 30 CPE credits each year by December 31 to maintain your active designation. Luckily, you can earn these credits through a variety of products such as online courses, certificate programs, webinars, conferences, workshops, and events. When you earn CPE from IMA, the system automatically uploads your transcript for easy recordkeeping.
Earning CPE credits with courses
One of the most popular ways to earn Continuing Professional Education credits through IMA is with online, self-study courses. We offer individual courses, microlearning, and course packages, as well as several series of related courses. Every one of our CPE courses offers credits from either ICMA® (Institute of Certified Management Accountants) or NASBA, with the majority providing NASBA CPE credits.
Our online self-study courses let you learn at your own pace. Pause along the way and you can easily return to the same spot anytime in the future. All courses are available to you for at least one year from initial purchase.
There’s no need to rush through a course. Take your time and simply go as quickly or as slowly as you’d like.
Course topics align with the six domains of the IMA Management Accounting Competency Framework: Leadership, Technology & Analytics, Professional Ethics & Values, Business Acumen & Operations, Reporting & Control, and Strategy, Planning & Performance. Courses cover specific topics like project management, operational knowledge, risk management, internal control, financial recordkeeping, communication skills, and more.
For Continuing Professional Education, 1 CPE credit is equivalent to 50 minutes of study. Generally, IMA’s courses provide 1-2 CPE credits, while our microlearning courses are less than 20 minutes each and offer 0.2 NASBA CPE apiece.
Are there free CPE Courses?
IMA members can take advantage of a wide variety of free CPE courses. Non-members can pay a fee for access, while IMA members pay nothing for courses like IMA Excel 365: Tips in Ten, Driving Strategic Management with the Profitability Analytics Framework, and Leading Change.
Additionally, we offer free ICMA CPE to everyone, regardless of membership status, with our CPE by SF series. These courses tie into current articles from IMA's online publication Strategic Finance. Read the latest content and take the corresponding comprehensive quizzes to earn your free CPE.
Certificate Programs offer CPE and a Digital Badge
If you’re not seeking a certification like the CMA or CSCA, you can earn micro-credentials with our certificate programs. Choose from immersive topics like data analytics, financial planning and analysis, sustainability business practices, diversity, equity and inclusion, and cybersecurity.
These programs typically include individual courses within each certificate, so you can earn CPE as you complete each one. Upon successful completion, you will receive NASBA CPE credit, a certificate, and a digital badge to display on LinkedIn or other social networks.
You don't need to pay annual fees or earn credits to keep your digital badge or certificate from these programs. Our self-study courses allow you to learn at your own pace. There is no need to rush and complete everything at once. Certificate programs are available for one year from the date of purchase.
Webinars with CPE Credit
As an IMA member, you have full access to all our webinars. That means, for no extra cost, you can stay current on timely management accounting topics and enhance your career. Even better, we offer more than 70 live webinars each year, most of which are eligible for NASBA CPE credits.
Our webinar series cover a wide variety of topics from technology to data analytics to strategy. Regular series eligible for CPE include:
- Inside Talk – features timely emerging issues and relevant topics like technology, data analytics, revenue recognition, expense reporting, and continuous accounting.
- IMA’s Leadership Academy – covers insights on becoming management accounting leaders in the profession.
- Career Connection – highlights industry experts as they share their thoughts on career growth, networking, and job search strategies.
- Strategic Management Series – features strategy and competitive analysis topics related to management accounting.
- Faculty Friday – highlights tools, tips, and best practices for teaching management accounting concepts and real-world topics.
Events and Workshops
Attending in-person events or workshops can also earn you CPE credits. IMA holds yearly conferences like the Accounting & Finance Conference, Women's Leadership Summit, and Student Leadership Conference. Attending and participating in these events is yet another way to earn CPE credits.
There are also many Chapter and Council Events which can offer you the opportunity to earn CPE. Live workshops, whether in-person or virtual, cover important topics like Ethics, Leadership, and more. Keep checking the IMA Events page for the latest information.