IMA Student Leadership Conference in India Highlights Need for Human Skills

Bangalore, IndiaFebruary 26, 2019 : IMA (Institute of Management Accountants), the association of accountants and financial professionals in business, recently concluded its first Student Leadership Conference (SLC) in Bangalore on February 2, 2019. More than 210 students and faculty members from 13 universities across India attended the event.

“With ever-smarter processes and software, the traditional role of accountants is gradually losing ground to the machine. But that doesn’t mean accountants are irrelevant. On the contrary, accounting and finance professionals are more important than ever, but they have to have the right human skills,” said guest speaker Paul Juras, Ph.D., CMA, CPA, Professor at Babson College, U.S.; Chair, ICMA Board of Regents, and IMA 2019-2020 Chair-Elect.

At the conference, Juras talked about the changes to IMA’s CMA (Certified Management Accountant) exam effective January 1, 2020. He also talked about what skills accounting and finance professionals need and how they can acquire competencies such as business acumen, leadership, forecasting, communication, management and, of course, new technology.

“The conference made me think outside the box and break barriers. It made me rethink about my future and to seriously pursue the CMA certification,” said Sachin Agali, a student at Jain University.

Famous corporate trainer and TedX speaker Mihir Koltharkar, CEO and Founder of 24 Karat Training talked to the students about changing mindsets and overcoming self-imposed barriers as AI and other technological advancements are set to change corporate and employee training.

A panel session to discuss what employers want from entry-level finance and accounting professionals featured corporate and HR decision-makers from leading local and multinational companies.

“The speakers gave our students practical, actionable steps and suggested resources to prepare for working alongside AI and robotics,” stated Bhavana Balamurugadas, a faculty member of the Department of Commerce and Management at Jyoti Nivas College Autonomous in Bangalore.

After the conference, IMA representatives, headed by Juras, toured the cities of BangaloreCochin, Thrissur, and Chennai to discuss the best way for finance and accounting professionals to keep their job secure and remain relevant as automation takes over repetitive day-to-day tasks.

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