Leave this world a little better than you found it

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Canada is a long-standing member of the Professional Immigrant Networks (PINs) program. We spoke to CIMA Canada’s PINs leader, Amal Ratnayake, about what it means to be a PINs leader and how his association has benefited from being part of the program.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is the world’s largest body of Management Accountants. In 1972, a group of CIMA members got together to form CIMA Canada with the intention of supporting CIMA members that migrated to Canada.

Since then, CIMA Canada has grown and now organizes professional development and networking events in Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa and Vancouver as well as a very high- profile annual conference attended by 500 business and finance leaders.

Our members have migrated to Canada from different parts of the world, and have been leaders of business and finance in other countries. They move to Canada because our immigration system welcomes people with experience such as theirs. However, upon arrival in Canada they face barriers from employers and the legal system that affect their employability, despite the uniform accounting standards used worldwide by the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

As a result of these barriers to employment, CIMA Canada formed a team to evaluate how we can support members that are new to Canada, help them integrate within the professional community and provide them with the assistance required to gain suitable employment. This led to us joining the PINs program in 2011.

The resources made available by the PINs program are extremely useful to our newcomer members and the professional networking opportunities are invaluable. We have also collaborated with TRIEC’s Mentoring Partnership program (TMP) since 2005, which further supports our newcomer members in the early stages of launching their career in Canada.

I moved to Canada over a decade ago and find it distressing that some of the employment barriers I faced when I first moved to Canada still exist. Being a PINs leader gives me the opportunity to work with organizations such as TRIEC to mitigate the impact of these challenges. In the past year, I have served on TRIEC’s Advisory committee for the and am very appreciative of the efforts made by TRIEC and other organizations to level the playing field for internationally trained professionals. 

I believe that together, we can make life easier for internationally trained professionals that follow us in making Canada their home.