Stern Strategy Group (Stern) was selected by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA®) to create its 2015 Annual Report. For nearly 10 years, Stern has supported IMA’s key business goals through strategic counsel, media relations, thought leadership, digital engagement and more. The report provided an opportunity to showcase IMA’s commitment to its 80,000 members and highlight its positive impact on the management accounting/finance profession. To convey IMA’s member focus, we selected the theme “Stronger Together,” as told through four subthemes – growthinnovationeducation and collaboration. The project goals were:

  • Use creative storytelling to develop a compelling narrative and visually appealing report
  • Create a digitally-native, responsive experience designed with UX in mind across all platforms and devices
  • Embed social media functionality throughout to support prolonged reach and engagement

IMA’s 2015 Annual Report is fresh and visually engaging; it tells a story, of our organization and of the accounting community; and it has rallied our employees, volunteers, partners and members around our successes of this last year and our mission moving forward. Stern Strategy Group understood our vision, embraced it and translated it into a compelling narrative that celebrates our record-breaking achievements, and inspires us to do more and better this next year.

Jeff Thomson, CMA, CAE, President and CEO, IMA


Through in-depth discovery and creative storyboarding processes, the story of IMA’s success, and its member focus, started to take shape. We unearthed “Stronger Together” as the theme that fit most naturally with the report, and which truly exemplified what made IMA successful. Our mission was no longer to create a document that told the story of IMA alone, but to focus on IMA’s strong dedication to working with its members to grow, innovate, educate and collaborate.


With our theme established, we shifted to the visual concept creation, design and development phases of the project. Following IMA’s established brand guidelines, our digital and creative teams collaborated to:

  • Mix ideas and inspiration along with IMA’s established guidelines and current design trends to push creative boundaries
  • Create mood boards and prototypes, followed by high resolution mockups
  • Bring the report to life through advanced web development skills using industry best practices and innovative digital tools


The design focused on authentic imagery taken from local and international IMA chapters, providing an opportunity to showcase IMA’s members and strengthen the “human connection.” In addition, the report incorporates social functionality throughout to allow visitors to easily share the report and create conversation around how IMA has impacted them and their career goals.


Bringing together our expertise in content creation, creative services and digital marketing, we were able to partner with IMA to create a report that not only conveys IMA’s success in fiscal year 2015, but engages and inspires its visitors. By doing so, we’ve seen an increase in site traffic, visibility and engagement with the previous years’ reports as well.

Rethinking Content of Annual Reports was last modified: July 28th, 2023 by Stern Strategy Group