The Resilient Management Accountant

March 1, 2018

While picking up my preschooler the other day, I received a note from his teachers: “A minor scrape resulting in a Band-Aid.” Fortunately, my 3½-year-old didn’t appear too bothered and, in fact, seemed somewhat proud of his (yet another) run-in with schoolyard gravity. Both teachers assured me that prompt attention was paid to his well-being, but I was struck by one thing I heard later that day: “Don’t worry, kids are like elastic bands. They can stretch, bend, and bounce around like you wouldn’t believe and still be perfectly okay. They’re much more resilient than you’d care to remember or imagine.”


Resilience. That term stayed with me for the rest of the week. As we look at the ever-changing political and economic landscape, with the bears and bulls unsure of who is hibernating and terms like “Day Zero” making their way into our vocabulary, there’s no doubt many people are searching for answers. Although I don’t claim that a CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) can provide all those answers, two things I continually witness are the resiliency and adaptability of management accountants in light of many changes.


I’ve recently had the privilege of welcoming two new CMAs at my company, EDF Renewable Energy. My challenge to Courtney and Tamara was simple: Celebrate the win, remember this first milestone as a credentialed accountant, and let it provide you the personal competency, tools of our network (through IMA), and proven perseverance to navigate the obstacles of business to surface as a resilient advisor. CMAs focus on the prospective, providing higher-level analytics and visibility that allow companies to identify, mitigate, and recover quickly from contingencies. Those who have earned the new CSCA® (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis) credential take it one step further, turning these headlights into laser-focused competitive strategies, providing not only resilience but also opportunities for their businesses to overtake others on the road.


As our commercial landscapes evolve, management accountants must, too. CMAs have progressed to permeate every level and succeed in every sector of society: CMAs are junior accountants, CFOs, and IT professionals; we’re in operations, finance, internal audit, sales, transactions, nonprofits, academia—and the list goes on. We’re agile and quick to learn the “inputs” of what we lead, and when we’re presented with a challenge, we often emerge with a cross-functional product promoting not only one, but many, paths to move ahead successfully.


CMAs can stretch, bend, and bounce around like you wouldn’t believe. And, yes, we’ve also got what it takes to look out for your well-being.


I welcome your comments at aeng@imanet.org.


Alex C. Eng, CMA, CFM, CPA, Esq., is Chair of the IMA Global Board of Directors and vice president, U.S. Corporate Finance at EDF Renewable Energy.
1 + Show Comments

1 comment.
    R.Veeraraghavan D.Rangarajan Iyengar March 22, 2018 AT 9:56 am

    Great article.

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