IMA Life: Connecting the DotsBy
Looking back at my career thus far, I see how each new role I took on helped me become more aware of the skills required to be a successful management accountant.
After graduating from Brigham Young University, I began my career in Brazil, where I grew up, to work in the capital investments department of the country’s largest manufacturer of sugar mills and biofuel equipment. I remember visiting the large foundry where a 40-ton piece was being cast, and I was impressed as the molten iron was poured from the bucket into the molds. I was humbled by how my function helped enable such large capital projects. To do the job well, I needed expertise in areas like cost analysis, financial modeling, decision analysis, and risk management.
While working at a medical devices manufacturer, I not only observed what was needed for effective robotic automation and precise manufacturing, but also the exacting standards required for impeccable quality control. This role helped me see how finance skills such as planning, budgeting, forecasting, and internal controls were critical to the business.
Future roles, at multinationals in Brazil and elsewhere, further demonstrated to me that skills such as professional ethics, decision analysis, and the ability to partner with local leaders were critical for success. So is the ability to apply knowledge of external financial reporting, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, International Financial Reporting Standards, and financial statement analysis, accompanied by a compliance culture and tone at the top.
Currently, I’m involved in my company’s finance transformation, dealing with technology and analytics, decision analysis, cost management, variance analysis, and data visualization. Partnership with the business units and efficient communication has become even more critical in the fast-paced world that we live in today.
About five years ago, after moving back to the United States, I found IMA® and started to look into the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification. As I learned more, I recognized the certification’s value and applicability to today’s dynamic, ever-changing finance and accounting world. For me, the CMA body of knowledge is 100% relevant, from planning, budgeting, forecasting, and cost accounting all the way through audit, analytics, corporate finance, and ethics.
I’m now enrolled in the program, as I know the contents of the CMA will connect the dots of my various experiences in finance and accounting in a very concise, practical, and logical way, adding a seal of excellence and bringing my finance knowledge to new levels.
I’ve also appreciated how by actively participating in IMA chapter meetings, events, and webinars, I’ve been able to share experiences with others, learn from industry leaders, and keep up with the latest trends in the profession.
Throughout my career, I’ve learned that, as finance professionals, we must be partners and enablers to the business. Our ability to provide valuable analytical insight allows us to become catalysts for change, innovation, and growth within the organization. I’m excited to see how I, as a CMA, will help fulfill those objectives.