IMA LIFE: The IMA Domino EffectBy
Like many accounting majors at Villanova University, I was encouraged to begin my career at a public accounting firm. So I started at Price Waterhouse in August 1988 and passed the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) exam a few months later. But my plan was always to earn an MBA and then work in industry.
After a few busy seasons, I headed to the University of South Carolina and earned a Master of International Business Studies degree. Upon graduation in 1993, I joined Campbell Soup Company.
At Campbell’s, I partnered with the Chunky Soup marketing director to define our brand’s strategic direction, develop new products, and bring the NFL “Mama’s Boy” campaign to life. I was part of an entrepreneurial team that developed Campbell’s first clinically proven food and nutrition program. I engaged with Campbell’s sales leadership to develop and roll out a new customer investment program and was Campbell’s business lead for several major IT implementations. And in partnership with Campbell’s vice president of the Napoleon and Flavor Operations, I’m currently accountable for overall plant leadership, setting strategic direction, creating a high-performance organization culture, and driving key initiatives.
But co-leading Campbell’s original Global Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Compliance Team was one of my most memorable roles. Our team was charged with defining Campbell’s SOX methodology and approach, training 300+ cross-functional associates, and then documenting and testing Campbell’s control environment.
During a 2007 conference cosponsored by IMA® and Rutgers University, I met IMA’s vice president of Research and Applications Development. He invited me to complete a SOX-related survey, kicking off an IMA domino effect.
First, I became a member of IMA’s newly created Finance Governance, Risk, and Compliance Task Force. I was appointed to IMA’s Global Board of Directors in 2009 and in 2010 became an IMA Leadership Academy faculty member.
Then in 2011 I became IMA’s representative on the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) Advisory Council, charged with updating COSO’s original Internal Control—Integrated Framework. My article, “The 2013 COSO Framework & SOX Compliance,” was published in the June 2013 issue of Strategic Finance.
Since then, I have written a few more articles; have been a guest speaker for IMA, FEI, and other conferences and webinars; and have been an unofficial COSO ambassador, promoting COSO’s new framework and generally championing the importance of effective governance, risk management, and internal control.
I “discovered” IMA when I was well into my accounting career. But, even so, I quickly learned its relevance to a professional like me and have been enjoying the IMA domino effect ever since.