IMA Life: Beyond the Traditional RoleBy
I was a 25-year-old “happy camper” in 2014, working in my local public accounting practice in Mumbai. I held an associate’s degree in corporate law and a diploma in international financial reporting from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
Then, on a train journey from New Delhi to Mumbai, I met an IMA® member who was kind enough to introduce me to the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification. And, as luck would have it, the IMA Mumbai Chapter was chartered that year.
After learning more about the CMA and its potential advantages for my career, I decided to take the CMA exam in 2015. Owing to some work commitments, I took the exam in New York City, but failed on that first attempt because I was ill-prepared for the more practical-based elements of the test.
With stronger conviction and the knowledge that I had three years to earn a passing score, I motivated myself to retake the exam, which I eventually passed in 2017. That journey taught me the importance of sincerity, hard work, persistence, and time management. The nuances of the CMA designation inherently require candidates to develop an analytical mind-set and hone their logical reasoning skills. Preparing for and passing the exam also drastically improves one’s interpretative abilities to read financial statements.
Earning the CMA gave me a whole new way of looking at things. No longer did I just prepare financials under the applicable Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) rules, but I also was able to analyze these financials from a “decision-oriented” management perspective.
The skills and knowledge I gained during my CMA preparations helped me improve my presentation of quarterly review reports to client management. These improved skills even helped me augment our client fees for several services. Every day, I now apply the concepts covered in the CMA exam, including budgeting, variance analysis, currency translations, U.S. GAAP treatment of transactions, and helping management prepare forecasts for credit arrangements.
IMA is more than just the CMA. By attending IMA chapter events, I’ve been able to interact with global leaders in accounting and finance, including IMA President and CEO Jeff Thomson. These leaders were kind enough to help broaden my perspectives with their vision and rich industry experiences.
As a direct result of networking at local chapter events, I’ve been happily serving in the education domain, too, as an adjunct professor, mentor, and content writer for CMA students and professionals in India, the United States, and the United Arab Emirates.
My vision is to help budding management accountants tap into their fullest potential, and IMA has provided me with that opportunity to network and grow. In the 21st Century, where many occupations are becoming redundant thanks to AI and machine learning, management accounting is swiftly offering high-paying jobs for CMAs. Even if times get hard, rest assured that you can always count on the CMA to take you ahead of the game.