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IMA Life: Delivering Impact

By Joscel Barrio Delos Cielos, CMA, CPA, CICA
October 1, 2020
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Back in college, I always thought becoming a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) would be my end goal. I excelled at pursuing that goal, placing fifth in the Philippines CPA exam, and was immediately offered a position at a Big Four firm.

 

After several years in public accounting and other assurance roles, I had established myself as an expert in accounting and compliance but found my skill set was that of a “traditional accountant.” I wanted to further hone my knowledge and abilities and develop into a leader—someone who drives informed business decisions and adds value to any organization.

 

That aspiration drove me to seek out a new job, which I started in 2016. That’s where I came across the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification. Confident that the CMA fit the career track I wanted, I convinced the CEO of the value of the CMA to me and the organization.

 

Being a professional in the fast-paced and rapidly changing world of tech start-ups, I can say that to be relevant, accountants need to be able to optimize technological innovations, maintain high-level business acumen, and display what are known as “soft skills.” The CMA certification embeds all of these in its curriculum, making the program a great option for young professionals looking for a career head start or experienced professionals wanting to broaden their career horizons.

 

For me personally, earning the CMA has been a catalyst for a paradigm shift in my career. From a professional who’s highly focused on tactical functions, I was promoted to head of finance and started concentrating on strategy, business intelligence, and people. The CMA gave me more confidence to constantly challenge the status quo, promote a culture of experimentation, and deliver impact.

 

The CMA also shaped me to become a leader in my organization. It opened doors to many opportunities, including being selected for the IMA Young Professional Leadership Experience. This proved a fantastic episode in my career, giving me valuable leadership experience by participating in IMA Global Board of Directors and committee meetings.

 

I was fascinated by how the Global Board and committee members eagerly discussed and shared their vision on how to better serve and develop the management accounting profession globally. That experience sharpened my desire to aid in the progress of accounting and finance professionals—particularly in Asia.

 

This passion led me to become VP for administration of IMA’s Philippines Chapter in 2019. It was a challenging role, but in the process of doing it, I was able to meet many fellow professionals who were firmly committed to leadership. And this past year, I became even more engaged when I was elected to serve as chapter president. I’m happy to work for my local chapter board with a group of individuals who have the same desire to be servant leaders. Together, I believe we can further connect and empower accounting and finance professionals in the Philippines.

 

I’m grateful for the way IMA equips me with the necessary knowledge and skills to be relevant as a finance leader and make an impact in the Digital Age. My IMA journey is a continuous pursuit of excellence and servant leadership.

 

Joscel Barrio Delos Cielos, CMA, CPA, CICA, was most recently head of finance at LUXCLUSIF. He is also cofounder of Tudlo and a member of IMA’s Philippines Chapter. You can reach him at joscel.deloscielos@gmail.com.
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