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U.S. Employer Visits Underway to Promote the CGMA Designation

In his CGMA video interview, Chris Ling, Financial Controller of British Gas, explains well the increasing responsibilities of the finance department and why the function is evolving at such a rapid pace. “The rate at which the business world is changing is forcing everything to change faster,” Ling said. “So it’s our job as finance professionals to make sure we are supporting business as best as we can and as fast as we can.” As the external market drives the pace of change, and as that pace is ever-increasing, the finance function needs to continue to evolve to remain relevant.

Two keys to success in this area are developing talent in the finance function, and having top-down support for finance. The common denominator is this: employers need to recognize the vital role management accountants play in their organizations. “The companies that I have worked in that have done well and are doing well support finance and allow finance to support the business as well as they can and as broadly as they can,” Ling said.

Since we launched the Chartered Global Management Accountant designation early last year, our goal has been to elevate management accounting. A critical component in this effort is to raise the profile of management accountants in the eyes of their current, and future, employers.

Over the past few months, Ashok Noah, CPA, CGMA, and Vice President, External Relationships and Management Accounting, and Barry Payne, Business Development Director, and I have been visiting with CFOs of Fortune 1,000 and other strategically identified organizations. These visits are designed to strengthen existing relationships and build new relationships to position the CGMA designation for a strong future of development and growth. During these visits, we describe how the designation can help employers develop their finance teams, and how CGMA designation holders are well positioned to be strategic advisors to organizational leadership.

Our employer partners have been responding well. Employers are looking for their talent to be more agile and flexible and they really connect with how the CGMA designation can help them do that. Senior-level finance professionals see the benefit of the CGMA designation in helping them identify capable candidates and are receptive to and enthusiastic about hiring CPA, CGMAs. As mentors and leaders, they see the CGMA designation as a potential career enhancement for their existing staff. They connect with the range of tools and reports we offer, and many organizations are now using these resources internally for learning and growth opportunities.

So far, we’ve made a great start. However, this effort is a long haul. As we continue to work with top organizations and our relationships deepen, we will do even more to connect with top employers—and to connect our CPA, CGMAs with increased opportunities and recognition in the marketplace.

I welcome your comments or questions below.

Arleen Thomas, CPA, CGMA, Senior Vice President - Management Accounting, American Institute of CPAs.

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