As I gained practical work experience, my role progressed from basic accounting jobs to the finance manager level. Despite this professional success, there was still one major career goal that I hadn’t fulfilled: It had always been my dream to work in a global Fortune 500 company.
I had solid work experience, but I felt that my lack of an international certification was an obstacle to achieving my goal (early in my career, in fact, I had spent some time trying to earn a certification but had ultimately put aside that pursuit). The turning point came a few years ago when I faced a setback while working with a multinational corporation in Africa. I was being considered for a promotion to country finance controller but didn’t get the position because it required holding either the chartered accountant (CA) or CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) professional certification. Instead, I had to settle with the position of country finance manager. This incident was the motivation I needed to seek out a globally recognized professional certification.
After thorough research, I decided to pursue the CMA. I especially appreciated that you could use course materials—available in both book and online formats—provided by renowned study partners. I also found it helpful that the exams could be taken at well-run, professionally staffed testing centers around the world and that you could select a time to take the exams that was convenient for your schedule.
Becoming an IMA® member and pursuing the CMA was the best professional decision I’ve made. Now I’m able to keep up with the latest finance and accounting techniques, especially those related to information technology in accounting software and other similar fields.
My CMA exam preparation helped me in generating and providing reliable management information system reports and product costing to management. In very little time, I became a trusted partner in decision making. I was also inducted as a change management leader of the company’s enterprise resource planning software implementation team thanks to knowledge I gained while preparing for the CMA.
Having earned my CMA in 2021, I feel more confident because I have expanded my skills in capital budgeting, variance analysis, internal controls, risk assessment, and information technology. The certification has opened pathways for me to apply for positions globally, giving me confidence to accept these challenging roles with no restriction on geographic boundaries. As a CMA, I look forward to continuing to pursue C-level executive roles.
My experience taught me that it doesn’t matter which phase of your career you’re currently in. Earning the CMA certification will bring about a positive change to your life and career.