In today’s turbulent economic environment, attracting and retaining top accounting and finance talent is a priority for many organizations. For Michigan-headquartered Masco Corporation, a global leader in the design, manufacture, and distribution of home improvement and building products, continuing to develop the finance team is part of the organization’s overall goal to sustain a competitive advantage.
As Masco CFO John Sznewajs explained, “We’re committed to finance transformation and that involves investing in people, process, and technology. To help us build a best-in-class team of finance professionals, we sought out an organization that could help us to develop future leaders, enhance individual skillsets, and, ultimately, become an even more attractive employer.”
Masco is working with IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) to develop a comprehensive Finance Professional Development Program. The program features two tracks, and currently more than 350 Masco employees around the world are taking advantage of it.
The Continuing Professional Education Track is available to all Masco finance employees. Employees become IMA members and have access to an extensive array of continuing professional education and other resources, including webinars, online courses, ethics courses, and networking opportunities.
One valuable element of the program is access to the IMA Knowledge Exchange, an online, on-demand course package with more than 350 courses on emerging trends, hot topics, and new regulations. There is no limit to the number of courses employees can take per year, and all finance employees are encouraged to take at least three courses per year. Each staff member meets with their manager to discuss what courses are best suited for their individual career goals. These courses are then incorporated into each employee’s annual development plan.
The program also offers a CMA Track for accounting and finance staff who want to take their professional development one step further. In addition to the benefits of the Continuing Professional Education Track, select employees can be nominated to become candidates in IMA’s CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) program.
The CMA Track at Masco is open to approximately 15 finance staff members per year. Staff apply and are selected through a management nomination process. The program requires a commitment: Candidates agree to join an in-house study group, taught by an experienced CMA instructor. They study on their own and attend 10 study sessions with the instructor before sitting for each CMA exam part. The study sessions are scheduled around Masco’s busy periods, and the program is designed for candidates to earn the CMA in about one year.
Masco believes the rewards for the individual—and the organization—are well worth it. “The CMA is a globally recognized certification,” noted Sznewajs. “By supporting our employees in this way, we’re not only strengthening the abilities of our team members but we’re also demonstrating to them how much we are willing to invest in their professional growth.”