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CMA Connection

Supporting the CMA

At Parker Hannifin, a multinational, NYSE-listed technology company based in Cleveland, Ohio, support for the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification runs strong. The numbers tell the story: of the 42 global staff members who are part of the finance team, more than half are CMAs. Attracting such widespread support for the CMA doesn’t happen by accident. In fact, it takes encouragement from the top – from people like Adam Kratzert.

Kratzert, vice president-group controller at Parker, became a CMA himself in 1998. Since that time, he’s attended about a dozen IMA Annual Conferences, and this past June, in Denver, he met with Lisa Beaudoin, CMA, CAE, IMA director of educational partnerships. Beaudoin sought him out and made a pitch for holding an informational webinar for Kratzert’s team, to help explain about the advantages of CMA certification, the content of the exam, and the steps to becoming certified.

The wheels were set in motion fast. Following that meeting in Denver, it only took a couple of hours for Kratzert to get sign-off to hold the webinar. The webinar, conducted virtually and lasting about one hour, was held the last week of June and was attended by approximately 20 plant controllers from around the world.

Said Kratzert, “I preach to my team day in and day out that you need to get your CMA. Competition is getting tougher and you need that something to give you an edge. By conducting this webinar, Lisa was able to communicate this same message, but it was from an outsider’s perspective, which helped to carry more weight.”

As indicated by the impressive numbers of CMAs already on staff, Parker has a history of supporting the CMA. The company offers a training program for accounting and finance students straight out of college, which enables these young professionals to rotate through various positions and geographic locations. Part of that training program includes encouragement of staffers to gain additional skills, through an MBA program or CMA certification.

“Taking the exam shows that you have dedication and commitment,” said Kratzert. “It shows that you can stick with something that’s challenging and see it to completion – the kinds of skills that I want to see from members of my team in work situations as well.” He notes that members of his staff have to “put out many fires in a day. I want people who have confidence, who know what they’re doing, and who can marshal resources to find solutions.”

Since the webinar in June, Kratzert has seen an uptick in inquiries about the CMA, and he expects more to be forthcoming. “I think Lisa’s presentation really helped to drive home the point of how the CMA certification gives you an edge – another item in your toolbox that adds to your credibility as well as your confidence.”

For information about holding a CMA informational webinar at your company, contact Lisa Beaudoin at lbeaudoin@imanet.org.