What’s your story?
IMA’s (Institute of Management Accountants) “MyCMA” series is a regular feature in the semi-monthly newsletter, Inside IMA. The column provides an opportunity to spotlight valued members of the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) community. Learn about their journey with the certification—and get tips on advancing your own.
This issue’s featured CMA is:
Share YOUR Story
This issue’s featured CMA is:
|Name:||Brandon Farr, CMA|
|Company:||Txtwire Technologies, Inc.|
|Location:||Idaho Falls, Idaho|
How did you first come across the CMA and what made you decide to go for it?
After completion of my undergrad accounting degree at BYU-Idaho, I jumped right into my career starting the Monday after graduation. After six months of working I didn’t want to get complacent in life, so I began searching for what my next challenge could be.
Idaho State University had recruited at BYU-Idaho for their MAcc program, which was focused on getting your CPA. Up to this point I had worked under three different CPAs in three different jobs or internships. Also at this time my wife was in her tax internship at a regional CPA firm. From all these experiences, I began to notice there was a disconnect between the CPA and business management, and because of this I wanted to be different.
One night I decided to Google the CMA. I searched for hours on different websites and blogs and learned this was the perfect fit for me. Ultimately, I chose the CMA over a CPA or graduate school as it was the most relevant to my career and personal goals. I didn’t plan to work for a publicly traded company or in public accounting.
- In what ways has CMA made an impact on your career or professional journey?
The more I learned of the CMA, the more I realized it was the entrepreneur of accounting certifications. I liked that it added credibility to my accounting knowledge, yet allowed me to differentiate myself within the accounting industry. I see it as a great talking point with someone is unfamiliar with the CMA.
The CMA puts me closer to the business owners and decision makers, and that is where I want to be, running the businesses I work with. While a CPA has a very important role in business, I think, at no fault to CPAs, they are trained to focus on public statements, audit, and rules and regulations that aren’t always relevant to or in line with the financial knowledge of business owners and decision makers. I have seen how this gap has been bridged by the CMA as it focuses on many aspects that are most relevant to a business owner.
- What is your proudest career moment or milestone as a CMA?
The proudest moment was finding out I had passed the second exam and had completed the CMA process. When the email came on my phone with the results, only the heading loaded at first. I had to wait for 15 seconds, but it felt like a year, while my phone spun to load the content. Once it popped up “pass,” I felt like a million pounds were lifted off of me and I had finally accomplished what I set out to do. I texted my wife and then proceeded to jump around the room in excitement.
- What’s the best piece of advice you would give to CMA hopefuls?
You can do it. I am and always have been a horrible test taker. A college professor once suggested I may suffer from dyslexia because of the errors I made in test situations. It is not natural for me, but I have passed Parts 1 and 2. It was easy for me to procrastinate starting to study for the tests, so for me it was best if I just chose a date to take the test and signed up so it would force me to study.
- For those taking the exam, what study tip(s) can you share?
I have seen others write, “Put in the time and work,” and I think that sums it up. In college, I relied heavily on professors to instruct me, but for the CMA I had to self-study in between full-time work and being a new father.
My most productive time was in the evening after work or during breaks at work. I used Gleim for my study materials and would make sure I read every page of all the chapters. I tried to master the material before moving onto the next chapter. Wherever possible I used real work scenarios to help me understand subjects more fully. This ended up benefiting my employer and me simultaneously.
- If you could have one superpower in the world, what would it be?
Flying! I have always wanted to fly. I think it would be fun and you would feel so free. In an attempt to mimic the superpower of flight, I tend to be drawn to hobbies and sports that provide temporary flight time. Activities include freestyle skiing, wakeboarding, bikes, and motorcycles. My goal after fully completing the CMA is to get a private pilot’s license.
Share YOUR Story
We’d love to hear your CMA story! Please contact Pearl Chen, manager of brand content and storytelling, at email@example.com or (201) 474-1578.