MyCMA: Benjamin H. Childers
IMA’s “MyCMA” series spotlights 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
|Name:||Benjamin H. Childers, CMA, CPA|
|Company:||HBK CPA’s and Consultants|
How did you first come across the CMA and what made you decide to go for it?
I came across the CMA as I was inquiring about into the CPA. I was working in private industry at the time. It became clear to me that the CMA was more aptly suited for what I was engaged in and would provide a direct improvement, whereas the CPA would provide more periphery enhancements.
- In what ways has CMA made an impact on your career or professional journey?
The CMA has given and will continue to give me the tools to communicate with leaders of business in relatable terms, with clear ways to monitor and improve based on their goals, needs, and current conditions.
Part of becoming a CMA is developing a way to think and assess conditions and opportunities. As a current law student, I have marveled at the benefits this certification has given me in my legal studies. I sometimes am in awe of it really - it is as though the reasoning and thought processes have become simplified and logical in a way others don’t see.
I liken this thought process to swimming at times - the CMA gives me the ability to swim freestyle while others doggie paddle.
- What is your proudest career moment or milestone as a CMA?
My proudest moment happened after I presented metrics and opportunities at a corporate board meeting. The first question I got after I finished speaking was, “How do you know to look at things in such a manner, and why is this method and logic not more widespread?”
Hanging the certificate on my wall made me smile, don’t get me wrong; but in that moment in the meeting, it went beyond a piece of paper. The skills that piece of paper represented were applied and recognized. It wound up being a terrific win all around.
- What’s the best piece of advice you would give to CMA hopefuls?
Engage. Make company business your business. Treat what you have to analyze as though it is your own. The CMA certification goes beyond what many people are aware of; we cannot wait for them to ask us to use certain knowledge as they likely are not aware we have it or how it can be applied.
The fun that comes with applying your CMA is tremendous. You can decipher how things can be improved and communicate it to those charged with operations.
Recognize that this is excellent information that can be extremely valuable. In the business world, it’s like knowing how to read the language that all the instructions are written in, and very few others can.
- For those taking the exam, what study tip(s) can you share?
Apply the exam content to current business scenarios. It is easy to fall into the practice of understanding the way questions are presented and focusing on key words to spot the issue. The real key to passing the exam is being able to take that knowledge and apply it to an abstract situation.
- If you could have one superpower in the world, what would it be?
The ability to pause all time aside from my own. Most people would like to live forever, and I can’t imagine that being great after a certain length of time. But, boy, if in my 80 years or however long it is I have, I could pause time to read a book, or exercise, or sleep without missing shared experiences with others, I think that would be a wonderful thing.
Share YOUR Story
We’d love to hear your CMA story! Please contact Tiffany Cody, manager of public relations and communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (201) 474-1614.