CMA Profile: Shaikh Emad GoharThe CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification: It enhances accounting careers of all types. That’s certainly been the experience of Shaikh Emad Gohar, who for the past year has served as a senior external auditor at KPMG Qatar and where he’s found that holding this internationally recognized credential has opened doors and presented opportunities.

Emad became a CMA in 2015, after earning his Bachelors in Commerce from University of Karachi in 2011 and learning about the CMA two years later at the training center where he was an instructor. At the time, Emad was already a Chartered Certified Accountant, a designation from U.K.-based ACCA, but according to him, “[he] also wanted to pursue a U.S.-based certification and decided on the CMA because of its international recognition, high demand in the professional and academic arenas, and the local support provided to IMA members.” Emad used both Wiley and Gleim study materials to prepare for the exams and was able to pass both exam parts on his first attempt.

Since earning the certification, Emad has found that the professional benefits have served him well. He says, “The CMA offers a range of career benefits and skills not only once you qualify but also while studying for and taking the exams. It provides you with access to opportunities such as Linkup IMA, webinars, membership in different platforms like the IMA Leadership Academy, and serving as a volunteer at the local, regional, and global levels. You get to know so many people in the networking events who are from different backgrounds and sectors, and they can help you in your career aspirations and getting your dream job.”

Indeed, from the very first day he was introduced to IMA, Emad has been an active member. He joined his local IMA chapter in Qatar immediately, eventually becoming vice president for business development from 2014 to 2016. He also has served on the faculty of the IMA Leadership Academy for the past three years and as a CMA lecturer for hundreds of students in Doha, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi.

The benefits of being a CMA have also yielded rewards in Emad’s professional journey to becoming an auditor. Of his current work at KPMG, Emad says, “Although it may seem as if being a CMA doesn’t help much in the audit field, I believe that taking the CMA exam has increased my analytical ability and presentation skills, both of which are sought-after skills in the workforce and are definitely needed in my current role as an external auditor.” He also says that his training as a CMA has improved the way he evaluates data.

As for the future, Emad doesn’t intend to stop his journey at just the CMA. He has plans to expand his portfolio of qualifications by earning the unique CSCA® (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis) credential, offered by IMA exclusively to CMA holders.

Although Emad admits that the road to becoming a CMA is time consuming and demanding, he believes that the rewards are worth it. To those aspirants who are preparing for their exams and finding themselves discouraged, he has some words of wisdom: “It’s been said that nothing is impossible when the word itself says that (“I’m possible”). Work hard to achieve your goals and if you want to achieve something you’ve never achieved, then you have to do something you’ve never done.”