CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) candidates attending IMA’s Annual Conference & Expo last month in San Diego enjoyed the opportunity to hear from experienced professionals about how being a CMA has impacted their careers. In a 75-minute presentation on the topic, Lisa Beaudoin, CMA, CSCA, CAE, IMA director of business development, delivered an overview of the exam, led a panel discussion, and fielded questions from the audience.

During her presentation, titled “Accelerate Your Career With the CMA,” Beaudoin covered important topics such as:

  • What’s happening in the profession, including the expanded role of the finance team; globalization of business; economic uncertainty and volatility; and the advent of artificial intelligence and robotics.
  • Overview of the CMA, including the exam structure of CMA 2020, coming in January.
  • Certification process, including work experience requirements; three exam testing windows offered each year; and the fact that most candidates complete the program within 12-18 months.

“The changes in the economic environment have brought on significant and disruptive shifts to the profession. Management accountants are uniquely qualified to manage these changes. They present not just challenges but opportunities,” noted Beaudoin.

A highlight of the program was the 45-minute panel discussion with accomplished CMA professionals, who shared their insights and words of wisdom with attendees. The panel featured:

  • Fatema El-Wakeel, CMA, Data Analytics Business Partner, Jaguar Land Rover
  • Mario Lara, CMA, CSCA, CPA, Managing Officer, Strenta Family Office
  • Mike Schellin, CMA, Consultant-Financials, Workday

Panelists shared their personal experiences about why they chose a career in finance or accounting, how the CMA has supported their career growth, and what tips or advice they have for others who are preparing to take the exam.

A copy of the PowerPoint slides for this session is now available. In addition, a YouTube video of the session will be available by early September. For more information on either of these resources, please reach out to the editor.