IMA’s “My CMA” 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:

My CMA: Paul Gilles   Name:   Paul Gilles, CMA, CPA
 Company:  University of North Carolina at Charlotte
 Title:  Faculty Member
 Location:  Charlotte, N.C.

  1. How did you first come across the CMA and what made you decide to go for it?

    In the early ’90s, I was a consultant at KPMG. Like many accounting graduates, I started off in an audit or tax track.

    The catalyst for my making the change to a consulting role was to be able to have more of an impact on my clients. Audit and tax tended to be looking at the past. My consulting work was helping companies clarify their strategy and execute it. That type of work was much more satisfying.

    I viewed the CMA as a component to help me make this transition in my needed skill set.

  2. In what ways has CMA made an impact on your career or professional journey?

    In my situation, it aided me in making the transition from an external attestation mindset to focusing how organizations make decisions. It gave me the context to be able to engage with business leaders from their perspective.

    If you are looking at leaving public accounting and moving to a corporate role, or moving from audit/tax to a consulting role, the CMA should be part of your retooling approach.

  3. What is your proudest career moment or milestone as a CMA?

    I feel fortunate in that I have enjoyed my entire career. Most mornings, I would jump out of bed excited to get to work. I think the driver of this is to always keep pushing yourself to continually broaden your skill set and the variety of work you are doing. You can’t get too comfortable and become stale.

  4. What’s the best piece of advice you would give to CMA hopefuls?

    All those nights sitting at the kitchen table studying for the exam will be worth it.

  5. For those taking the exam, what study tip(s) can you share?

    I studied best on my own, but everyone is different.

  6. If you could have one superpower in the world, what would it be?

    To freeze time. It goes by too quickly.


Share YOUR Story

We’d love to hear your CMA story! Please contact Pearl Chen, manager of brand content and storytelling, at or (201) 474-1578.