This series spotlights valued members of the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) community who are making an impact to their organizations, the profession, and their world. This issue’s featured CMA is:

Dai Yujing   Name:  Yujing Dai, CMA
 Company:  Johnson & Johnson Pte. Ltd.
 Title:  Senior Finance Analyst
 Location:  Singapore


When and why did you become a CMA?

I passed both parts of the CMA exam in the middle of 2018 (earning the ICMA Gold Medal for receiving the highest exam score within my testing cohort) and became a CMA in 2019 after gaining the required two years of work experience.

My employer, Johnson & Johnson (J&J), is a long-time supporter of the CMA program, and all finance employees are encouraged to study for the CMA, with exam fees fully subsidized by the organization. As I am part of J&J’s Financial Planning and Analytics team, the topics tested on the CMA exam are very relevant to the daily work that I perform, including forecasting, budgeting, variance analysis, cost management, and more. The knowledge I gained from the certification enables me to provide reliable financial information to aid my organization’s decision making and long-term strategic plans.

Can you share a moment or experience that you are particularly proud of as a personal or professional accomplishment?

By far, being recognized as the top scorer for both parts of the CMA exam in one sitting and receiving the ICMA Gold Medal is still the personal accomplishment that I am most proud of. Professionally, it’s opened new doors for me at J&J. Only spending five months studying for both parts of the CMA exam demonstrated to the company’s senior leadership that I am a fast learner.

While working on the FP&A team, my fast-learning capability was further demonstrated when I learned Microsoft Power Query and Power Pivot quickly to leverage such tools for analysis of sales data. Therefore, when I applied to rotate to the Asia Pacific Treasury Department, despite my lack of knowledge in the Treasury field, I was still accepted into the team due to popular beliefs that I’m a quick learner.

Another one of my proudest moments was with the Treasury Department in 2020, when I leveraged my advanced analysis skills to build a cash monitoring file from scratch. This file provides one single platform for all 14 Asia Pacific countries to monitor their cash and bank balances, investments, and bank accounts, using one standardized format. It leverages on a standard, reliable source of data and greatly reduces the time required for data extraction.

In what ways does your work as a CMA “make an impact” – specifically, to the people you work with, the profession, or your organization’s bottom line?

After seeing that I earned the CMA certification, and how it opened doors for me in my career, many of my colleagues became motivated to study for the CMA as well. I shared the study notes that I made myself with my teammates from the J&J Financial Planning & Analytics team, to help them prepare.

I’ve also written an essay for Strategic Finance magazine about my career journey and reached out to my alma mater, National University of Singapore, to share about my career in management accounting, providing advice to students who are also interested in the same career path.

Most significantly, in 2020, I partnered with a fellow CMA, Iris Yangwei Ren, to set up the very first IMA chapter in Singapore. This chapter will provide a platform for fellow IMA members (and nonmembers) in the country to connect and network, and I’m very excited about our future.

What advice would you give to someone looking for a career/job in accounting or finance where they can make an impact?

Accounting and finance is a very broad field, so find the area that you are most passionate about (audit, banking, financial accounting, management accounting, risk and compliance, etc.) and focus on it. Your passion will help motivate you to make an impact.

Also, always strive to improve yourself, in both professional knowledge and soft skills, so that you have enough capability to contribute to your organization and community.

Can you share your favorite inspirational quote?

The quote comes from myself. When people around you tell you “you cannot,” you need to tell yourself “you can.” The key to success is believing in yourself.

Visit the IMA website to see other stories of CMAs making an impact.