IMA’s “CMAs Making a Difference” series spotlights valued members of the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) community who are making a difference to their organizations, to the profession, and to their world. This issue’s featured CMA is:

Katherine Clark 
Katherine Clark, CMA
Casas por Cristo
Finance Coordinator
Chinandega, Nicaragua

How has the CMA helped you to reach your personal goals or the goals of your organization?
The nonprofit organization I work for—which provides homes for impoverished families in Latin America—has always had a finance department, but I’m the first person they hired with an accounting education. After I was hired, I debated earning the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) vs. the CMA. Our director of operations asked the CPA on our board of directors what would be the most beneficial for our organization and he said that without a doubt, a CMA on staff would be preferred. 

Since joining the organization several years ago, I’ve implemented many new financial policies and procedures, revised our chart of accounts, and work closely with our auditors, among other things. I also successfully completed a payroll protection program (PPP) loan forgiveness application, which converted a $400,000 loan into a grant. This ensures financial security for our employees and enabled us to continue to carry out our mission.

Complete this sentence: I make a difference as a CMA because:
I apply my skills and knowledge to further the greater good. The more efficient the nonprofit I work for is, the more people we can serve in Mexico, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua. 

Who or what motivates you to go to work every Monday morning?
Knowing that the work I do directly impacts hundreds of families receiving the gift of a home each year.

What advice would you give to someone looking for a career/job in accounting or finance where they can make a difference?
Career and service don’t have to be mutually exclusive. I believe anyone can make a difference in any environment he or she is in. You don't have to move to another country to serve. You can find someone to serve every single day. The challenge is making searching for these opportunities a habit. Service can be as easy as acts of kindness to coworkers (because you don't know their personal struggles). Being a positive influence in the workplace can and will go a long way!

What do you consider the highest priority for your career?
That decision makers have the most accurate and timely information to make sound and ethical financial decisions.

What’s your favorite inspirational quote? 
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – by Eleanor Roosevelt.

Know someone who’s a CMA making a difference? Let us know! Please reach out to with your suggestions.