To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) program, this year we’re spotlighting members of the CMA community from around the world. This issue’s featured CMA is:
|Anoop Agrawal, CMA
|PayPal (India) Pvt. Ltd.
|Internal Control Analyst
How did you learn about the CMA and what made you decide to pursue it?
Although I had honed my skills in the areas of finance, accounting, audit, tax, treasury, and statutory compliance, serving for more than 15 years in diversified industries in India and Africa, I still wanted to further develop my skills for C-level roles in the finance and accounting domain. I had not pursued these types of opportunities because I lacked a globally recognized professional qualification, and I had been searching for a certification that could prepare me for leadership roles in organizations globally.
While working at a commodities MNC in Africa a few years ago, I came across the CMA program. I was thrilled to know that the CMA syllabus enables you to keep pace with the changing needs of the evolving accounting and finance profession and prepares you for leadership roles around the world.
I made up my mind to start my CMA journey and added “Pursuing the U.S. CMA” to my curriculum vitae. Soon afterwards, I landed an internal auditor role with the largest food and beverage manufacturing company in Africa. My CMA exam preparation helped me in generating and providing reliable MIS reports and product costing to management and in no time, I became a trusted partner in decision making. I was also inducted as a change management leader of the company’s ERP software implementation team, thanks to knowledge I gained preparing for the CMA.
How has being a CMA helped you advance in your career?
In the COVID-19 pandemic world, the role of the management accountant is more important than ever, as organizations want to gain better insights into their performance and identify ways to enhance their growth.
Having earned my CMA in 2021, I feel more confident because I have expanded my skills in capital budgeting, variance analysis, internal controls, risk assessment, and information technology. The certification has opened pathways for me to apply for positions globally, giving me confidence to accept these challenging roles with no restriction on geographic boundaries. As a CMA, I look forward to continuing to pursue C-level executive roles.
What’s your proudest career milestone as a CMA?
Earning the CMA certification is my life’s proudest milestone, and it helped me to confidently explore growth opportunities with my current role in governance at a global fintech company.
What’s the best piece of advice you would give to CMA hopefuls?
It does not matter which phase of your career you are currently in. Earning the CMA certification will definitely bring about a positive change to your life and career.
What do you predict will be some of the biggest trends of the next 50 years for the accounting profession?
I expect we’ll continue to see great transformation. The finance and accounting profession is already undergoing transformation, with the growth and inclusion of IT in the accounting space. The integration and adoption of IT with the use of blockchain and AI has made the primary role of the accounting data entry operator vanish. I expect that the accounting functions will shift to more analytical functions, i.e., mainly getting output from the ERP system and developing scenarios that can help management with decision making.Visit the IMA website to learn more about CMA certification.