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:

Li Gong 
Li Gong, CMA, CPA
Longtruth Consulting
Shanghai, China
Can you share something specific that the CMA has enabled you to do or describe how the CMA has helped you to reach your personal goals or the goals of your organization?  
I started a consulting company with my business partner, and the CMA has helped us to deliver high-quality services to our clients and train our employees. During my consulting career, I’ve utilized nearly every competency that the CMA exam covers, including cash flow planning, budgeting, cost control, decision making, and more. My clients are also beginning to train their employees with the CMA, since the skills they learn will be valuable to their companies. One of my clients, in fact, sent its entire accounting staff to learn the CMA curriculum, and more than 90% of them have passed the exams. I now require all my firm’s employees to earn the certification, and I use the IMA Management Accounting Competency Framework as a training guide and evaluation tool to help my staff members with their career development. Currently, 84% of our staff are CMAs, and I’m confident that the number will become 100% by 2021.

With respect to your career, is there a moment or experience that you are particularly proud of as a personal or professional accomplishment? 
For me, nothing compares to helping our employees realize their career goals. One of our employees is a mother in the middle of her career, and she has successfully transformed from a traditional accounting technician to a management accounting consultant. Age discrimination is a big challenge in the traditional accounting area in China, since there is never a short supply of new labor. After joining us, this woman has been working very hard to learn new skills in management accounting, communication, and strategic thinking. The CMA provided her with an excellent foundation, and she’s now one of our best employees and will become our partner one day. I feel very satisfied seeing how our work is making a difference in our employees’ careers and lives.

Complete this sentence: I make a difference as a CMA because:
It enables me to be more adaptive, resilient, and competent under this “new normal” situation.

Do you have a role model and if so, who is it and why? 
Professor Chunhua Chen, a brilliant female who has achieved tremendous success in both academia and industry. She is one of the most famous women in the business world in China and is a role model for almost every ambitious Chinese woman who wants to break into a field dominated by men.

What advice would you give to someone looking for a career/job in accounting or finance where they can make a difference?   
Be patient and look at the big picture. A successful career in accounting requires the long-term accumulation of skills, experience, and a professional network. I strongly suggest management accounting as a career path, since it has larger potential compared to traditional accounting. I also recommend the CMA since it is not just a certification that strengthens your abilities and competencies, but it’s also a key to growing a large professional network. 

What’s your favorite inspirational quote? 
“Try to be a rainbow in someone else's cloud.” – by Maya Angelou

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