October 29, 2012

Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)

by Scott Roehl

During my presentations and sessions over the last year with students, I’ve been sharing information about the discussions in Canada to unite the Canadian Accounting Profession. This has included sharing information about the Framework for Uniting the Canadian Accounting Profession and encouraging students to follow the CPA Canada website for the latest developments.

As it relates to Manitoba, both the CA Council and CMA Manitoba Board have endorsed moving forward with the new CPA Certification Program in 2013.

The vision of the new CPA designation is to be the pre-eminent internationally recognized Canadian accounting and business credential that best protects and serves the public interest.  The new CPA Certification Program provides the foundation for that vision. It builds on the best of existing education programs, creating a challenging and rigorous certification process that meets the needs of business, public practice and government.

The new CPA Certification Program will meet or exceed all International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) standards for education, assessment and practical experience. It will also meet or exceed the requirements of the leading global accounting bodies, ensuring the new profession can maintain existing and establish new Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs).

Students (and anyone considering an accounting designation) should explore the details of the new CPA Certification Program by visiting www.cpaone.ca.

 

August 17, 2012

Working abroad as a CMA

by Scott Roehl

The CMA designation is a nationally recognized Canadian designation. It is often inspiring for those entering the CMA program to be aware of the vast choice of industries a CMA can work in. The holistic perspective and versatility provides CMAs opportunities to work in Manitoba, across Canada and around the world.

CMAs Across The Globe

Currently, CMA Members are actively living and applying their unique skill set in more than 90 countries around the world. Many other CMA Members work for organizations that require regular global travel.

CMA also holds mutual recognition agreements (MRA) with other accounting bodies such as CPA Australia, CIPFA Members (UK) and CIMA (UK). Under a MRA, there is a reciprocal granting of professional designations for qualifying members of CMA Canada and the other body.

Read up on a few CMA globetrotters from this recent CMA Magazine article. You can also watch this video or read a profile on Mark Mandzik, CMA who is based in Manitoba and works globally.

June 27, 2012

Becoming an Associate of CMA Manitoba

by Scott Roehl

Throughout the various presentations and information sessions CMA Manitoba hosts, we will often talk about the opportunity to become an Associate of CMA Manitoba. Let me share with you more about why this could be an important step on the path to pursuing a CMA designation.

The decision to pursue a CMA requires careful consideration both from a professional and personal perspective. Becoming an Associate forges a link or as my colleague puts it, establishes you as a friend of CMA Manitoba. This free program allows students & working professionals to receive some great perks while considering CMA. These include:

• Access to CMA Manitoba’s jobs.cma-manitoba.com job board

• Invitations to CMA Manitoba networking events

• CMA Magazine & monthly eNews

• Exam Invigilation at reduced fees

Signing up is as simple as completing the Associate Application Form found at the end of the CMA Path Brochure and submitting along with a copy of your academic transcripts (originals not required).

Having this relationship with CMA Manitoba will ensure that you  know what is happening in the CMA Community and receive the latest updates.

June 1, 2012

Update: A Look From Within The CMA Program

by Scott Roehl

Back at the beginning of the year (January 9, 2012 to be exact), I wrote a post that introduced three individuals who are currently at different stages in completing their CMA designation. With summer quickly approaching, it is a good time to check back with them for an update.

  • Adrian Ong (CMA Student – 18 Month Accelerated Program)
    “Hard work, diligence and self-discipline remain to be the basic components of effective learning. Make sure to have done all the assignments before attending classes. As much as possible attend real time webinars and participate actively in discussions.”
  • Jarrod Falk (CMA Candidate, Year 2 - Strategic Leadership Program)
    “Be an active participant throughout your SLP experience. Push yourself in the interactive sessions. Your moderators and classmates are an incredible resource at your disposal. Engage them and learn from them to make yourself a better student, employee and person.The road ahead of you may seem long but the things you will learn will enrich your career for your entire life. Don’t forget to take some time, step back, and appreciate the incredible journey you are on.”
  • Jennifer Lee (CMA Candidate - CMA Executive Program)
    “Leadership is multi-faceted, requiring an ability to maintain a strategic focus while simultaneously communicating that vision in a manner to which all can relate. Incorporating strategic governance, ethics, risk and performance, leadership also requires a strong understanding of team dynamics and the motivating factors that compel personnel to achieve organizational goals.”

Click here to read a Question & Answer interview with each participant.

April 30, 2012

The Importance of a CMA Counselling Session

by Scott Roehl

Congratulations, you are interested in the CMA accounting designation. Now what?

The decision to pursue an accounting designation is filled with careful consideration and an eye to future goals both professionally and personally. Knowing this, it is important that you get all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Perhaps you have read through a CMA Path Brochure, visited the CMA Manitoba website, attended a CMA Information Session or talked to a family member or friend who is a CMA. These are all good sources to start your research and obtain more information about the designation.

The next step is to arrange a CMA Counselling Session which will further educate you on the program requirements, expectations and support provided. During this step, we will ask to receive a copy of your academic transcripts so that a transcript evaluation can be prepared for the counselling session.

During the session which usually lasts about an hour, Petra Noack Menzies (Program Administrator) will sit down with you to get to know you better, provide an overview of the program requirements, and most importantly answer your questions. A review of your transcript will also be provided such that if any missing requirements are identified, helpful guidance will be provided.

There is a lot to consider with a decision to pursue a CMA designation and a counselling session will help you make sense of it all.

April 18, 2012

Reality Check: Learning Doesn’t End at Graduation

by Scott Roehl

As I write this, students at various post-secondary institutions are busily involved in final examinations. For some, this time signifies the end of a journey; the end of studying, exams, papers, group projects. It’s Graduation time!

Hold on a moment.

Don’t get mad at me for being the messenger of bad news. Certainly it is important to take time to celebrate the achievement of graduating. It is a time to reflect on the journey and recognize those that have helped you along the way. But the end of studying and learning? Not so fast.

Reflecting upon my own graduation from university, I recall the last thought on my mind was going back to school or embarking on some sort of research to determine what I was going to learn next. I wanted to get as far away from books as possible and focus on other interests that I had put on hold while going to school. 

However, during that period of my life and ever since, I’ve come to respect and appreciate the importance of a commitment to continued learning. You need to take some time to look at the long-term. Where am I at now? What skills and knowledge do I currently possess? Where would I like to be in 10 years? What sorts of specialized knowledge or further training will I require in pursuit of my goals? These types of questions are not always easy to answer but are worth the time to consider.

Part of differentiating yourself is your belief in and commitment to life-long learning. Development will further enhance your knowledge and skill set to not only be a subject matter expert, but a positive contributor in your organization and community. 

So graduates, enjoy the celebration and time to re-charge your batteries! But don’t forget, learning doesn’t stop after your last exam.

 

 

 

April 2, 2012

These students are “smart cookies”

by Scott Roehl

Click Here To Return Back To The RRC Home Page

This week I am grateful to once again be a volunteer external examiner for RRC’s Business Administration Entrepreneurship Practicum (EP) presentations. A few weeks ago, I was provided a business plan for an intriguing venture that has developed a concept around delicious cookies. I am looking forward to the team presentation this week!

What is the Business Administration Entrepreneurship Practicum?
Students who are in the final year of the Business Administration program have to complete the Entrepreneurship Practicum. As described in the outline provided to examiners, “the purpose of the assignment is to provide an opportunity for the students to develop and demonstrate business related skills such as research, report writing, time and project management, networking with the business community and self-directed teamwork.” Groups consisting of ten or more students spend the year applying course knowledge by developing a business plan for a fictitious venture.

How are the business plans judged?
The Entrepreneurship Practicum assignment consists of a final written business plan to be submitted as well as an oral presentation before an External Examiner Panel. External examiners are primarily made up of members from the business community who volunteer their time to read and grade the business plan as well as provide helpful suggestions after the presentation. Feedback from the examiners contributes towards final grades in the course.

Why do I volunteer as an external examiner?
If you have ever created or reviewed a business plan, you know how much time and effort is required to development one. I am consistently amazed at the hard work, commitment and creativity displayed by the students to complete this assignment. It is no small feat especially with most students being enrolled in a full course schedule and the struggles that exist to align schedules to meet as a group regularly. I am pleased that RRC offers a course like this as entrepreneurship is an important driver for our economy in Manitoba. Whether students plan to launch their venture or simply meet the requirements for a learning exercise, the lessons learned will serve them well in to the future. And quite honestly, how could I not learn from these talented students? It is a rewarding experience for all involved.

Thank you to Taras Wasyliw, Entrepreneurship Course Leader, and all of the Entrepreneurship Course Instructors for the opportunity to participate again this year.

[Click here to read about the Entrepreneurship Practicum Trade Show students also participate in.]

March 2, 2012

No Student Left Behind

by Scott Roehl

If there is a theme to some of the questions I have received from students since late last fall, it has been one of concern about what happens during the transition period if the accounting profession becomes unified. One principle of the merger discussions as stated in the Guiding Principles for Unification is that the combined accounting body would evolve in to a single designation with a new Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) Certification Program. So what happens if you have focused studies to meet the requirements for the CMA Program?

First, it is important to note that further information on the merger discussions has been released over the last couple of months which will help ease some concerns. If you haven’t had the opportunity, I encourage you to read the following documents (they can also be accessed at www.cpacanada.ca):

With the magnitude of such a change, you can be assured that a transition would be carefully managed and communicated so that no student gets left behind. Stated in the CPA Certification Program document, “we believe it would take at least 18 months to create the new CPA certification program. This would mean at the earliest, transition timing would be:

  • September 2013: The new CPA Certification Program would be launched. All new candidates would start in this program
  • Fall 2015: The first CPA final examination would be offered.”

In the short-term while a CPA certification program is implemented, the CMA Strategic Leadership Program and its entrance requirements would continue to exist. So long as the CMA Program is offered, students who have an interest in completing the designation would follow the entrance requirements and complete program components. At the time of the CPA Program introduction, future students would enter the CPA Certification Program. Those individuals already in the CMA Program would complete studies and attain the CMA designation.

Students are recognized as important stakeholders in this process and CMA Manitoba will continue to provide updates and important information as it becomes available.

January 9, 2012

A Look From Within The CMA Program

by Scott Roehl

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” - Confucius

Over the last couple of weeks, a group of aspiring CMAs took their first step here in Manitoba on the journey towards attaining a CMA designation by beginning study in the 18 Month Accelerated Program. Many steps will be taken on this journey and though at times it might be challenging, those who have attained a CMA designation before them will say that the journey is well worth it.

In my continued effort in 2012 to provide useful information and commentary to students (as well as other individuals) considering the CMA designation, I want to start my first post of the New Year by sharing perspective from within the CMA Program.

Highlighted below are three individuals who are at different points on their journey to attaining the CMA designation (an 18 Month Accelerated Program Student, a Year 2 Strategic Leadership Program CMA Candidate and a CMA Executive Program Candidate). While the Executive Program is specialized for senior leaders only, all profiles can provide some valuable insight in to their experiences.

I invite you to read the short bios below and then click on the Question & Answer link at the end of this post to read what each individual has to share. As they proceed through the CMA Program,  follow-ups will be shared to provide even greater insight. A special thank you goes out to Adrian Ong, Jarrod Falk and Jennifer Lee for their time, as well as Nicole Trunzo at the CMA Manitoba Office for compiling the interviews.

  • Adrian Ong (CMA Student – 18 Month Accelerated Program)
    Adrian Ong and his family immigrated to Canada in 2009 from the Philippines. Like most people, he was in search of more opportunities for himself and his family. Before immigrating, Adrian held mostly senior managerial positions focusing on the Treasury and Comptrollership functions of the companies he worked for. His degrees include a Bachelor’s Degree (BSBA – Accounting) and Master’s Degree (MBA) from the Philippines. Currently, he is working as a Senior Capital Management Analyst at The Great West Life Assurance Company. One of his happiest moments has been securing a job in Canada, allowing him to support his family.
  • Jarrod Falk (CMA Candidate, Year 2 - Strategic Leadership Program)
    Jarrod Falk graduated from the Asper School of Business in 2007 with a major in accounting. After school he spent a year in Asia before starting down his career path. Upon returning to Canada he began working at Griffin Wheel; a steel foundry in Transcona. Shortly into his time at Griffin, he began the Accelerated Program to hone his accounting skills that he hadn’t used in several years. Jarrod believes that the program, while intense, was incredibly effective at preparing him for the National Entrance Exam. Today, he is the Assistant Plant Controller, supporting the company’s operations and a candidate in year two of the Strategic Leadership Program.
  • Jennifer Lee (CMA Candidate - CMA Executive Program)
    Jennifer Lee has served in the Royal Canadian Air Force for over 18 years, having held a number of positions across the world - specifically in strategic and operational Comptrollership. She recognizes her work with the United Nations Mission in Sudan and in the NATO Headquarters in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where she held the position of Deputy Chief of Finance, as two highlights of her career. Currently, she is the Deputy Comptroller, 1 Canadian Air Division for the Department of National Defence. When free, she enjoys spending time with her family – twin six year-olds, Carson and Elliott, and her partner Scott.

Click here to read a Question & Answer interview with each participant.

December 2, 2011

Balancing the technical mindset

by Scott Roehl

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to speak before a group of aspiring engineers at the University of Manitoba. This might come as a bit of surprise. Why would CMA, an accounting designation, be talking with engineering students?

The key to the answer is professional diversity.

The CMA designation complements an engineer’s technical base with an added financial and strategic focus. Combining these skill sets provides a strong foundation for business leadership roles and an enhanced perspective, especially in multi-disciplinary meetings.

In opening a dialogue with engineering students, we are able to provide clarity on how the CMA goes hand-in-hand with a P.Eng. Additionally, students can complete some elective studies through a business or accounting minor which will be an asset in entering the CMA Program in the future.

For another perspective on this topic, please read the CMA Profile of Dave Wardrop, CMA.

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