Archive for September, 2011

September 26, 2011

Meet Steve Blunt, CMA

by Scott Roehl

Behind each of our CMAs in Manitoba is a unique story. This week I would like to introduce you to Steve Blunt, CMA who has made the move from Manitoba to living and working in Australia. If you have any questions for Steve, please leave them in the comments.

Which University or College did you attend?
I attended the University of Manitoba and attained my BComm (Hons) in 2001 from the Asper School of Business, with a major in Finance.

What drew you to your current field of work?
My current job came about from my wife’s decision to pursue a Master’s degree abroad. Moving from Winnipeg to Sydney, Australia provided a great opportunity to start fresh and gain experience in another business sector (to that point, all of my experience had been within the manufacturing sector). In Sydney, I took a great opportunity within the government sector. I now work for the New South Wales Department of Trade and Investment as the Senior Management Accountant for the Office of Water.

What do you enjoy most about being a CMA?
What I enjoy most is being able to apply the CMA skills in senior business functions, such as developing and implementing business strategies. The broader business mindset of the CMA enables me to act and think like a business owner rather than simply as an accountant. As a result, I’m more engaged and better able to contribute to my organization’s overall success.

What attracted you to the CMA designation?
After graduating with a major in finance, I quickly found that most finance related jobs in Manitoba were hard to get if you didn’t also have an accounting major. I was then offered a job on the condition that I pursue an accounting designation, and the best fit for me was the CMA. It was strongly recommended by several colleagues and allowed me to take the accelerated program, which saved several years of potential evening classes. The CMA Strategic Leadership Program was also more suited to my interests, and enabled me to avoid tax and auditing!

Which skills did you develop in the CMA program that have impacted your career the most?
The most important skills I’ve developed include confidence in my ideas, critical analysis of issues, and the importance of separating operational and strategic issues. Understanding the strategic issues faced in our workplace changed my attitudes towards the business decisions being made, and enabled me to develop and take on a management role. The CMA truly prepared me for that role. It also led the way for an opportunity on a senior strategic planning team, which determined and presented viable recommendations for the future direction of the company. This has been my most valuable work experience thus far.

Where do you think the CMA designation will take you in the future?
The most beneficial aspect of having an accounting designation is that there is no limit to my future potential: It will take me as far as I am motivated to go. My current goal to is gain experience to prepare myself for a senior management role, where I can apply my skills and directly affect company change.

What advice do you have for students considering an accounting designation?
Talk with people with different designations in detail about their experiences, and what limitations they see in each designation. Every designation has strengths and limitations, and most people don’t know much about the others until they’ve already completed the one program they chose. Really think about where you want your career path to go, and which designation is best suited for you.

Lastly, be realistic about the effort required to achieve your designation. Working and studying at the same time is a continuous challenge: you need to be fully committed if you want to pass.

[Note from Scott Roehl: I would like to thank Steve who graciously provided his time from across the world to answer these questions.]

September 21, 2011

Back to school!

by Scott Roehl

What a summer here in Manitoba. The weather was warm, the Jets have come back and there were hardly any mosquitoes! But as summer gives way to the fall, another school year of university and college starts up. New beginnings, renewed energy and even light at the end of the tunnel for those students graduating this coming year. It will be another great year!

Over the summer I took a bit of a hiatus with this blog but with the new school year, I am looking forward to contributing regularly and answering your questions. Along the way I have some interesting posts to share (hopefully they will be of interest!) and new interviews with Manitoba CMAs who are making a positive impact on organization’s in Winnipeg, across Canada and around the world. As one of the guiding principles for establishing this blog was to expand on common questions I get from students, rest assured I will continue to answer these questions on this blog.

Students, welcome back and all the best for the upcoming year!