Posts tagged ‘Management’

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.

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.

July 6, 2011

What does the potential CA/CMA merger mean to students?

by Scott Roehl

On May 24, 2011, the leaders of the Chartered Accountants of Canada and the Certified Management Accountants of Canada announced they had entered into discussions to explore the possibility of uniting the CA and CMA organizations through the creation of a new professional designation –  the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). Following this announcement, a consultation process was established to engage important stakeholders in a dialogue including Members and Candidates of the respective organizations.

Since the announcement, I have been approached by a few students who have wanted to learn more about why this is occurring and, probably just as important, what the impact may be. I suspect that once classes begin in the fall, more students will be asking similar questions.

To begin with, I strongly encourage students to review the information that has been provided to Members and Candidates of both organizations. To assist you, here are some helpful links (also available through cpacanada.ca):

Uniting the Canadian Accounting Profession Position Paper

Uniting the Canadian Accounting Profession Paper Highlights – a “coles notes” summary of the key points in the full position paper

Consultation Update – June 2011

Video: Joy Thomas, President and CEO, CMA Canada, talks about uniting the Canadian accounting profession

For a student considering the CMA designation these resources provide an important window into the global factors impacting the accounting profession here in Canada and why the respective organizations are addressing them now. As you review the information, reflect on what is being discussed and understand the impact on you. For students, this potential merger represents the prospect of a further strengthened and respected accounting credential in Canada and improved mobility opportunities globally. Over the long-term this would also serve to reduce confusion over multiple designations and increase recognition of the value you can provide to any organization as a professional accountant. These points aside, consider the full impact and be sure to ask questions.

Finally, you have an important voice in this consultation process as well. Should you have any comments or questions to share, please email them directly to me – sroehl @ cma-canada.org. I will ensure your privacy and pass along the comments verbatim for consideration.

April 25, 2011

Meet a CMA

by Scott Roehl

The possibilities of what you can do with a CMA designation are almost limitless. But what does that really mean to a student? It is hard enough sometimes just getting through your university or college program, never mind planning for another 2 – 3 years of part-time study after to attain the CMA designation. And then where do you want to go with your CMA designation? That is a lot to think about.

One reason I enjoy working with the CMA office in Manitoba is the large number of CMAs working in all different types of roles and industries who are very willing to take time often from demanding schedules to speak with students. Any student whether in first or last year of studies can take advantage of the opportunity to be connected up with a CMA to speak with. From the feedback I receive, students really value this interaction to ask questions and learn directly from a CMA about why they chose the designation and where it has taken them. This can be quite helpful when you are deciding whether CMA is a good fit for your future.

To provide further assistance, I will begin to connect CMAs in to this blog regularly as an added way for you to hear their story and insights. If you have an additional question for the CMA, you will be able to post it in the comments and I’ll make sure to get a response for all to see and benefit from.

The inaugural CMA Profile post will feature a CMA who has taken his designation and creative thinking globally to work with a mult-billion dollar international corporation. Stay tuned for his story!

April 4, 2011

Are you getting the most out of a career fair?

by Scott Roehl

A couple of times during the year I will usually find myself at a university or college participating in a career fair on behalf of CMA. For us, it is important that we attend these fairs as it provides opportunities to connect with students who want to learn more about the designation or have specific questions to clarify.

University & College career fairs serve an important purpose in bringing together a diverse range of industries, companies and associations to talk with students. One of the driving forces of student attendance is the interest in finding summer work or even in taking a step towards securing employment after graduation. These fairs also serve as an important source of information for other opportunities that exist after graduation (ie. the CMA designation).

I have been thinking about the whole career fair concept over the last couple of months both as a company rep and back when I attended as a student (wow does that make me feel a little old). Did I maximize my time and effort at the career fairs? Do students get the most out of career fairs? Based on my observations at the last couple of career fairs, some students could be doing more to get the most of their experience.

I’m no expert in this regard, but here are some thoughts and tips to consider:

Create an action plan. Prior to the career fair, take a bit of time to research who is going to be attending and then note who you will target specifically for a visit. This does not preclude you from visiting any of the other booths, but does give you more of a purpose in attending so you can maximize your time in being there.

Dress for success. I’m not saying you have to come dressed in a three-piece suit or your Sunday best, but putting some effort in to your attire can certainly make you stand out amongst the crowd.

Be prepared to talk about yourself and interests. Make sure you are comfortable with being able to provide a quick summary of yourself including goals and interests. While you might think it is just quick conversation that is occurring, the representative may very well be treating it is an informal interview.

Bring copies of your resume along. I realize we live in the digital age with hyper-connectivity the norm, but a good old paper copy of your resume to hand over at the right moment could make the difference in opening that next door.

Do you have a business card? This is a question that is often asked by students to the company representative. But do you have one to give? Make yourself stand out and invest in some inexpensive business cards. This gives the other person the means to follow-up with you after the career fair.

Follow up! If you collect any business cards or have a conversation with company representatives, make sure to follow-up with them after the event. Most students don’t which is a shame because sometimes opportunities are being missed. Whether it is a follow-up on a particular job opportunity or simply to build a connection with someone in the industry, make sure to take time to follow-up.

March 14, 2011

What a CMA Panel Taught Us

by Scott Roehl


(Photo credit: Stephen Dueck – synaptogenic.com)

During the evening of March 9th at the Fort Garry Hotel, students from several post-secondary institutions gathered with members of the CMA Community in Manitoba to learn how a CMA designation can create possibilities in their future. The first annual CMA Panel Event fostered connections and interactions between students and CMAs/CMA Candidates from a variety of backgrounds and industries.

One of the key elements of the evening was the panel discussion which gave students the power to ask questions that mattered to them. A panel consisting of three CMAs and a Year 2 CMA Candidate along with a CMA Panel Moderator took questions supplied by students and provided their thoughts and advice. Very insightful questions were asked on a variety of topics ranging from the impact of the recession, to what is gained from the Strategic Leadership Program to advice for someone coming from a non-conventional accounting background.

Darrell, a student from the University of Winnipeg, shared some of these key takeaways from the evening:

A designation gives you a strong foundation to build on, but does not entitle you to a high level position immediately. You have to be prepared to work hard.

The CMA Accelerated Program disciplines you and prepares a person well for the Entrance Exam and Strategic Leadership Program

The Strategic Leadership Program fosters relationships and networks that will carry right through your career

The Strategic Leadership Program: strategy development, you learn to ask and understand the questions “where we are” and “where do we want to be”

Advice given for students considering the CMA designation: Budget your time, be flexible, build a support base around you of family and friends, find ways to integrate what you learn in to your life and remember to keep a work-life balance


For students that attended, what else did you takeaway from the evening? What did you find insightful? Please share in the comments.


Thank you to the following individuals who provided their time to be on the panel:

Denise Zaporzan, CMA, FCMA (Panel Moderator)
Sara Stasiuk, CMA
Jeremy Messner, CMA
Kerry Wolfe, CMA
Sarah Townsend – CMA Candidate


Related Blog Post:
Denise captures the spirit of the event with some additional comments from the evening through her latest blog post. (recommended read!)

Photos from the event: CMA Manitoba Facebook Page (CMA Panel Event Photo Album)