CGMA Launch

I had the great privilege to attend the Launch of the CGMA credential live from New York last week. After years of asking for a credential that shows the unique expertise of business and industry CPAS, it is finally here – the Chartered Global Management Accountant or CGMA.  With me at the launch were numerous people who had worked tirelessly for this day from the first AICPA Chairman from Business and Industry – Olivia Kirtely to former chairman of the Business and Industry Executive Committee to members of the AICPA staff that have worked closely with CIMA to launch the AICPA- CIMA JV and the credential on this momentous day.

But launching the credential is only the first step.  If we are going to truly make the CGMA something that is valued by business executives – a credential they look for in hiring and promotion decisions, then we have to work every day to show the value of the CGMA.  The launch was a great first step.  The panels in London and New York emphasized the many important aspects of what it means to be a CGMA in today’s ever changing, fast paced world and I want to highlight a few here.

First off, CGMAs must bring the same core values to their job that are the core of being a CPA.  Ethics, Integrity and Objectivity are critical to the success of business and to your success at being a CGMA.  As one panelist stated speaking for many, “if you don’t have ethics, we don’t need you in our business.  A code of conduct is a cornerstone of any profession.  It is one of the key differentiator for CGMAs from your  average finance “professional.” 

Another key focus for CGMAs is transforming data into information, information into intelligence, and intelligence into insight.  It is no longer enough (was it ever) to crunch the data and put some numbers on a report and call it information.  To truly add value to your business you need to go further and determine what the information means to the business and what actions the business should take as a result. 

Successful businesses today cannot be run in silos – operations, HR, Finance, legal and so forth.  Leaders have to integrate all of those perspectives and that is exactly what CGMAs are here to do.  If we are to change the cycle of just focusing on short-term financial results, it is going to be up to CGMAs to lead the efforts in gathering and reporting on non-financial metrics that tell the whole story about how a business is performing – from information about employees to customers to intellectual property.  This is where the future lies and CGMAs will lead the way. 

I have and always will be proud to call myself a CPA.  Now I will be equally as proud to call myself a CGMA.

Bill Schneider, CPA, CGMA

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