CGMA nurtures finance practitioners into versatile business professionals
Knowledge is not about filling a pail, but the lighting of a fire. Would an ordinary financial worker ever imagine that he can someday become an all-round entrepreneur? He can, if he expands his own inner horizons and decides to explore new possibilities and fresh ideas.
“By earning the CGMA designation, I have got the power to raise myself from a typical finance and control person to an entrepreneurial business professional,” says Tsutomu Miura, B2C Control Manager of Nestlé Nespresso K.K., the leading player in Japan’s premium portioned coffee market.
CGMA, which stands for Chartered Global Management Accountant, was powered by Association of International Certified Professional Accountants which is the world’s most influential body of professional accountants aiming to drive a dynamic accounting profession ready to meet the demands of a constantly changing, disruptive world.
Formed by members of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Association currently serves 650,000 CPA and CGMA designation holders and students in 179 countries, offering them the tools, resources and intelligence to clarify complexity, anticipate risk and create opportunity.
Advancing the global discipline of management accounting
CGMAs qualify through rigorous education, examination and experience requirements and the commitment to lifelong education and a stringent code of ethical conduct. As the most widely held management accounting designation in the world, it distinguishes professionals who have advanced proficiency in finance, operations, strategy and management. Recent years have seen an increasing interest in Asia on the CGMA and Japan is one of the growing new markets.
“CGMA is an ideal qualification for me to prove my academic and practical skills as well as my business knowledge,” says Miura. “Although I am dedicated to pursuing a finance career, entrepreneurial expertise is essential for me to stay competitive in the ever-changing business world. I’m grateful that my employer has fully supported and encouraged me to take the CGMA training and examination.”
Adding unprecedented values to business
Nowadays, Nespresso delights Club Members and consumers in over 60 countries thanks to its range of Grand Cru coffees, innovative machines and exclusive personalised services. By pioneering the premium portioned coffee segment, Nespresso has become the reference in the segment and has shaped the global coffee culture.
Miura believes that the CGMA study enables him to contribute to the company in many ways. “As a business controller for Nespresso Japan, I’m applying the investment appraisal techniques I have picked up from the CGMA exam.” According to Miura, Nespresso has significantly grown its presence in Japan in the past four years. Just between 2014 and 2016, nine boutiques were opened, relocated or refurbished by the company. Each project required pre-evaluation of capital expenditure and timely submission of approval request with investment appraisal to the headquarters.
“Besides calculating net present value, internal rate of return and payback period, we have to conduct sensitivity analysis,” says Miura. “The CGMA exam has enhanced my multi-angle thinking and logical reasoning ability, which adds great values to my work.”
Growing through challenges
The CGMA designation requires candidates to pass relevant examinations and possess relevant working experience. The examinations are developed by CGMA to test a candidate’s problem solving skills in real business situations, and delivered online in case study format. Coverage includes financial strategy, risk management and strategic management, as well as research, data analysis and communication skills.
After all, Miura emphasises that passing the CGMA is never easy. “I have faced tough challenges in the examination, but have derived maximum benefits at the end,” Miura adds. “Not only have I boosted my financial expertise, but I have also bolstered my confidence while improving my English skills.” Miura also points out that the CGMA study has broadened his horizon and equipped him with the competence to take overseas assignments for the company even though he has never worked overseas before.
After getting the CIMA Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting, Miura was excited to receive encouraging comments from his co-workers that he has become more proactive when participating in stakeholder discussions, while contributing far more than before to sales team meetings.
“I will certainly recommend CGMA to others,” says Miura. “In fact I have already encouraged some of my direct reports and co-workers to join the programme, and they are all CGMA students now. Although this qualification required strong commitment, we can learn a lot on the way to become a qualified management accountant and it is definitely worth the effort.”
Nowadays, while uncertain economic times threaten to stifle business, business leaders need people who keep challenging themselves to prepare for the challenge that comes one day. There is also an unmet need and exciting opportunity for skilled people who can bridge the gap between business, strategy and finance. The true value of CGMA is that it represents a global management accounting designation that demonstrates the skillset needed to meet these challenges and drive sustainable business success for organisations around the world.