Why Pursue the CGMA? 

As a member of the AICPA, you’re probably aware of the various credential programs offered. These certification programs are designed to enhance your knowledge and provide a huge “value-add” to your profile as a CPA working in practice or business and industry. Those who have one or more credential, list the initials as part of their name, and promote their knowledge in these areas, most likely have a leg-up on the competition.

The Young CPA Network maintains a page on its website that lists each credential, along with links to more information about each program. However, one of the most often-asked questions with any credential is on the skills required to obtain the credential and what kinds of attributes the candidate needs while working toward the credential and after receiving it.

More importantly, what’s the direct benefit? Will it increase your bottom line? Will it make you more knowledgeable?

The AICPA’s latest credential, the CGMA or Certified Global Management Accountant, is certainly one of the programs that may not be as clear cut in terms of understanding the skills and traits as the CITP (Certified Information Technology Professional) or the ABV (Accredited in Business Valuation).

As the name of the credential indicates, this one, versus the others, is truly “global.” Already, thousands of CPAs, chartered accountants and others across the globe have attained the CGMA because it complements the services they provide and helps them stay focused on the learning programs associated with management accounting.

The AICPA has put a large amount of resources toward the CMGA, and fortunately, there is a dedicated website entirely devoted to the credential. On the site, you’ll find pages devoted to the “why you should pursue the CGMA.”

You can read all about this on your own, of course, but to give you insight into the CGMA and to understand more about the program, the EDGE newsletter went directly to a young CPA peer, Leisa Stanberry, CPA.CITP, CGMA, principal of Stanberry CPA in Cookeville, Tennessee.

Here’s what Leisa had to say about her interest in the program.

EDGE: Tell our readers the reasons why you decided to pursue the CGMA.
Leisa Stanberry: I chose to pursue the CGMA credential because it shows the world what I already do for my customers. I am a management accountant providing outsourced CFO services and back office accounting services to small- and medium-size businesses. We are risk specialists helping businesses understand what their risks are and ways to mitigate them in order to create value for them. This credential shows my customers and potential customers that I hold a specialized credential in these areas.
EDGE: How does having the CGMA benefit your clients?
Leisa Stanberry: Holding the CGMA shows my customers and prospects that I am committed to continuing my education in the area of management accounting. With this commitment, I can continue to sharpen my skills to stay on the cutting-edge of trends that would assist them in managing risks and create value.
EDGE: What's your advice to other young CPAs who are looking at the CGMA as a credential?
Leisa Stanberry: I say that if you qualify for this credential, have a passion for management accounting, and desire to declare this one of your specialties, you should have this credential. The CGMA is acknowledged worldwide—so, as a result, your opportunities practically have no boundaries! The CGMA shows you are in tune with the global economy, you understand the world is shrinking, and you are open to exploring how to leverage customers’ needs and wants within this global economy.

Interested in pursuing the CGMA? For more information, visit the CGMA website and explore your options.


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