I have been reading a book that talks about the point that when reached changes an outcome from one to another. Today I reached that point where my passive nature turned into frustration. Yes, I am an accountant, but I do more than crunch numbers. Taxation and Financial Statements aren’t my forte.
As a CMA, my training has made me aware that what happens in a corporation is explainable by more than just numbers and the numbers on a financial statement are the result of many factors. Behind all the numbers that accountants deal with is a story of success and failure, explainable by the actions and decisions of others. I may analyze numbers to find the story, but not everything I do involves the balance and income statement. Just because I am an accountant, doesn’t mean that all I deal with is numbers.
I became a CMA when it was still the RIA, Registered Industrial Accountants. Many things have changed over the years, but the premise behind the designation is still about managing companies by combining accounting expertise with professional management skills.
CMA’s look at improving not just the numbers, we want to improve the quality of the processes behind the numbers; management of the Business Processes. This means understanding what happens in the various departments, how they are related, and understanding that what happens in one area of the company has an affect on other departments and people. The goal of the CMA is to provide leadership, innovation and a cohesive viewpoint that takes into account all areas of an organization, not just those things directly attributed to values on an income statement. Financial statements tell the story in numbers; the real value is the story behind the numbers. People, processes, quality and values create great companies.
As a CMA, I prefer analyzing and improving the actions behind the numbers. By working with the “human” resources, improving processes and quality, and instilling values, companies can reach financial excellence they can be proud of; knowing that what has been produced is a reflection of the integrity of the corporation and what it stands for.
My second pet peeve today relates to the stereotypes that people use when deciding whom they should hire. Because of my years of experience (a woman never likes the word age), I am labeled a baby-boomer and thus past my prime. It doesn’t seem to matter what my skills are, I have already been labeled and one of the top recruiting agencies has told everyone that Generation Y, the “Millennials” are the latest and greatest.
The “Millennials” are defined as having an inquisitive nature, thinking both critically as well as analytically, possessing technical prowess; they are creative, and look at things differently. I guess I should be put out to pasture. I really despise stereotypes. Ok, so I am a “seasoned” professional, but I have always looked past the numbers and asked way too many questions. My outside-of-the-box thinking was way ahead of its time and my creative ways of analyzing data have always been one of my strengths. I haven’t found a software program yet that can stump me, and my drive for learning more is only limited by the time I have available to learn. But… I am a baby-boomer.
Just like snowflakes, no two of us are alike. There are different types of accountants, each with their own specialty and different types of people in the way they think and act. Not all accountants review numbers, and not all baby-boomers are past their prime.