• Accounting News Roundup: Management Accounting and ‘I figured I could get a job.’ | 07.14.16

    By | July 14, 2016

    Management accounting

    Now that the AICPA and CIMA are merging or whatever, the incumbent management accounting organization, the Institute of Management Accountants, seems to be working double time on some things. Namely, an exposure draft of a "proposed Management Accounting Competency Framework." The purpose of this framework is to "fill the skills gaps for accountants who choose careers in private industry" and it covers quite a bit: 

    The framework includes a number of areas under the broad categories of planning and reporting, decision-making, technology, operations and leadership. Under those categories are various competencies and skills such as financial recordkeeping, strategic and tactical planning, forecasting, budgeting, performance management, cost accounting and cost management, internal controls, financial statement analysis, operational decision analysis, enterprise risk management and more.

    Here's where I get a little skeptical of the motives. If the purpose of this framework is to "fill the skills gaps" for those pursuing an industry accounting job, why now? It's not like people just started noticing that accounting education is a little deficient in some areas:

    The exposure draft coincides with the 30th anniversary of a 1986 report from the American Accounting Association in 1986 predicting a “growing gap between what accountants do and what accounting educators teach.”

    In other words, the problem has been festering for more than three decades and, uh, it doesn't appear that anyone has done much about it, at least at the academic level. “For three decades, IMA has been focused on real-world solutions to the growing talent gap that has evolved with the expectations of the CFO growing beyond value preservation to include value creation,” IMA president and CEO Jeff Thomson said.

    Still, why put out the framework now? Why didn't the IMA do this 29 years ago?

    Elsewhere in the management accounting kerfuffle: CIMA's CEO is stepping down to become the executive chairman of the new CGMA Research Foundation.

    Why choose accounting?

    It's a question many of us hear often  — why did you choose accounting? Nobody seems to have a burning desire to master the dark arts of debits, credits, et al., but so many people end up in the field. Why? I found this Q&A with Steve Cogan, managing principal REDW, an Albuquerque firm, that included this exchange:

    Q: What put you on the track to being an accountant?

    A: I figured I could get a job.

    I love it: "I figured I could get a job." It's the perfect response. It's such a banal reason but in this day and age, it's the best endorsement for a career path that a student (and her parents) could hope for. A job! Right out of school! And you won't even have to wait tables at night! Are we all choosing accounting because it's so damn practical? My guess is: probably.

    Accountants behaving badly

    The current rash of accountants ripping off nonprofits has gone international:

    An accountant alleged to have diverted some €161,000 of a State-funded charity’s funds for his own use is not co-operating enough over his promises to provide information, the High Court has heard.

    Greg Walsh, of Walsh and Co Accountants, Walkinstown, Dublin, is alleged to have diverted funds belonging to Carline Learning Centre, Clondalkin, Dublin, which provides education and training for teenagers.

    When robot accountants finally start taking our jobs, at least it will, conceivably, put an end to the nonprofit sector's fraud problems.

    Previously, on Going Concern…

    I wrote about Millennials' desire for peace and quiet at work, but there was also a bunch of new threads on Open Items. One person who wants to jump from associate with one firm to senior with another in just a few weeks. Someone else asked about accounting advisory and valuation practices at the Big 4.

    In other news:

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    • Lord Treasurer

      “I love it: “I figured I could get a job.” It’s the perfect response. It’s such a banal reason but in this day and age, it’s the best endorsement for a career path that a student (and her parents) could hope for. A job! Right out of school! And you won’t even have to wait tables at night! Are we all choosing accounting because it’s so damn practical? My guess is: probably.”

      Is it sad that this is the #1 reason I chose to go back to school for accounting: practicality? I think I need to lie down..

      • N.E.R.D.

        No. There’s no shame in pragmatism.

        • Seriously. What else do you want MistakebyLake? Rainbows shot up your ass? Go to school to get an education to get a career. What a concept.

          • PWC Prick

            Rainbows shot up the ass – Now you’re talkin’!!!

          • Lord Treasurer

            Meoooowwwwww. It was a rhetorical question. I’m very happy with my decision.

    • billbrasskey

      That really looks like my cat, Roy.

    • Marc P Palker

      IMA’s framework is a culmination of three decades of work, with the intention of creating change and leading the way for employers and professionals. As the role of CFOs and their teams has expanded, organizations have experienced challenges in finding the right talent. Professionals are also challenged to keep up with the changes in the profession as they plan their careers for the long term. I’ve been a member of IMA for more than 40 years, and I’ve witnesses many examples of how the organization supports the profession. The framework is the latest effort.

      The IMA has had the Certified Management Accountant credential for over 40 years and through the CPE requirement has been educating management accountants for the same period of time.

      Marc P. Palker, CMA
      IMA Chair