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Heather Demshock, assistant professor of accounting at Lycoming College, has earned the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certification, joining an increasing number of accounting professionals who have committed themselves to gaining further expertise and career development in the field of management accounting. Demshock is the first accounting faculty member at Lycoming College to earn this certification.
Accountants who earn the CMA are required to pass a two-part exam, proving a mastery of 11 core practice areas in management accounting. In addition to adhering to the Institute of Management Accountants’ (IMA) Statement of Ethical Professional Practice, CMA-certified accountants are also required to meet educational and work experience requirements, as well as committing to continuing education.
Though obtaining the CMA certification involved a substantial investment in time and energy, Demshock believes that her efforts will pay off both professionally and in the classroom.
“Currently I teach all of the courses in the accounting program related to management accounting,” explained Demshock. “Successfully completing the CMA has given me formal recognition as an expert in the field of management accounting. Additionally, I have gained new insight and ideas for the classroom which I am incorporating into my courses.”
Demshock believes that the management accounting field and the CMA certification can offer students more opportunity when choosing their careers.
“Students who wished to pursue careers in industry, government or nonprofit accounting will have an opportunity to achieve a professional certification in their chosen field,” said Demshock. “Historically, the accounting department has encouraged all students to pursue the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license regardless of their area of interest. While preparing students for the CPA remains the main focus of our program, the CMA is a good certification to pursue for those who never intend to work in public accounting or for those students with an interest in holding dual certifications.”
The CMA certification offers students the unique opportunity to sit for the exam prior to graduation, unlike the CPA exam — a benefit that Demshock wants to share with her students.
“My hope is to increase awareness of this certification among our students and encourage them to take advantage of the ability to sit for the exams prior to graduation,” remarked Demshock. “It is a great resume builder as it shows employers, both private and public, that the student is a go-getter and has the potential to make an impact on their organization.”
About the CMA®
IMA®’s globally recognized CMA® certification tests mastery of advanced accounting and financial management knowledge in areas such as financial planning, analysis, control and decision support. Since the program’s inception in 1972, more than 50,000 professionals have earned the CMA through education, work experience, testing, and continuing education. For more information about the CMA certification program, please visit www.imanet.org/cma.
About IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants)
IMA, the association of accountants and financial professionals in business, is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. Globally, IMA supports the profession through research, the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) program, continuing education, networking and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices. IMA has a global network of more than 85,000 members in 140 countries and 300 professional and student chapters. Headquartered in Montvale, N.J., USA, IMA provides localized services through its four global regions: The Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe and Middle East/India. For more information about IMA, please visit www.imanet.org.