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Accounting Career Path Planning Advice Needed

Hi Experts, I want your guidance as at this stage I am very confused. Brief about myself: I am currently in IT profession working as SAP FICO Consultant having around 6+ years of experience. I have done MBA in Finance and Bachelors in Commerce. My Long term goals are to become CFO. I am looking for pursuing further studies and so that I can get core finance jobs and should be able to fulfill my long term plans. I have done some reserach regarding Courses like CPA/CMA/CFA which course should I pursue so that my current job experience should be also advantage. Thanks in advance. Thanks, Priyanka

Answers

Robert Ewalt
Title: Exam Development Manager
Company: Institute of Certified Management Accoun..
(Exam Development Manager, Institute of Certified Management Accountants) |

Best approach - see if you can switch to a more finance/accounting position with your current employer. Ask your HR Dept what training and/or credentials will help you with the switch. I think CMA is the best, but then I am biased. What your employer thinks is more important than what I think.

Priyanka C
Title: SAP FICO Consultant
Company: Fonterra
(SAP FICO Consultant, Fonterra) |

Thanks Robert but I am currently working in IT company I don't think they will be able to help us out.

Jagan Dharmalingam
Title: FINANCE MANAGER
Company: THALES SOFTWARE, CHENNAI
(FINANCE MANAGER, THALES SOFTWARE, CHENNAI) |

Hi Priyanka, you should opt for CMA. I feel that you have hands on experience on systems side. If you done CMA, it will really help you to get strong insight over the business & controlling.This combination could really help you to reach your preferred level.

Topic Expert
Mark Richards
Title: VP of Finance & Operations
Company: RBA Consulting
(VP of Finance & Operations, RBA Consulting) |

Priyanka,

First, if your destination is a CFO role - start with the type of company that you want to work within and do a search on any director and above job openings. This will tell you the type of experience that you will need to achieve to get the job you seek.

Second, with that knowledge in hand, look at the different roles to get you the experience needed. The key will be having the experience, not training, to get the role - as people will want the hands-on capabilities vs classroom. I would look to select the CFA, etc. after you look at the skills needed - those degrees will help you enhance your performance for any given role.

Third, start the search. I do agree with Robert that if you can stay within your current IT field (not necessarily same company), then you bring knowledge of the business - which will most likely give you a point of differentiation over other candidates for analysis and accounting roles. It might be easier to start on the analysis side of finance if you don't have a strong accounting background - but to get to the CFO spot - you will need to have a firm base of accounting skills/knowledge.

Hope this helps get you started,

Mark

Topic Expert
Patrick Dunne
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: Milk Source
(Chief Financial Officer, Milk Source) |

Priyanka, if you can't break into the finance group of your company, I would recommend looking for a role in a large organization in an FP&A role. This group would be called upon to do budgets and other analysis of results as well as special projects. This role would give you an exposure to senior management and in a large company introduce you to other roles.

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