Same Answer, Different Question

It was a busy week last week. An article for Proformative … in which I was interviewed about the finance “certification debate” … started it. But that debate is never-ending, is it?

Then, Executive Search Consultant Samuel Dergel made an interesting comment to my blog post last week. In response to my statement that I was surprised that only a slight majority of CFOs said growing a company trumped accounting wizardry, Samuel said …

The reason the numbers didn’t line up to what you expected was because you asked the wrong people. Ask the people who hire CFOs (CEO, Board) and you will get a response more in line with your expectations.

My “aha moment”? It’s exactly the same issue in the CPA vs. CMA or CPA vs. no-CPA debate. The conversation might be different, but the answer is the same … it is the wrong people who weigh in vocally on the issue. Meanwhile, the silent answer – the real answer – is coming through loud and clear from companies, but the non-credentialed or CMA-credentialed aren’t listening because from where they sit, they see something different. The challenge is … they aren’t sitting in the hiring seat.

Before you jump to the wrong conclusion, I am not saying there is anything wrong with the CMA credential. It’s a fine credential. In fact, from a global perspective it is even becoming a more recognizable credential.

What I am saying is that unless and until job descriptions begin requiring or preferring the CMA credential over the CPA, how the job candidate feels about his non-CPA credential is through his or her personal perspective … not through the reality of the job market.

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