The CPA and Other Finance Credentials

Does a CPA matter? What about a CMA? Or, the relatively new CCFO? Do any of them make you a better Finance Chief? That … is the age-old question and continuing debate. New year … same debate. See my 2010 and 2012 blog posts.

On one side of the table are the companies and CFOs who hold credentials. On the other side, are the companies and non-credentialed CFOs. I think the difference today centers on the evolving role of the Chief Financial Officer. With the continuing CFO sprawl (the Chief Financial Officer becoming the Chief Everything Officer or the Chief the-Buck-Stops-Here Officer) and being a strategic leader who sits at the executive table with deep involvement in all aspects of operations … does holding a CPA matter as much?

Having worked exclusively with finance leaders for almost 10 years, I have my own thoughts. And although they are unlikely to influence one side or the other, this seems to be the bottom-line …

What matters most is what your target audience believes they need and therefore wants.

If you are looking to make a move in the upcoming year, it is critically important to identify your target audience. If you don’t have a CPA but you are targeting companies who all “require” a CPA candidate, it is going to be a longer-than-usual, even more frustrating search. It is possible, some of my clients have breached that requirement, but it requires having such compelling problem-solving value that a company is willing to look past their own requirement.

At the risk of being redundant …

— Leverage your branded, problem-solving value.

— Identify who needs what you bring to the table.

— Play in that space.

— Build & nurture a strong network.

It is a new year, and I wish you all the best. If I can help you achieve your career goals in 2018, give me a call. I would be happy to help.

Copyright CFO-Coach 2018



Cindy Kraft is the CFO-Coach and America’s leading Career & Personal Brand Strategist for Corporate Finance Executives helping clients understand their marketability, articulate their value, and position themselves as the clear and compelling choice. She is a Certified Reach Personal Brand Strategist, Certified Reach Online Identity Strategist, Certified Career Management Coach, Certified Professional Resume Writer, and Job & Career Transition Coach. Cindy can be reached via email, by phone 813-727-3037, or through her website at

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