Saturday, May 26, 2012
What do CPAs do? That was a question I posed on Titter. As expected, the most popular response was taxes. It is the one tangible for most people. Other responses were accounting, bookkeeping, payroll, and bill payment. Ironically the one service not mentioned was audit, which is the one service only CPAs can perform. Other services not mentioned were estate planning and succession planning.
What do CFOs do? CFOs oversee all of these functions inside one company. CFOs are also strategic leaders helping to establish the vision and mission, executing broader objectives, and aligning financial strategy to meet these organizational goals. It requires cross-functional collaboration and leadership. CFOs are also responsible for budgeting and forecasting, banking and financing, risk management, compliance, and designing financial systems.
Many CFOs are CPAs, but are as CPAs in business and industry, or management accountants, as opposed to CPAs in public practice. Now there is a designation, CGMA, that helps to differentiate the two. Chartered Global Management Accountant is the new designation resulting from a joint venture between the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and London-based Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). The purpose of which is to "elevate management accounting and further emphasize its importance for businesses worldwide."  The CGMA acknowledges the strategic role and leadership role that CPAs perform inside companies.
Tom Shreridan at Maryland CPAs wrote, "Modern accounting goes way beyond the numbers. Business today is global. The really good CPAs add context to the numbers . . . and help their organizations navigate an ever-changing world. In short, CPAs and management accountants today are more than number-crunchers. They're strategic business partners. Now, they have a designation that reflects that role." 
“The new CGMA is the culmination of a longstanding effort to help companies experience maximum integration between financial and non-financial information to drive a business’s growth, and to include that information in the financial reporting process,” AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, said at the launch. “CGMAs will accomplish that by managing change, risk and uncertainty; promoting operational efficiency and effectiveness; and protecting corporate assets.” 
Friday, May 04, 2012
Everyone is good at something. Everyone has something that they excel at over everything else. When one discovers that talent, they enjoy it because they are good at it. Since they enjoy doing it, they do it more and practice it often. Practice makes one better which further increases enjoyment. In other words, we enjoy that which we are good, we practice what we enjoy, and we get better at what were good at.
Deliberate practice, however is what separates the good from the great. If one truly wants to excel at that which they are good at, one must practice the fun stuff AND the not-so-fun stuff. It requires hard work, focus, and discipline.
In his book, Talent Is Overrated, Geoff Colvin defines what deliberate practice is and is not. He writes that deliberate practice is specifically designed, repeatable, highly demanding, and it isn't much fun. He also acknowledges that it is much easier to design practice for professions such as golf or music, but it is much more difficult in business leaders. He helps to identify practice models that business leaders can apply to raise level of performance from good to great.
Most people quit when the practice doesn't increase competence to a level that feeds back into enjoyment. This is where goal-setting and perseverance sets the excellent apart from the mediocre.