Page 5: CIMA strategists in practice
CIMA qualified management accountants can reach high-level and well-paid jobs in many well-known companies. Management accountants are responsible for key areas of the company, helping in strategic decision-making.
Matthew Parker is the Retail Finance Manager at Topshop, one of the seven key brands of the Arcadia Group. Arcadia is a young and very vibrant company. People are passionate about what they do and that comes through in their jobs. For Matthew it provided a passport to a job with variety and challenge:
'With CIMA you”re getting involved in the strategic management within the business. You have the chance to influence and suggest ideas to key decision makers. A CIMA qualification is almost a commercial toolkit that gives you a way of breaking information down and looking at investment decisions to make sure what is the most profitable. I know it”s a cliche, but no two days are the same. I”ll sit down with the regional controllers and area managers at the beginning of a financial half and we”ll discuss the plan and then that strategy gets passed on to the decision making body. I just don”t think in many other accountancy roles you get such a level of variety and input, which makes it fantastic.'
Gajen Ganandran is a financial analyst with Aviva, which owns Norwich Union. Aviva is the world's fifth largest insurance group and the biggest in the UK. Gajen has a degree in computing but realised early on in his career the importance of understanding financial data, so he undertook a CIMA qualification. Since then he has travelled to New York and the USA and is hoping to take up an opportunity with Aviva to work overseas, ideally in Singapore.
Tom Pearce is Finance Director of Nintendo UK the global leader in interactive entertainment. Tom did his 'A'-levels in business studies and accountancy. He then took a degree in accounting and finance. From his first job onwards, Tom set about improving his qualifications through CIMA. Tom works in an office full of the latest Nintendo gadgets and games, including the successful Nintendo Wii. From his experience of working within a business, Tom decided that he did not want to be a 'traditional' accountant. “I wanted to apply my skills to a commercial setting. I chose CIMA because it was recognised globally and the most geared to the business environment.”
In the same year that Tom qualified with CIMA, he was offered the role at Nintendo, starting the UK side of the Japanese company from scratch. In a short time he became Financial Director, responsible for decisions affecting sales of over £600 million.
Sharon Bhachu found CIMA”s support invaluable in her job at Cadbury Schweppes. She is a CIMA Training Co-ordinator and one of the key players in the relationship between Cadbury Schweppes and CIMA. Cadbury Schweppes is a CIMA Training Quality Partner. Sharon”s job includes the evaluation of new product ranges, deciding on promotions and working on seasonal ranges for Easter and Christmas. She even decides which products should go into a selection box. 'I”m loving every minute working with current brands and developing insight for the future'.