CPA Versus CMA With IMA President Jeff Thomson

Blake sits down with Jeff Thomson at the Institute of Management Accountants Texas Council Conference to talk about the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation and how it compares to the CPA license. We learn that public accounting is no longer the only starting point in this profession, and that's one reason why the IMA opposes changes to the college accounting curriculum that may eliminate or reduce management accounting and cost accounting courses. Discover what it takes to become a CMA and the impact it can have on your career.

Blake Oliver: [00:00:05] Hey, there, fellow podcast listeners, my name is Blake Oliver. I'm a certified public accountant and, like many of you, I'm required to get continuing professional education credits every year to keep my license active. How do I get those credits? By going to conferences, going to webinars ... What I can't do is listen to podcasts, and that has frustrated me, which is why I've created a new app.

Blake Oliver: [00:00:26] It's called Earmark CPE, and it will allow you to get continuing professional education credits for listening to your favorite accounting and tax podcasts, podcasts like this one, the Earmark Accounting Podcast, and The Cloud Accounting Podcast. The app is launching soon, so sign up for early access by going to EarmarkCPE.com or click the link in the show notes. That's EarmarkCPE.com. Earmark - free your CPE.

Blake Oliver: [00:00:59] Welcome to Earmark, I'm your host, Blake Oliver, and my guest is Jeffrey Thomson, CMA, and President and CEO of IMA, the Institute of Management Accountants. We are here in San Antonio at the IMA Texas Council Conference.

Jeff Thomson: [00:01:18] That's right.

Blake Oliver: [00:01:18] I got it right?

Jeff Thomson: [00:01:19] Yep, Texas Council Event. Absolutely right, Blake.

Blake Oliver: [00:01:21] Wonderful. I think it's been maybe two years since I've been out on the road doing any sort of podcast interviews, so thank you for being my first during-COVID, post-COVID ... I don't even know what to call this time period that we're in.

Jeff Thomson: [00:01:33] Let's hope it's post-COVID.

Blake Oliver: [00:01:36] When I was going back to take my accounting classes and get my CPA, I'm trying to think if I was aware of the CMA. I'm not sure I was made aware of it. It wasn't on my radar- Certified Management Accountant, I should say, for those who may not be familiar. As opposed to the Certified Public Accountant license, the CMA is a certificate run by IMA, which is a U.S.-based organization. How does it compare in terms of membership and what you do with it, in the context of people who might be familiar with the CPA license?

Jeff Thomson: [00:02:15] CPA is a state license administered by the state boards of accountancy. It is very much focused- by the way, the CPA exam is an esteemed exam. It is not competitive at all with the CMA. It's just a different body of knowledge. The CPA exam focuses primarily on audit, attestation, compliance, statutory reporting, financial standards - what we call financial accounting, or often called public accounting, where you could become an auditor, or be in a CPA firm, whether it's a Big Four, or down market.

Jeff Thomson: [00:02:52] The CMA is a certification, but it's not required to file taxes, or to do audits, or anything of that sort, like an enrolled agent, or a CPA for audits. CMA is- we think of it as a global passport. We administer one CMA exam around the world; a two-part exam focused on 12 individual areas of competency; six each in the two-part CMA exam. It's the same objective standard around the world.

Jeff Thomson: [00:03:23] It's rigorous, it's robust. It's relevant to those who are not only in positions in finance and accounting that help protect value, but also aspire to be in positions to create value - business cases, funding analysis, innovation. Those who aspire to become CFOs need to have background in both financial accounting - more of the retrospective view - and managerial accounting - more of the prospective, forward-looking view of value creation.

Blake Oliver: [00:03:58] If I'm a student, and I am thinking about what do I want to do with my career, maybe my professors are saying CPA is it? I feel like that is the only path, a lot of the time. Maybe that's a little old fashioned. I know that more and more students are going straight into industry, going to work for companies, not necessarily going to work for public accounting firms. It doesn't have to be 'the Big Four, and that's it' anymore.

Jeff Thomson: [00:04:29] Right. We, as members of the profession, the aggregate profession of accounting, need to do a better job at telling the story of a profession that makes a difference and a profession that is multifaceted. There are so many pathways, different entry points. We have to all commit to doing that. I think we have an obligation to doing that because I think the relevance of our profession is at stake, and I'll describe that in a moment.

Jeff Thomson: [00:05:00] You're absolutely right because the CPA is well known, as it should be, and well regarded. It is not the only pathway. It is not the only starting point. Something like 75 percent of entry level public accountants, who start out in public accounting, within three, to four, or five years, 75 percent of them find their way into industry, doing financial-planning analysis, doing enterprise risk management, doing various levels of decision support - the value-creation activities, strategy type activities that require a financial aspect to it.

Jeff Thomson: [00:05:40] There's a talent gap because of that preparation, that lack of preparation. That's the void that we help to fill, from a management accountancy perspective, whether you start out in industry or wind your way into industry, you're probably going to work in industry at some point along the pathway.

Blake Oliver: [00:06:00] I think that bears repeating that we are educating accountants in our accounting programs in audit, and tax. It seems like a heavy emphasis on that. At least it was when I took it, and that wasn't that long ago. We go into public accounting, we achieve our goal, and we make the Big Four, but only 25 five percent last more than a few years. The rest of us say, "No, thanks," for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it's overwork. Sometimes, it's just that's the nature of how those firms are designed

Jeff Thomson: [00:06:34] Not having the belief that you can get on that partner track.

Blake Oliver: [00:06:40] It's up or out, right?

Jeff Thomson: [00:06:41] It's up or out, right.

Blake Oliver: [00:06:42] You end up going into industry, into a company. Then, do you necessarily have the skills that you need to succeed there? You kind of have to start over or you have to go all the way back to-

Jeff Thomson: [00:06:53] Or the company has to train you. It's a preparation gap. That's why we've been working- IMA has been working with local chapters, colleges, and universities literally around the world to build in management-accounting curriculum into the overarching accounting curriculum because there is, and there always has been a preparation gap; a big gap between what is taught and what is actually required in industry, or even in an advisory firm.

Jeff Thomson: [00:07:27] Especially with the infusion of data analytics, and data science, and strategy management over the years into our profession, which we also cover on the CMA exam, it is even more important that we work together as an ecosystem to teach what is actually done, in practice, in the real world.

Blake Oliver: [00:07:52] It seems kind of obvious when you say it that we should be teaching accountants-

Jeff Thomson: [00:07:57] What accountants do-

Blake Oliver: [00:07:58] What accountants do, yes.

Jeff Thomson: [00:07:59] Not what they did 10, or 20, or 30 years ago. Not that I'm a swimmer, but I like to think of it as different swim lanes. When I started out in industry, in the profession, the CFO was primarily in the accounting swim lane; statutory reporting, financial standards, audit, attestation, compliance - critically important foundation for any business.

Jeff Thomson: [00:08:22] But over time, because of that central role of being responsible for the cash flow of the organization, and cash is king, we've added many, many swim lanes to the role of the CFO for businesses small and large. We've added finance. We've added, to a large extent, operations. There are fewer COOs around than there used to be because the CFO kind of does a lot of that now. We added technology; we added strategy. It's not that one person, or one office can be totally expert in all those domains, but today's CFO in industry, today's CMA has to be fluent because that is the way value flows in an organization.

Jeff Thomson: [00:09:03] The interdisciplinary nature of those knowledge domains, how they're taught, undergraduate, perhaps as separate silos, is problematic for the way it really works in industry. Today, to be strong in FP&A - financial planning, and analysis, budgeting, forecasting, sensitivity analysis, scenario-planning simulations - data analytics is critical; statistics as critical; computer coding is critical.

Blake Oliver: [00:09:33] We didn't do any of that when I was studying accounting.

Jeff Thomson: [00:09:36] That's the point. That's the point.

Blake Oliver: [00:09:38] That's the problem, right?

Jeff Thomson: [00:09:38] If the rate of change of the technology is exceeding the rate of change of our ability to absorb and apply it, from a skill set perspective, then we're losing the race for relevance as a profession.

Blake Oliver: [00:09:51] That may be why I see this stat crop up every now and then that something like 30 percent of CFOs are CPAs these days. It's declined dramatically, like you said-

Jeff Thomson: [00:10:02] Right, it has. It has. More and more CFOs have MBAs. The way I like to refer to the CFO position, and the CFO team - it's not just the CFO - is you need technical-accounting depth with business-operations breadth. So, for credibility purposes, I don't think you can get away being a CFO without knowing some accounting, some controllership type of accounting,

Blake Oliver: [00:10:28] You need to be able to open up the hood and understand what's going on with the journal entry-

Jeff Thomson: [00:10:34] With the journal entries, with the transactions, with the bank recs, and all that kind of stuff. Now, for one thing, you need to know how to hire the right people. You have to be able to ask the right questions. You have to be able to embrace a culture of challenge, and you can't do that if you don't have that credibility.

Jeff Thomson: [00:10:51] That's the technical accounting depth that a CFO - a future fit CFO - has, but it's also that breadth of business operations, the knowledge of how not just cash flows, but value flows, which means that interdisciplinary nature of those knowledge domains that a CFO has to have today - strategy, technology, operations, supply chain, finance, of course - critically, critically important.

Jeff Thomson: [00:11:17] In fact, some have referred to the CFO as the chief futures officer. Some have referred to the CFO as the chief value officer. I'm okay with that, but we also can't lose our roots, as being responsible for the official financial position of the organization, in terms of income statement, balance sheet, sources, and uses of funds, and things like that.

Jeff Thomson: [00:11:41] It's great that we're involved in all the hot new things - the data analytics, the simulations, and the big data, and all that kind of stuff. Critically important that we be relevant for the future and be able to attract students, millennials, into our profession, that it actually is an exciting profession because you could paint a picture of our profession being pretty dull, boring, and going nowhere; in fact, sliding into oblivion.

Jeff Thomson: [00:12:09] If you say, "Well, accountants just count the beans; they don't help sprout the beans," which is, of course, what we also do. Robots are taking over lower-end transaction-oriented with bots, and robotics process automation. Then we say we're going to make it up with higher-value jobs. Well, how, unless we acquire those skills?

Blake Oliver: [00:12:30] What creates the value? You said one of those things that resonated, which was FP&A - actually being able to forecast, and budget, and project where an organization is headed. I like to think about it as forecasting the financial statements, so we're not just looking backwards. We don't really learn how to do that, at this point.

Blake Oliver: [00:12:54] Let's talk about education. Actually, before we do that, there's one other kind of strange thing about our profession that I just want to get your take on. I always thought it was strange that the default career path is I study for five years. I go into public accounting, and I'm auditing companies, but I've never produced a set of financial statements before, and yet I'm supposed to check the work of others? People should be going into industry, learning how to do this stuff, doing it, and then auditing.

Jeff Thomson: [00:13:28] First of all, there are so many different career paths. Starting out in industry, and moving into audit, or public accounting-

Blake Oliver: [00:13:39] I mean, that just doesn't happen, though.

Jeff Thomson: [00:13:39] -doesn't seem to happen. Obviously, whether it was the company that I grew up in, AT&T, or now. At IMA, clearly you want to have an experienced auditor because otherwise it results in redundant testing, redundant controls, redundant documentation, non-value-added activity. When you have an inexperienced auditor, first assignment, or an early assignment, or first industry vertical with some of the nuances of that vertical, we don't have time, in a fast-moving business environment, for non-value-added work.

Jeff Thomson: [00:14:19] Now, it's not to say the- obviously, the audit is critically important. Compliance is critically important, but customers/members are in need of education, and training, and certification. That's where the value is. That's where the value creation comes about. We don't have time to waste time, or money on redundancy.

Jeff Thomson: [00:14:42] I think about Sarbanes-Oxley, and internal controls, the built-in redundancy of the auditors, and management testing, and retesting, and thousands of key controls in the early days of SOX. How can you have thousands of key controls? That is non-value-added work, quite frankly.

Blake Oliver: [00:15:02] It's one of those acts- I don't know if it was specifically SOX that was described this way - maybe it was - the "Accountants Full Employment Act" ... That was the TCJA. The idea is that the more laws that we have, the more compliance we have, the more jobs we have guaranteed, but it's not the most fun work, or interesting, anyway.

Jeff Thomson: [00:15:22] No, no. Again, I think what makes our profession attractive, if we were able to describe it and tell the story, is that it really is a profession with multiple start points, multiple pathways, and multiple endpoints. It doesn't have to be CFO or controller. It could be in a bigger company. It could be a unit CFO, or a subsidiary, or a product line CFO, or controller.

Jeff Thomson: [00:15:51] We have a lot of CMAs who are actually not even in the finance and accounting function; they're in supply chain; operations supply chain type positions. We've got to describe the profession in terms of 2021, 2030, 2040, not 1968, or 1980, or when SOX was born - 2002, 2003?

Blake Oliver: [00:16:20] I don't remember. I was still in high school, perhaps.

Jeff Thomson: [00:16:24] Yeah, I think SOX was-

Blake Oliver: [00:16:27] It's kind of amazing to think that Enron fell, what, over 20 years ago now?

Jeff Thomson: [00:16:34] One of our big competitors at T was MCI WorldCom. They fell soon thereafter, I think. I think they followed Enron because of fraudulent financial reporting. Look, sometimes it may not be the sexiest work in the world - audit, tax compliance, statutory reporting - but it is work that makes a difference and that some people enjoy. There are a lot of folks that enjoy working the details, the numbers, and the number crunching. It's not for everybody ...

Jeff Thomson: [00:17:09] The point is that there's that plus so much more that is more driven by professional judgment, by analytics, by scenarios, by uncertainty. When you think about COVID and the work that CFOs had to do to keep their balance sheets strong and manage through uncertainty, that's what the accounting profession is all about, in its entirety.

Blake Oliver: [00:17:35] Let's talk about education and how we can maybe fix it. There was a little bit of a kerfuffle, I think it was earlier this year - if that's the right word, kerfuffle - between the IMA, and the AICPA about the educational model that goes with this CPA Evolution project.

Blake Oliver: [00:17:54] CPA Evolution, for those who aren't familiar, is this change that's happening to the CPA exam and the curriculum to supposedly modernize it. I believe - correct me, if I'm wrong - that the point of contention revolved around whether or not managerial, and cost accounting would be lost as part of the curriculum.

Blake Oliver: [00:18:15] I'm curious to know, since that happened, has there been an update? How do you feel about the CPA Evolution, and how is that going to impact the accounting profession? I guess I'm asking you this because, even though the IMA is not responsible for the CPA, what happens with the CPA impacts the IMA a lot because it determines how colleges and universities teach, since they tend to teach to the CPA exam, right?

Jeff Thomson: [00:18:42] Right.

Blake Oliver: [00:18:42] So, what is going on there?

Jeff Thomson: [00:18:44] Let's keep the end in mind here and, just for a moment, keep the kerfuffle - is that the word?

Blake Oliver: [00:18:53] Kerfuffle, yes.

Jeff Thomson: [00:18:54] Disagreement ... These fancy words. Do you get them from California? Is that a California word?

Blake Oliver: [00:18:58] I don't know.

Jeff Thomson: [00:18:59] We don't use words like that in Jersey. We use other words, but-

Blake Oliver: [00:19:05] Other words that we can't say on the podcast?

Jeff Thomson: [00:19:06] Yeah, we don't want to say it on the podcast. If you keep the organizations and their credentials on the sidelines for just a moment, I do applaud- I may applaud both AICPA, and NASBA for their transformative efforts to say, "Hey, you know what? We need to prepare for the future of the profession versus what it was." We give them a lot of credit for undertaking such a massive, massive change.

Jeff Thomson: [00:19:35] That said, there are two broad concerns that we respectfully shared with the leaders of AICPA, and NASBA. One is we believe there's a different endgame. The end game, as we understand it, from CPA Evolution is to better prepare the entry level public accountant, the entry level CPA.

Jeff Thomson: [00:19:56] We believe the end in mind should be to prepare all kinds of accountants for enriching, diverse, global types of careers, which could be public accounting, could be financial accounting, could be industry, could be nonprofit, could be so many ... We think it's much broader than the entry level public accountant.

Jeff Thomson: [00:20:17] The second concern is the one you hit on. When we had the opportunity to review the model curriculum, we saw lack of breadth and depth in managerial, and cost accounting, which we believe are essential, if you're in a firm, big or small, if you're in public, if you're in private, if you're in industry. It concerned us.

Jeff Thomson: [00:20:41] One way that many entry level students learn about the other part of the profession - managerial accounting, the value creation part - is through their CPA pathway because they've never heard of the other alternatives and choices. If the management-accounting content is significantly reduced, we are no longer exposing students to potential complementary, alternative, sequential careers. That's our basic concern, and we think that's a great risk to the profession - beyond IMA, beyond CMA, beyond AICPA, beyond the CPA exam. Does that make sense?

Blake Oliver: [00:21:26] It does. One of the things that disappointed me a bit with the CPA Evolution project was there was nothing around the 150-hour requirement that we have as CPAs now, which is, you basically have to get a fifth year of education before you can even sit for the exam.

Blake Oliver: [00:21:43] As a career changer myself, it was irritating - that's a generous word, irritating - to have to go back to school to take classes that weren't even in accounting, just so that I could have enough credits to sit for an exam. That's been a point of contention. It's been brought up numerous times, when people ask, "Is it too hard to get the CPA?" That's been a theme over the last few years, perhaps - is it too hard to become a CPA, given that we have some declining numbers?

Blake Oliver: [00:22:13] I think this is well known that fewer people are sitting for the exam. We've had a decline. A lot of CPAs are baby boomers and are retiring. So, what are we going to do? How are we going to get more of them? It leads me to a question, which is: how hard is it to get the CMA, by comparison? If I wanted to go become a CMA today, as a CPA, or somebody who's studied accounting, what would I have to do to do that?

Jeff Thomson: [00:22:39] Structurally, the CMA exam is two parts; two-part exam. Each part has multiple-choice questions, and open-ended questions that are required to synthesize a business problem, etc. Each of the two parts has six different knowledge domains, or content areas, including ethics, including risk management, internal controls.

Jeff Thomson: [00:23:03] When we put the CMA body of knowledge, and the 12 knowledge domains in front of CFOs, heads of supply chain, corporate controllers, it resonates. They say, "These are the skills that I need, and, in many cases, these are skills or competencies that we're lacking." We just minted our - I think, as you know - our 100,000th CMA.

Blake Oliver: [00:23:25] Congratulations.

Jeff Thomson: [00:23:25] Thank you. We're very, very proud of that. Number 100,000 was a professional from Qatar, or Qatar, if you prefer. It shows how truly global we are. The global pass rate is about 50 percent.

Blake Oliver: [00:23:42] What's the education requirement?

Jeff Thomson: [00:23:44] The education requirement is a bachelor's degree in any field.

Blake Oliver: [00:23:48] Any field, okay.

Jeff Thomson: [00:23:49] Any field.

Blake Oliver: [00:23:49] Then, there's a work-experience requirement?

Jeff Thomson: [00:23:52] There's a two-year work-experience requirement. So, to become a CMA, you have to pass the two-part exam with a global pass rate of around 50, maybe 55 percent, at the high end, and a two-year experience requirement.

Blake Oliver: [00:24:06] How long do people generally study for the exam?

Jeff Thomson: [00:24:08] It varies - six to 18 months.

Blake Oliver: [00:24:12] Kind of comparable to the CPA exam. We have this 18-month window where you have to take all four exams, I believe. Do you have that for the CMA?

Jeff Thomson: [00:24:21] I believe we have a three-year window; three years from the time you register for the first exam. I'd also like to add that we have only one, which we're proud of, actually, one add-on certification. Meaning, once your CMA, you also have access to a second certification called CSCA - Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis. You're like, "What the heck? We're a freaking accounting association here. What are we doing? Strategy? MBA type stuff?" [CROSSTALK]

Blake Oliver: [00:24:54] Like you said, that's important.

Jeff Thomson: [00:24:55] Well, whether you're a CFO in a large company and at the table, as part of the C-suite, or in a smaller company, where the CFO wears many hats, including strategy ... Our CFO at IMA, for example, Russ Porter, who just recently retired from IBM as a financial executive, he heads up our strategy as the CFO of the organization. That's where our profession has come.

Jeff Thomson: [00:25:21] When you think about it, wow, I can apply my technical, quantitative background to some really cool, exciting things - the strategy of the organization; dealing with disruption; trying to create the next best product or service that will not only change the world, but preempt competition, and help us deal with the uncertainties of climate, and pandemics, and typhoons, and environmental factors that have now become top of mind from a risk-management perspective. That's what our great profession has become.

Jeff Thomson: [00:25:59] There's not a standard for how to deal with the future. There's a standard for how to deal with the past, whether it's U.S. GAAP, or IFRS, but that's where judgment comes into play. That's where innovation, creativity, talking to futurists, technologists, like yourself ... I mean, those are things that today's CFO, and finance, and accounting teams do, you know?

Blake Oliver: [00:26:21] Well, it certainly sounds exciting, so sign me up. I might have to take three years to get through the exams. I'm not sure exactly where I'll get the work experience, but we'll figure it out.

Jeff Thomson: [00:26:33] I think the average, though, is 12 to 18 months ...

Blake Oliver: [00:26:38] So, I've just got to get a job in industry, and then start taking the exams, and I could do it in 18 months.

Jeff Thomson: [00:26:43] Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:26:44] That's good to know. I think, if you have the CMA, the salary bump is quite good, comparable to the CPA. Actually, if you have both, it's even better, right?

Jeff Thomson: [00:26:53] If you have our March 2021- we do an annual salary survey, and the March 2021 survey indicated that CMAs, on average, earn 58 percent more in median pay than non-CMAs, which-

Blake Oliver: [00:27:11] That's quite a lot.

Jeff Thomson: [00:27:12] Yeah, which is ... Now, as a statistician, correlation is not cause and effect, but it's data. It's data. I mean, that is a fact. CMAs in the cohort sampled, which was statistically significant, earned 58 percent more. It varies by age, by, certainly, part of the world, and other criteria, but that's a pretty nice - whatever you want to call it - differential.

Blake Oliver: [00:27:36] You are a data scientist by trade.

Jeff Thomson: [00:27:40] Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:27:41] You've been doing it so long that it was before they even called it data science, right?

Jeff Thomson: [00:27:45] Exactly.

Blake Oliver: [00:27:45] You got your start at AT&T. I appreciate that qualification there, in the data-

Jeff Thomson: [00:27:50] We were just mathematicians, OR experts, econometricians. The analytical support that is needed in organizations, today, is exponentially more than it was when I started out an industry a few years ago - a few decades ago, actually - because the world has become so much more complicated, so much more uncertain, so much disrupted. A lot of it's positive. A lot of it is ... Technology disruption is a great thing, actually, but make no mistake about it, it means fewer accounting jobs in the more routine, repeatable tasks in audit, compliance, statutory reporting.

Blake Oliver: [00:28:33] I have a theory that this automation that you're talking about of the routine work could end up changing the whole model of the standard career path because why have we needed so many staff accountants in public accounting for so long?

Jeff Thomson: [00:28:49] Right.

Blake Oliver: [00:28:50] It's because a lot of that routine work in collecting data for audits, and processing data, and getting a tax return put together requires people pushing numbers around but not using a whole lot of-

Jeff Thomson: [00:29:01] Insight.

Blake Oliver: [00:29:01] Insight, or discretion, right?

Jeff Thomson: [00:29:03] Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:29:03] It's sort of a devil's bargain, where you go there for a few years, you do that routine work for a fairly low salary. You get trained, and experienced, theoretically, and then you go to the promised land of 40-hour work weeks-

Jeff Thomson: [00:29:19] Right.

Blake Oliver: [00:29:20] Industry, right?

Jeff Thomson: [00:29:20] Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:29:20] But if they don't need that anymore, then where do people go when they graduate? Do you agree we'll have more people go into industry in the future?

Jeff Thomson: [00:29:28] I think so, but they have to go into industry prepared.

Blake Oliver: [00:29:34] That brings us back to the education discussion.

Jeff Thomson: [00:29:36] That brings us back to that cycle, that ecosystem of education, preparation ... There's always going to be room for building your experience and learning as you go. There are corporate training programs; there are certifications, of course, in supply chain, and project management, not just accounting, and finance. We need to transform the arguably archaic accounting-education infrastructure.

Blake Oliver: [00:30:10] Jeff, thank you so much for your time. If people want to get in touch with you and learn more about the CMA, about the IMA, where would you recommend they go?

Jeff Thomson: [00:30:20] I'm all over social media. Our website: www.imanet.org. We're a very inclusive organization. You actually don't have to be certified to be a member, although most of our members are certified. We're growing, and we really think we are making a difference.

Jeff Thomson: [00:30:41] I think that should be exciting to millennials, especially as we get into non-financial reporting, and ESG beyond the tangibles, the intangibles of reputation, and trust, relationships, innovation, talent. How do you measure those things? How do you measure their value to the corporation, to the planet? Environmental factors-

Blake Oliver: [00:31:06] I didn't even have time to ask you about all the sustainability reporting-

Jeff Thomson: [00:31:09] Yeah, the sustainability reporting - sustainable business management, we call it. This is not your mother's, or father's, grandfather's, or grandmother's accounting. This is a profession that is at the forefront of societal, and organizational change, and transformation, and it really is an exciting profession.

Blake Oliver: [00:31:35] I hope you enjoyed this episode of Earmark, hosted by me, Blake Oliver. I hope you learned something, too. If you did, wouldn't it be nice to earn CPE credit for it? I have some good news for you. Soon, you can.

Blake Oliver: [00:31:48] Visit EarmarkCPE.com to sign up for early access when the Earmark CPE app launches later this year. Earmark CPE is my mobile app that will offer NASBA-approved CPE credits for educational courses built around podcast episodes. Soon, you'll be able to listen to your favorite accounting, and tax podcasts, and get CPE credit. Visit EarmarkCPE.com to learn more.

CPA Versus CMA With IMA President Jeff Thomson
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