Thursday, January 31, 2008


What are the expectations from the modern day accountants? As everything else evolves, accounting professionals face greater demands from their careers as they progress to fully develop their potentials. The broadening roles of accountants forces them to be more flexible and competent. As these changes create pressure on the profession, they also open vast opportunities for accountants to explore. These opportunities vary from various sectors offering them more choices and flexibility. But how can a modern accountant stay in pace in today's very competitive world? Various options lay before them to keep their value through taking up the traditional post graduate study programs and through emerging and becoming popular international certifications.

Post graduate study programs

One of the ways to keep and enhance the accountant's value is through further studies or achieving higher educational level. These includes taking up Masters in Accountancy, MS Finance, MS Economics, Bachelor of Laws, PhD and the very popular MBA studies. Accountants can also choose to pursue information technology as modern accountants are exposed and are using computer-aided systems. In fact they should have at least a basic knowledge on information technology in order for them to stay in pace.


As accountants progress through their careers, further certification and specialization are very essential and this will all depend on the accountant's interest. Examples of these certifications that are available to accounting professional are summarized below.

Internal Audit. The CIA or Certified Internal Auditor certification is the most prestigious in internal auditing world. This is given by the Institute of Internal Auditors and requires the candidate to take the CIA exam and pass it in order to be granted the title. There are around 47,000 CIAs around the world with roles such as Senior Internal Auditor, Internal Auditor, Auditor, VP – Internal Audit, Information Systems Auditor and Controller (Financial).

Management Accounting. Another option for accounting professionals is to pursue the CMA (Certified Management Accountant) and CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) certificates. These certificates requires program completion, studies, exams and relevant work experience to be eligible. The CMA has over 158,000 members and students around the globe and the CIMA certificate has a 23% membership growth in the last 5 years. Career opportunities for these certificates includes the CFO, VP, Director, Accounting Manager, Special Projects Manager, Consultant – Business Process/Management, Management Accountant and Associate Accountant.

Risk Management. Recognized certification in the risk management are the FRM (Financial Risk Manager) which is granted by the GARP (Global Association of risk Professionals) and the PRM (Professional Risk Manager) by the PRMIA (Professional Risk Managers' International Association). Roles include Chief Risk Officer, Derivatives Expert, Senior Credit Manager, Investment Risk Manager, Quantitative Analysts, Enterprise Risk Manager, Risk System and Implementation Consultant.

Forensic Accounting. This exciting path for accountants recognizes the CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner) certificate which requires ACFE membership and the CFE exam. There are 50,000 anti-fraud professional members, of which, more than 20,000 have CFE credentials. Career opportunities include Senior Internal Auditor, Internal Auditor, Controller, VP – Internal Audit, Accounting Manager and Senior Accountant.

Information Systems. Certifications available in this field are the CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) and the CISSP ( Certified Information Systems Security Professional). The CISA certificate is provided by ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association while the CISSP is given by ISC2 (International Information System Security Certification Consortium, Inc. Opportunities include the roles such as CEO, CFO, CAE, Audit Partners/Heads, CIO, CISO, Security Directors, Security Managers and Consultants, Managerial/Consulting positions in IT operations and compliance, Information Systems Auditors, Networking/IT Consultant, Information Security and Risk Manager Officer, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning Consultants, Cryptographer, and Legal, Regulations, Compliance and Investigations Head.

Finance. The CFA certification is highly recognized in the finance world. It has a three-level examination with emphasis on ethical and professional standards given by the CFA Institute. There are 82,000 CFA charter holders in 133 countries and territories. Holders of this charter can choose to play the roles of a CEO/Principal, Investment Counselor, Chief Investment Officer, Investment Firm Manager, Equity Analyst, Portfolio Manager, Fixed Income Analyst, Fund Manager, Chief Financial Officer, Financial Advisors and Trust Officers.

With the changing business environment and increasing complexity, there is no doubt that the opportunities for accountants will become broader as emerging markets and concerns will come our way just like the newly-emerged sustainability accounting. With these, accountants should be prepared to be competitive and continue to add value to the accounting profession in order to remain in pace.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Tequila Party

I’m not fond of alcohol. I don’t even drink for social gatherings. Beside the fact that I’m allergic to it, it’s just that I don’t like it. But last New Year’s eve, I gave in to a dare. My younger sis said tequila hadn’t had an effect on her at 8 shots on her first time. That’s really something coz her friends gave in on the 3rd shot. It somehow made me curious bout my capacity so we went to a convenient store and bought tequila. The one thing we were looking for were not there so we tried another brand. It’s El Hombre Gold tequila 40% alcohol. Gosh it somehow scared me. I wonder if I’ll immediately get dead on the 1st shot hahaha. But anyway, we went home and set our tequila party after 12 midnight. We really don’t have to worry bout our behavior if we get wasted coz we’ll just be showing it at home. So we dressed up and went to church then celebrated the New Year with family at home.

After the midnight salu-salo, the tequila party officially began. My sis told me to get my stomach full with rice so I won’t get intoxicated. But I don’t feel like eating rice I’m so full I couldn’t eat it anymore. And so I went to begin my 1st ever tequila adventure and worry later bout my alcohol allergy attack. I’m not that afraid of it anymore coz I already forgot how it feels hahaha. I had my last allergy years ago. At first it feels awkward doing the tequila thing – the salt and the kalamansi. I wondered why does it have to be that way and I got my answer when I finally took my 1st shot. It was so alcohol and it hurt my mouth a bit – I didn’t like the taste. But on my 2nd shot, I got braver, I know what to expect now. And I was amazed at how fast I’ve learned. The 2nd shot went smoothly down my throat and it blended nicely with the citrus and salt. And for the 1st time, I appreciated it. I went on with my 3rd, 4th and 5th shot and never get dizzy yet. I just like the warm feeling it made to my body. I even like it because it doesn’t have an alcohol after taste or a trace of it when you burp. I was going to take my 6th shot when a fly went straight to the bottle and died instantly there hahaha. I was disappointed. I aimed at surpassing my sis performance on her first time. I’d like to be 1 shot ahead of her and still not dizzy. But then again, I couldn’t drink it anymore, the fly made it yucky. We left the bottle at the table and did something else only to find out later that my uncle took 3 shots of it (not aware of the fly swimming dead in it) and surrendered on the 3rd shot hahaha. That must really be strong. But then, I wasn’t able to truly measure my alcohol tolerance with that incident so I’ll do it some other time with my dorm mates or my sisters again and cousins. I left that thing for future fun and went to bed. And what I dreaded has happened I woke up with my skin swelling, itchy and so red. This is the price I have to pay for the fun the night before. Not so worth it though coz my purpose of doing it was not sufficed and I’ll have to do it again and go through this itchy allergy again.