March 5,1998

Mangement accountants eduacted while they work

Barbara Black

A group of 19 students have been working in a new program in the Faculty of Commerce and Administration this semester.
The CMA executive program was developed as a joint venture between Concordia and the Order of Certified Management Accountants of Quebec (Ordre des comptables en management accredites du Quebec) to address the needs of managers already launched on their careers who want to develop their expertise and possibly earn professional status.
The program is aimed at professionals who have been working in the field for at least five years. It is suitable for holders of MBA and engineering degrees, and can put them on a fast-track to the professional designation of CMA.
A graduate certificate program of seven courses is offered on Saturdays for 14 months, beginning each January, ending in February of the following year. Professor George Kanaan, who is Chair of the Accountancy Department, said the 19 students come from a variety of backgrounds, and have an average of 13 years of work experience.
"A number of them have a BComm with a major in Accountancy or Finance. There are others with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in subjects like Political Science, and one with a BFA in Cinema. But they are all working in management or accounting positions, and they have all upgraded their skills while they were working, with courses in Continuing education, for example."
A conventional student usually becomes a CMA by taking the appropriate undergraduate courses as part of his or her Bachelor of Commerce program, and then writes an examination set by the CMA Order, with the option of preparatory coaching for the exam. The graduates of this executive program will be able to sit for the exam, as well. Certified management accountants (CMA) tend to work in industry, while certified general accountants (CGA) are more likely to work in the public sector. Aspiring chartered accountants (CA) require a year of graduate study in the Diploma of Accountancy program, and then sit for the four-day uniform final exam.
Kanaan said the program could accommodate a few more students than it has now, but he wants to keep classes small. Sixty students enrolled in this program when it was introduced at the Universite du Quebec a Montreal in January 1996.
Universite Laval, like Concordia, began to offer it this January. Like most university programs, it is subsidized by the government, but the Order markets it in the business world and recruits new students. The memorandum of an agreement between Concordia and the CMA Order that was signed on February 25 stipulates that the Order will cover any deficit if enrolment falls below the break-even level.    -BB

Copyright 1998 Thursday Report
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