CIMA: A necessary addition for high-level executives
Source: AETOS Wire for CIMA , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Mon October 1, 2018 5:57 pm

UAE. -- (AETOSWire) -- Deepa Tekchandani is not your average high achiever. As Director of Finance with JRG Dubai, a global restaurant management company, she is used to juggling several work projects at once and delivering on her deadlines.

Small wonder then, that this mother of two took up the challenge of sitting for her Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) qualification during one of her busiest periods, and passed it with aplomb.

“One of my kids had their term examinations at school, and this required me to juggle my work and family at the same time. Better yet, the CIMA examination was also at the same time,” laughs Deepa from Dubai. “It was a struggle but well worth all the efforts when I received my Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation.”

The mom of two began her career as a customer service executive in Microslit Instruments Pvt Ltd in India back in 1995, before rising up the ranks to where she is today. Life threw her an opportunity to go to Dubai for work as an F&B cashier within the finance department of Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts, and she chose to take it up.

After 20 years in hospitality finance, she currently leads a group that has an F&B portfolio of a global franchise and 8 owned brands that includes high-end, premium casual, casual dining venues and lounges. That comprises more than 15 signature venues and international franchises in the F&B industry.

Deepa is proud of her career journey, and credits her early career change to the hospitality industry as her entry to finance. “Today, my responsibilities include appraising projects for return on investment, operating and opening new restaurants, and partnering the executive team to define and implement business strategy in line with the parent company’s vision,” she says.

In her 20 years of working, she has had many milestones, which includes opening 5 F&B outlets within a timeframe of 3 months, and centralising the finance functions across 4 different business units. It was this vast experience that allowed her to undertake the CIMA qualification via the C-suite programme. The C-suite programme is open to senior management and executives such as CEOs and CFOs with 10 years’ of experience to do the highest level of the CIMA qualification, the Strategic Level, so that they could quickly obtain their CGMA designation.

Deepa felt that the CIMA qualification was a necessary addition to her CV. “My academic qualification was related to engineering. Though I was good with numbers, I was lacking the knowledge of standard accounting principles. This was because I had gained my knowledge based on work experience,” she explains.

“But at a senior level, I felt the need to acquire professional finance certification. My reporting manager recommended CIMA and I explored more. Then I discovered it was the right solution for my needs,” Deepa says.

Being a professional paper, the CIMA qualification did not require full-time study such as a university-based course. Deepa appreciates this greatly as it allowed her to work and study simultaneously, while boosting her professional credibility.

“Studying with CIMA acted as a catalyst in my career growth, and more importantly, it allowed me to apply technical knowledge to my role,” she says. “I am now able to get an understanding of appraising a project holistically, and from there, make sound strategic decisions for the business.”

Having work experience also helped Deepa to approach the CIMA qualification better. “Understanding a case study isn’t just about finance or taxation alone. There is also the human element of human relations,” she says. “Passing the examination is a combination using my work experience, studying and a good dose of common sense.”

Taking the CIMA qualification has already benefitted Deepa in some aspects of her work. She says that CIMA equipped her with the acumen to make strategic decisions after being given an overview of the big picture, which is relevant to her current work as the company is in an expansion phase.

“In my work, we manage different franchises, and all of us have limitation in terms of capital,” she explains. “How do you decide which project to invest in with the limited funds? CIMA helps me identify which is the right recommendation, because once you invest in something, you can’t back out.”

Now that she has attained her designation, life goes on for Deepa. Her children are growing up fast, and she has career goals to achieve. “In the next 5 years, I see myself in the role of Vice President, managing the hotels or overall portfolio of restaurants in the holding company, managing international franchise brands,” she says.

“For me, I want to continue to work hard and sharpen my saw by continuous learning and development. This is one of CIMA’s mottos as well – commitment to lifelong learning.”

Photo Caption:  Deepa Tekchandan, Director of Finance with JRG Dubai (Photo: AETOSWire)

About The Association
The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association) is the most influential body of professional accountants, combining the strengths of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) to power opportunity, trust and prosperity for people, businesses and economies worldwide. It represents 667,000 members and students in public and management accounting and advocates for the public interest and business sustainability on current and emerging issues. With broad reach, rigor and resources, the Association advances the reputation, employability and quality of CPAs, CGMAs and accounting and finance professionals globally.

About CIMA
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), founded in 1919, is the world’s leading and largest professional body of management accountants, with members and students operating in 177 countries, working at the heart of business. CIMA members and students work in industry, commerce, and the public sector and not-for-profit organisations. CIMA works closely with employers and sponsors leading-edge research, constantly updating its qualification, professional experience requirements and continuing professional development to ensure it remains the employers’ choice when recruiting financially-trained business leaders.

About CGMA
CGMA is the most widely held management accounting designation in the world. It distinguishes more than 150,000 accounting and finance professionals who have advanced proficiency in finance, operations, strategy and management. In the U.S., the vast majority are also CPAs.  The CGMA designation is underpinned by extensive global research to maintain the highest relevance with employers and develop competencies most in demand. CGMAs qualify through rigorous education, exam and experience requirements. They must commit to lifelong education and adhere to a stringent code of ethical conduct. Businesses, governments and nonprofits around the world trust CGMAs to guide critical decisions that drive strong performance.



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