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Agnieszka Gościniak, ACMA, CGMA, PMP

Cost and Progress Manager, Nokia

Do you think that continuous learning is important in your career?

Continuous learning for professional growth is a must. Traditional learning is either though ‘on the job’ training, or by choosing educational path.
My initial career path led through the roles of: Finance Analyst, Cost Management Lead, and Finance Manager. I recognised early on the importance of continuous learning for my personal and professional growth. I truly believe it is beneficial to be an expert in your role. However, nowadays, in fast growing and changing business environment, it is even more important to expand the comfort zone of one area of expertise.

For me, CIMA was certainly a great choice to expand my horizons. It enabled me to see the bigger picture and understand how all aspects of the business fit together, because CIMA covers many business areas, not only Financial Management, but also HR, Operational, Performance, Risk and Strategic Management.

During CIMA studies I gained the understanding of project management concepts which helped me to change my career focus. From Finance Management role I moved to the Project Controlling role. Furthermore, I developed my project management knowledge and obtained PMP certification. Moreover, since I became a CIMA Member, I have been supported with professional development and provided with valuable resources and networking opportunities. 

How would you describe CIMA certification?

CIMA qualification is a credential that is globally known within the Managerial Accounting profession. Having CIMA qualification opens worldwide job market, as it ensures quality education with a focus on practical knowledge.

CIMA is well recognised and appreciated by forward thinking employers. During my journey of obtaining CIMA credentials, I felt greatly supported by my employer.

What skills are critical during CIMA exams?

CIMA exams encourage critical thinking and practical application of the curriculum. 

There is an emphasis on the interpretation of the financial statements, understanding the story beyond the data and finding the underlying cause, so that the analysis is more meaningful for decision making process. 

What are the biggest challenges in management accounting role you see in next 5 years?

The biggest challenges in Management Accounting within next 5 years that we need to be prepared for are uncertainty, constant change and flood of information.
Therefore, in order to be successful, we need to develop the following: adaptability, diverse skillset and data-driven effective decision making.

Change can be overwhelming and it creates anxiety. I find it essential that we develop positive approach and learn how to explore opportunities with an open and curious mind. Employers will need smart and adaptive employees in the future.

A huge amount of information is a big challenge as well. New technology such as digitalization, Artificial Intelligence, new generation ERP, is bringing a lot of opportunities to financial organisations. We have to utilise new technology which supports us to absorb that information. Machines help us work efficiently, and humans impact effectiveness though decision making process. 

Skills diversity is critical in our professional development​, especially in the innovative and fast changing environments. We are all preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and it might be essential to expand subject matters skills more into consultancy, to help the business leaders in decision making. 

The future of your management accounting profession is…

 … about complex problem solving, critical thinking, cognitive flexibility and emotional intelligence. Soft skills and creativity will play an increasingly important role, I believe. 

The technology is driving changes in the accounting and finance world. It impacts human behaviour and our productivity. I work in high-tech/telecom industry and automation is a huge enabler for us: we focus on efficiency now. We want to do less repetitive tasks and focus on value creation, so e.g. AI is introduced. 

Industry 4.0 and digital transformation will increase productivity. If we want to come along, we need to redesign, automate processes, or to explore more innovation to enhance the way we do things to improve customer experience.