A deep dive into the benefits of apprenticeships in the accounting industry, mainly those offered by AICPA & CIMA, which launched its Registered Apprenticeship for Finance Business Partners in 2022 – the first of its type at this level in the USA.

CHICAGO, IL, August 28, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — Available for the first time in the United States through an apprenticeship, the Finance Leadership Program is the focus of the featured cover story of the most recent issue of New Accountant Magazine. “Employers Look to CGMA Professional Apprenticeships to Meet Skills Gap“, is an informative article is written by Joanne Fiore, JD; VP, Pipeline & Apprenticeships, CGMA Americas for AICPA & CIMA.

The article takes a deep dive into the benefits of apprenticeships in the accounting industry, mainly those offered by AICPA & CIMA, which launched its Registered Apprenticeship for Finance Business Partners in 2022 – the first of its type at this level in the United States.

Companies are realizing that they need to “grow their own” by training existing staff and developing new hires to meet today’s rapid pace, required specialization, and facing ever-changing challenges. To meet these demands, employers are embracing apprenticeships where they can monitor and develop more skilled, diverse, and long-term employees.

What makes this even more interesting is that the CGMA apprenticeships are underpinned by The Finance Leadership Program – a curriculum made op of skills identified by 2,000 global finance teams and comprised of four levels; learners enter the level commensurate with their educational degree:
1) The Foundational Level – intro to business and finance
2) The Operational Level – essential business concepts and a foundation in tech finance and accounting
3) The Management Level – develop core skills and acumen with more advanced tools and framework
4) The Strategic Level – complete skill set with insights and tools to help you lead at the enterprise level

“AICPA & CIMA’s apprenticeship combines a world-class learning program with mentorship and on-the-job-training, which helps employers recruit and grow their own, providing…the 21st century workforce – diverse, inclusive, collaborative, and innovative.
– Joanne Fiore, JD, VP of Pipeline and Apprenticeships, CGMA Americas for AICPA & CIMA

The article goes on to detail the key components of the structured apprenticeship program:

• it’s industry-led, as the AICPA sets the standards for the Finance Business Partner, which the Department of Labor approves
• it’s a paid job as all apprenticeships are paid, unlike internships, and it’s more designed to give students an introduction to an employer, job or profession
• it offers supplemental education as the Required Technical Instruction for the apprenticeship builds the foundation necessary to operate as a Finance Business Partner
• it offers structured on-the-job-learning to apply what students have learned in school to real work experiences, a.k.a. “learn-while-you-earn” programs; the employer provides experiences and guidance that creates the competencies to be considered fully skilled in the role.
• all participants are provided with a mentor (not just a peer) who shares all the organization’s knowledge openly and has the best interest of that apprentice in mind. “At every moment, there is an opportunity to help that apprentice get to that next step,” says Steve Lutton, COO, Institute for American Apprenticeships.
• accreditation in the form of a CGMA (Chartered Global Management Accountant) designation is assigned upon completion of the apprenticeship; this credential is recognized and held by over 140,000 finance professionals worldwide
• diversity and inclusion are promoted by including students who are still earning their degrees as well as partnerships with universities to provide credit free of charge – these universities include Excelsior University, Franklin University, and the University of Phoenix

Three company leaders who have registered team members into the CGMA Finance Business Partner Apprenticeship give their perspective on the program:

Michael Neller, Global Controller and CAO, AON PLC – Neller describes the three most important skillsets and/or behaviors needed for college students joining finance and accounting teams, to be successful: “Have a growth mindset…Be collaborative…be open-minded.”

Paul S. Young, CPA, CGMA, MBA, and CFO, Liberty Bank – Young gives insight to his first job in finance or accounting and the best take-away from it: “My first job was with Prudential Insurance as a premium statistics clerk while I went to college in the evening. The best take-away…was that if you work hard and communicate effectively, you can move up into more challenging roles and continue to develop new skills.”

Robin H. Thieme, CPA, CGMA, CITP and CEO, Founder, CAO and CFO, KBS CFO, LLC – Thieme explains why she supports skills training, such as the Finance Leadership Program: “I support [it] as there are many aspects of finance that really cannot be self-taught. Developing a large set of tools in your finance toolbox takes training and education and can also lend itself to your professional development.”

Digital Link: http://www.renpublishing.com/New_Accountant_CGMA_Apprenticeships.pdf

Published since 1985, New Accountant is a professional print and digital publication edited for college accounting students and accounting professionals to prepare for a career in accounting, auditing and industry. For more information, please visit www.NewAccountantUSA.com; email inquiries@newaccountantusa.com

New Accountant
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