Staysha Titus, CPA, CGMA
Manager of Corporate Accounting and Reporting
Staysha Titus serves as the Manager of Corporate Accounting and Reporting at Molex, LLC, headquartered in Lisle, IL and a subsidiary of Koch Industries, Inc. Titus oversees a range of global accounting and reporting responsibilities, including M&A, treasury, legal restructuring, and holding company accounting, in addition to governmental and statutory reporting requirements. Titus serves as the main point of contact in these areas for all Molex’s global finance organization. Outside of work, Titus spends most of her free time chasing after her three children, listening to books on tape while enjoying a run, and watching movies with her husband. She somehow fit studying for the CGMA into her schedule and is looking forward to applying complex critical-thinking skills she learned from the CGMA into real-world scenarios.
Motivation to get the CGMA designation
I had been at my current company for over a year and started to get settled into my day-to-day responsibilities. I was looking for a new challenge that would help me grow in my professional development and would benefit me as I continue in my career. Around that time, I was approached with the opportunity to be part of a CGMA pilot program within my company to help assess the benefits of the exam. After careful consideration, I decided that I wanted to sit for the exam and be part of the pilot program.
The journey through taking the live and self-study learning and exam
I opted for the self-study courses. Personally, I learn better with self-guided materials, and I wanted to study during the times that were most convenient with my schedule. I was greatly impressed with the CGMA online courses offered by the AICPA. The web-learnings were some of the best I’ve seen. It is very difficult to “teach” management and strategic thinking, however, the web learnings did an excellent job of mixing textbook concepts and real-world case study examples to engage the learner and challenge his or her understanding.
Thoughts on the CGMA exam; the format
As mentioned above, it is very difficult to “teach” management and strategic thinking. I think it is even more difficult to assess it in an essay-based exam. As far as the evaluating the CGMA exam, I believe that the test itself remains a difficult way to measure an individual’s true grasp of management accounting. Overall, about 50% of the studying involved learning HOW to take the test and how it is scored, rather than learning content that could be part of the examination. Nevertheless, the process of studying for the exam knowing the vast number of concepts you could be tested on was worth the time and effort due to the knowledge you gain along the way.
Going through the CGMA Program
The CGMA exam gave me an excuse to take on a new challenge when I was looking for something that would help my professional development. The number of topics and concepts that I went through during the study program got me to think like an executive and understand the thought processes that must be utilized in very complex, decision-making scenarios.
Similar to the CPA designation, a CGMA designation demonstrates that, at the very least, you have been exposed to complex critical-thinking scenarios and were able to demonstrate proficiency in these areas. I think a CGMA designation must be evaluated next to work experience when you apply for a new job, but with the right mix of real-life experience and a CGMA, you can truly be an asset to an organization.
Value of the CGMA designation
In my experience, as I’m sure is the case with many individuals in the workplace, it is difficult to obtain professional development opportunities outside of your normal day-to-day job responsibilities. I think the CGMA provides a good outlet to obtain that challenge. The program the AICPA has put together to help study for the exam is an excellent resource and combines many different CPE topics into one learning program. Once you go through the learning program and take the exam, I think you can apply the topics you studied and bring them back to your organization – utilizing the ones that are most applicable to your current role and keeping the rest in your back pocket for any future scenarios that come your way.