Tim Russell's story

Tim Russell, CPA, CGMA

Assistant Controller - Consolidations and Technical Accounting
Koch Industries

Tim oversees monthly, quarterly, and annual consolidated financial reporting for Koch Industries. He also helps lead or support various initiatives including annual audits, valuations, and other transformation projects. Outside of work Tim’s interests include spending time with his wife and three children, watching and playing sports, and being involved in his local church. He hopes that this CGMA certification, along with his CPA license, will give him opportunities to develop as a professional and add value in new and innovative ways.

What motivated you to get the CGMA designation?

I felt it was an opportunity to achieve something that would make me stand out in the accounting profession. I knew it would be something that would develop my skills and help me to become a more well-rounded professional.

How has the journey through taking the live and self-study learning and exam been?
It was a great experience. I really enjoyed the review course, and it was interesting getting to dig in to the materials of the case study. I also liked the on-demand learning content, which allowed me to study at my own pace.

What are your thoughts on the CGMA exam? What did you think about the format? What are some aspects that you liked or disliked?
I like how the format of the exam closely resembles the actual work that I do, in that it requires you to apply critical thinking skills and judgment to generate recommendations for management. It goes beyond the technical skills and incorporates leadership, business, and people skills. I also feel like the case study format requires you to know the content better than with multiple choice testing. In the real world, you have to be able to discuss your thoughts and explain things, rather than just selecting from a list of answers.

What have you gained from going through the Program?
I have gained an ability to think about things differently, to see the bigger picture, and to understand how all of the aspects of a business fit together.

If you were to apply for a new job, would the program be something you’d list as an accomplishment/education? Would it be something you’d lean on to demonstrate expertise in MA?
Yes. I feel this a great designation and credential to have. It shows that I have worked to develop myself and that I have taken it upon myself to further my learning. I am excited for the future of this designation.

Would you recommend the CGMA Program to peers and why?
Yes. I would encourage others to participate in this program to help broaden their knowledge and learn new ways of looking at their businesses and challenges that they have. Given the broad range of knowledge that this program covers, all individuals within accounting and finance will be able to benefit.

 In your opinion, what is the value of obtaining the CGMA designation, both in terms of the journey to get it as well as applying your knowledge, skills and experience to your organization?
High. I am already using some of the skills and knowledge that I obtained. It has also reenergized me to continue to develop professionally and to look for ways to improve those around me.