EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

I don’t know what the weather has been by you lately, but here in Connecticut we have had a very cold and damp spring.

One thing you learn if you are a sailor is that there really isn’t much you can do about the weather. The wind is from whatever direction it is coming from and at whatever speed it chooses. All you can do is manage your vessel to take best advantage and, if need be, change your plans.

A few days ago I got a note from one of our members seeking to raise the issue of “Is a CPA needed to be a CFO?” Or, at the very least, the question was, is it being required more frequently? Well, the truth is that although we have discussed this before, the real point is that for most of us, there isn’t much we are going to be able to do about it. We either currently hold a CPA certificate or we don’t. If the world thinks we need to, and we don’t, it is our job to convince them otherwise. There are some firms who don’t want a CFO with a CPA because they view the training as an inhibition to strategic thinking. (Of course, not true.)

As I think we have all learned in our lives, you can’t make everybody happy at the same time. (And, sometimes it seems like you can’t make anybody happy at any time.)

On the job hunting front, it is important that you understand that what you are selling has to come from your wagon. You can only sell what is already in YOUR wagon. (Yes we have no bananas, we have no bananas today!) If you have been performing a senior financial role successfully with (or without) said certification, it is just possible that there are products in your personal wagon that are worth buying by a potential employer.

In sailing terms, you may need to change your tack. Ask yourself, what are the skills that made my earlier success possible? To diminish the need for CPA certification in someone’s mind plays into a negative justification of your reasons for not acquiring this credential.

Existing in the world of sailing requires accommodating to changing conditions. You can shorten sail, increase sail, change course, or stay home. As captain of your ship, it is your choice to make. One choice you can’t make is to change the weather.

So, take your “weather forecast” into account when making your sailing plans for your career.

If your vessel is sound, play to her strengths and you will find your voyage will be much more pleasant. You may even reach your destination sooner, even if it is an alternative one.

Regards, Matt

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