Driven to Succeed
James C. Mercado – CPA, CMA

“There is no substitute for a good preparation”- A line that marked my mind ever since college.

I was just a typical male student back then–spending 70% of my time on computer games and 30% on studies. During that phase, I was having difficulties on the subject Management Accounting Services (MAS).

During the review for the CPA board exams, I placed extra effort on that subject and voila, it was my top subject in the actual CPA board! This was the first clue in my life that I knew I was headed to something amazing!

Henceforth, my CMA story started when I was employed in SGV. After extraneous busy seasons, I’ve decided to pursue greater education–thus I’ve thought about getting masterals, CIA and CISA, etc.

This took a lot of time. It was then when I rode a bus going home and read an advertisement regarding CMA. I remember telling myself back then that I would aim to becoming a Certified Management Accountant someday after passing the CPA board exams.

It was just then a dream, now it’s just within my reach. I decided to get the contact details within the advertisement and tried contacting Insights. There, I met Sir Angel, a highly respected, English-speaking professional using highfalutin words and prominent among CMAs! I’ve also met Sir Kenji- a prodigy, who was the lead instructor of Insights Financial Review Services! From there I knew that my journey to becoming a CMA began- and I knew that I was in good hands.

I was a working professional so balancing work and review was indeed a challenge. Plus, the review sessions were only conducted during the weekends, sometimes half day, sometimes whole day. It was indeed a sacrifice knowing that it would entail dedication, focus and discipline- I was committing 5-6 months of my life for this title!

I can say that it wasn’t really easy. I had to reason out with my friends every time they asked to hang out. I needed to distance myself from “distractions” because if I wanted this to happen, I have to give my 100% on this. I told this to my parents and surely they understood my situation- I’ve even convinced my father to accompany me here in Manila on the week of my exams (given the fact that I only live alone and my father is employed as captain of a ship), in which he agreed.

Five months have passed and the month of the two-part exams arrived, and it suddenly hit me. Am I prepared to take the exams? Have I given my 100% in the review? I know I did but somehow I felt like the time was not enough. I’ve even talked to my review mates about the mixed emotions that I was having. That’s where I realized that having a set of friends with the same purpose can be of great help- they were a vital support system all throughout the review! Them, together with my parents’ support, my siblings’ encouragement and my loved ones’ trust, I got fortified!

Then came the week of exams- I was nervous, at the same time excited. I said to myself, “I have the perfect chance ahead of me to realize my dream. All the hard work poured into this two-day examination.”

I can say that the exam was not easy- it was really challenging! All that’s left to do is hope for the best and pray!

6 weeks after, the results came! Alas! All the hard work paid off! The first thing I did? I prayed to the Almighty Jehovah God, with tears rolling down my cheeks. All the sacrifices paid off and it was all worth it! He indeed answers prayers.

It’s not that I’m bragging, but I knew I was going to become a CMA because I was going to make it happen. Big thanks to the Insights review team for guiding us all throughout the journey!

Finally, let me share this wonderful quote: “Believe you can and you’re halfway there” – Theodore Roosevelt

About the Author:

James C. Mercado, CPA, CMA, is a BS in Accountancy graduate from Saint Louis University-Baguio in March, 2012. He is currently employed as Senior Advisory/Audit Associate in one of the Big 4 firms in the country.