Maktub: It is Written.

Pic_James PerezI once had fallen into a self-treason of assuming that I will not go any further. In the early stages of my career, I had experienced a deep feeling of inadequacy that even passing the CPA Licensure Examination cannot suffice. I began asking the question “Is this it?” repeatedly. I think I was in the early stage of what they call “Quarter Life Crisis”, I’m 23 at that time or the feeling may be starting to sink in.

After contemplating for weeks, I started reading self-help articles and inspirational books. One of the books I’ve read was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, a fiction book about a shepherd in search of his treasure. The book has this magical way of describing the story. It is so imaginatively precise and will definitely awaken your senses more than 4D. From there, I have discovered and rediscovered a simple truth from the quote: “When you want something, all of the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Some may lead you to places or situations you didn’t really want but eventually you will realize that it is part of your journey and will either teach you a lesson or strengthen your character. That day, I began to change my way of thinking.

I spent numerous days of discovering what I really wanted. Then, I suddenly recalled in college that the accounting subject I enjoyed most was Management Accounting and I really wanted to be a CMA because I was inspired when I saw the name of the author of our reference book with both a CPA and a CMA title. I started writing my plans in paper and added “I am a CMA by 2020”. Yes, that is my original plan considering the cost, time and effort demanded by the CMA program.

But everything changed…

After a few months, an angel in the name Sir Angel sent an email thru LinkedIn asking if I wanted to pursue my dream. He knew exactly that I was very interested in taking the CMA exam. However, I was not prepared financially. I’m the breadwinner and must provide for my family regularly that I didn’t have the fund needed for the CMA program. It was only just a dream, I sighed.

One day, I was invited by Sir Angel to attend the testimonial dinner of successful CMA passers. After hearing the speeches from the victorious candidates, I suddenly asked myself two questions: “Why can’t I do the same?” and “What’s holding me back?”

After several months of thinking and overthinking, I finally decided to take Part 1 in October 2014 and Part 2 in February 2015. To finance the registration and exam fee, I have ventured into part-time tutoring and had been really frugal to save for the CMA Program. I informed Sir Angel about my plans and he has agreed to it.

And the journey started…

Insights Review Financial Services, Inc. has handpicked excellent and experienced instructors. Sir Kenji, Sir Edison, Ms. Jacqui, Sir Randell, Ms. CJ, Sir Carlito and Sir Eddie together with my co-reviewees have developed a support system. We have an interactive class. Everyone is encouraged to ask and share their own views or understanding of the topic being discussed. It was very lively and enjoyable. The instructors also have sense of humor. They throw exciting jokes whenever silence strikes. Some jokes need to be deciphered but still when we get it after 10 seconds, we laugh out hard. Indeed, it is learning while having fun.

After a series of reviews for Part 1, I made an extremely risky decision. Unexpectedly, on the last week of September 2014, I registered for Part 2 of the CMA exam. I bravely departed from my original plan of taking Part 2 on February 2015. I kept it secret to everyone until the second week of October. After finishing the Part 1 on October 21, 2014, I went into long hours of studying and reviewing for Part 2. It has occurred to me that the decision has been done. So I decided that there is no turning back and I should be only concerned with the best way of moving forward. This is all or nothing!

On October 30, 2014, I finished Part 2 of the CMA exam. With God’s grace, I knew I have passed or at least I want to believe that I have succeeded. THOUGHTS BECOME THINGS.

On December 12, 2014, I received the good news. I officially passed and conquered both parts of the CMA examination.

P.S. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank God, my family, my friends, my bosses, Insights Review Financial Services, Inc. instructors, Maricar, my co-reviewees and especially to Sir Angel who became a real life alchemist to all of us. I am grateful I have the best partners in my CMA journey.

I hope I have also inspired all aspiring CMAs in my own little way. Take risks and do what you really want to do. You write your own destiny. Maktub!

The path often hides itself, so as to encourage the traveler to discover what exists around the bend.” –CHRONICLE: BETWEEN EKATERINBURG AND NOVOSIBIRSK-


The author, James P. Perez, is Asst. Manager-Financial Planning and Analysis at Tupperware Brands Philippines. A graduate at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, he passed the October, 2010 CPA Examination, and recently the 2-Part CMA Examination last October, 2014.

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