My CMA Story

Rein Belarmino_JPGWhen I was still an accountancy student, there was only one thing I was certain that I needed to do after graduating from that course and that was to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

As time passed many of my professors are sharing more career opportunities for us students that we can take aside from the CPA title. Out of all their suggestions, there is that one thing that struck me most and that is the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) title.

There are only two things that I knew about this certification. First, it is an international certification for us accountants and second, it takes a huge chunk of investment to pursue this title. Despite all the reasons of not taking this course, I am still determined and planned to take this when I get 28 to 30 years old in order for me to save some money.

After my graduation, I prepared for our review for our CPA examinations. It was also during this time that I heard from my friends that a CMA quiz bowl will be held in Baguio City sponsored by the Insights Financial Review Services, and that the winner will have a free scholarship in taking the CMA review and examination. Having heard of it, I immediately confirmed and processed my papers for me to join in this event.

To be honest, I was not after the scholarship but just to gain experience on how a CMA exam would look like. And yes, I can now say that it is more challenging than the usual.

The results of the quiz bowl were released, but unfortunately I was not included in the list but at least I got the experience of taking the examination and I thought that somehow I know now what to prepare if I will be taking the actual examination in the future.

For some time, my friends who also took the quiz bowl informed me that Sir Angel Secerio, Jr., managing director of Insights Financial Review Services Inc., offered us to take the CMA exams together with our CPA exams.

It was like a blessing from God that He touched Sir Angel’s heart to offer to us this great opportunity that even though I was not included in the list, Sir Angel still offered me to pursue this examination. I informed my parents about this and they too were happy for me but we are still lingering on the cost of taking the examination. I discussed it with Sir Angel and was told that they are flexible about the payments and their main goal is that to help us students who are gearing towards that prestigious title.

Having heard of this and with the permission from my parents, I agreed and confirmed that I will be taking the challenge of taking both the CPA and CMA exams in October 2014.

While having our review for our CPA exams, Insights is also backing us up with additional resources for us to study. During weekdays, they will be giving us online quizzes for us to answer and during weekends we got the chance to attend the actual review class in their review center.

It was hard to maintain my focus for the two examinations but in each moment that I thought I may fail on either of the examinations, Sir Angel was there to cheer us up, coach us and to push us to use our reserve energy.

I took first the CPA exams and by the grace of God I passed. Having accomplished the challenge to become a CPA, I still face an equally challenging battle and that was the CMA examination. After the CPA exams, we were immediately immersed in an intense 2 week review by Insights Financial Review to help us prepare for the CMA exams. I am grateful for Insights and the reviewers who helped us during the review weeks and for their time to share their knowledge to us.

Then came the CMA examination day, the feeling of support from Insights and Sir Angel were even more apparent. The examination was quite challenging especially the essay questions but I knew that Insights and Sir Angel would support us whatever the results would be.

Waiting for the result for 6 weeks was as daunting as taking the examination, and on December 12, 2014, an email came and confirmed that I passed the two-part CMA examinations.

I immediately thanked God for showering another blessing in my life. I also thanked my family for supporting me in my decisions. Lastly, I thanked Insights and Sir Angel for opening doors of opportunity and sharing this wonderful experience.

I never knew that the once only a dream was now a reality. Before I only dreamed of being a Certified Management Accountant but now with the help of the people who believed in me and continue to support me, I am now a Certified Management Accountant.

Everything I achieved came from God alone. And in everything that I do, His name alone may be magnified.

To Insights Financial Review Services and Sir Angel Secerio, Jr., I am forever grateful for helping me out to accomplish this milestone. May God continue bless your heart and all of your works. May you continue to help people in reaching and in bringing out their full potential.

This is my CMA journey. I hope that it will inspire you to strive harder and to believe that God will use events and people in our lives to accomplish His work. Continue to live and walk by faith. God bless you all!


The author, Reinerio Belarmino III, is a cum laude graduate of Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from Saint Louis University-Baguio. He is currently working as an Audit Associate at SyCip, Gorres, Velayo & Company (SGV & Co.), CPAs based in Makati, Philippines.

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