Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Calculating Present Value, Future Value and Payment In Excel - Formulas

When writing the CMA Case Exam or the CMA Board Report you can (and should) use formulas to help you compute Present, Future and Payment values. After posting my NPV Template where I utilize these formulas, I have received some email questions about setting up these Time Value of Money formulas (present value, future value and payment) in excel. I put the above together so that you can see how I calculate these values in excel, using formulas. Let me know if you have any questions on the above.

  • rate is the discount rate per period
  • nper is the number of periods
  • PMT is the payment per period
  • PV is the present value
  • type indicates whether it is a regular annuity or an annuity due (whether payment is due at the end of a period or at the beginning)
  • FV is future value

If you have other questions on excel (pivot tables, formulas, formating, etc. post them in the comments and I will do a post on these).


Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Switching Jobs Before You Become a CMA

In one of my previous job positions part of my responsibilities were to interview and hire staff for my finance team (in a large Canadian Organization). Through that experience I have learned a lot about the hiring process, what having a designation can mean, and how to leverage it. I wanted to share a few tips/notes that I have picked up through my experience so that it may help you in your job search (I will be adding more job related posts from time to time if there is interest in them):

Applying for a new job while still a CMA student:
Some people do not apply to jobs requiring a CMA/CA/CGA designation because they are still students of these associations and have not yet attained the designation itself. In reality, I found that even though an employer may state that a designation is required, they may consider a strong candidate if they are not yet designated but are instead in the process of obtaining the designation. Do do not shy away from a role that you feel is a good fit for you, just because it asks for a designation.

What to write in you resume:
Even if you have not yet obtained a designation, make sure to include in your resume (as a focal point!) that you are in the process of obtaining the designation. Include the estimated date of when you expect to become a CMA. I found this to be a strong statement about a candidate and even as a student, it may help you stand out and will speak a lot about your character and ambitions.  

However, do not just simply write CMA if you have not yet obtained the designation. This is misleading and if I would have invited someone for an interview and they would then 'clarify' that they are still a student, it would be a deal breaker for me.

In the interview they will likely ask you to describe examples for various scenarios/situations or to give example of when and how you have used certain concepts or tools. If they ask you to talk about your experience with a tool/concept that you have not used at work but came across in the CMA process, it can be helpful to draw on that and use that as your example (i.e. if you are asked about your experience analyzing large projects, you can discuss the NPV, cost benefit analysis, etc. that you do regularly for complex business cases as part of your CMA SLP) Real work experience and examples would be better but don't forget that the experience you gain through completing the designation is also valuable.

How Much Money To Ask For
This is the million dollar question. You will be a CMA soon and want to earn a salary as one, but you have to keep in mind that you are still a CMA student, not yet a CMA. In my experience it is important to research the appropriate range of salaries to avoid low balling or over shooting, both of which I found to be huge turn offs from candidates. If I saw a candidate low balling a salary, it made me wonder what was wrong with them. If they were asking for too much, I would think that they are either over qualified or just full of themselves. Either way, there would be no interview. Know your worth, and ask for an appropriate amount. Do not be scared to ask for what you are as long as you are realistic. Just because you obtained or are in the process of obtaining a CMA designation, it does not mean that you can now start applying for Management roles at top salaries - it is generally a combination of your experience with your education.

I hope you find this helpful. Let me know what questions you have and I will reply in the comments or write another post.

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