Thorsten Pruin is CFO of Monier Roofing Components GmbH and a CPA, CMA, CFM, CIA, CISA. He joined the German IMA Chapter in 2006 and is an active board member. Amongst other awards, he received the Johnson&Johnson Gold Medal Award CFM Exam in 2007, the Procter&Gamble Gold Medal Award CMA Exam in 2006, and the Controlling World Award in 2004.
How, when and why did you join IMA and become a CMA?
I decided to join IMA and become a CMA in August 2005 after attending a seminar for Lafarge’s senior finance managers. Although I already hold a joint masters degree in business administration and computer science from a German university, I believed that my career could benefit from the additional training a CMA credential provided. The seminar focused on the changing role of senior finance managers and how we could better become true business partners. Achieving that goal, however, requires a broad range of knowledge and competencies—not only finance and accounting, but deep knowledge in business strategy, marketing, general management, and human resources. After doing my research, I was convinced that the CMA was the ideal supplemental credential for modern finance managers who want to add value to their organizations and drive business decisions.
How has your membership and CMA certification impacted your career/life?
The intensive preparation for the CMA has paid off in many ways: First of all, the CMA helped me to broaden my knowledge, especially in areas I did not deal with before. Secondly, it gave me a fresh look on several important topics that our organization was concerned with. I also generated and collected many new ideas while I was studying for the CMA. Besides, the intense preparation has helped me easily pass the Illinois CPA a few months after completing the CMA. I was so well prepared after studying for my CMA that when it came to the CPA exams in Business Environment and Financial Reporting, all I did was review the material covered in CMA parts I and II. Last but not least, I was rewarded for gold medal achievement with a trip to IMA’s Annual Conference in 2006.
As a European, why did you choose a global certification instead of pursuing a German one?
The role of a CFO or finance leader, here in Germany as well as internationally, has evolved over the past decade or so. Whereas previously, financial reports and the efficient processing of transactions dominated our work, today business unit leaders expect a CFO to help define and implement new business strategies in global markets. The CMA exam offers the finance population an ideal way to gain the knowledge necessary to make those kinds of decisions.
You’ve also done a lot of volunteer work for IMA.
I have joined the German IMA chapter in 2006 after passing the CMA exam. The mission of our IMA chapter is to become the place for international finance professionals to meet and exchange ideas. We regularly organize regional events with guest speakers. The most interesting and benefiting part is the networking aspect: getting to know other people with similar interests and to exchange and freely discuss ideas.