Michigan, US, 17th June 2024, ZEX PR WIRE, Mike Pocrnich, a seasoned finance professional with more than twenty years of dedicated experience in non-profit accounting, auditing, and financial analysis, is now extending his expertise to guide aspiring accountants on the best certifications to enhance their careers. With a robust educational background and extensive hands-on experience, Pocrnich is well-positioned to offer invaluable insights into the top accounting certifications available today.

Educational and Professional Background

Mike Pocrnich, a Minneapolis native, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from St. John’s University. He began his career at CliftonLarsonAllen as a Senior Auditor, where he excelled in overseeing non-profit audits, enhancing internal controls, and training junior staff. His proficiency in financial forecasting and reporting has been a hallmark of his career, underscoring his ability to navigate complex financial landscapes.

Currently, as a Finance Manager at Element Financial Advisory, Pocrnich provides Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Controller services to a diverse portfolio of clients, including government and non-profit organizations. His expertise extends to state and federal grant administration, making him a pivotal resource in the financial management sector.

Career Highlights and Skills

  • Over 20 years of experience in non-profit accounting and auditing

  • Expertise in financial forecasting, reporting, and internal controls

  • Skilled in ERP and CRM software, including the Microsoft suite

  • Proficient in GAAP, FASB, and GASB accounting principles

  • Strong background in staff management and client relations

In his previous role as Controller at Beltz, Kes, Darling & Associates (now BerganKDV), Pocrnich led annual audits and provided extensive financial client assistance. His ability to communicate complex financial information effectively has been a key asset throughout his career.

Guidance on Top Accounting Certifications

Pocrnich is now leveraging his extensive experience to guide accounting professionals and aspirants on obtaining the most recognized accounting certifications. Here are some of the top certifications he recommends:

Empowering Future Financial Professionals

By sharing his insights on these and other certifications, Pocrnich aims to help financial professionals enhance their career prospects and earning potential. His guidance covers the educational and experience requirements, benefits, and ongoing professional education associated with each certification.

Obtaining an accounting certification can significantly boost a financial professional’s earning potential and open up more career opportunities. Here are eight of the most popular accounting certifications, along with how to obtain them, their benefits, and additional related certifications to consider.

1. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

The CPA is the most recognized certification in accounting, essential for many accounting roles. It confirms expertise in areas such as forensic accounting, risk management, compliance, and taxation. CPAs are employed in public, management, and governmental accounting, as well as taxation and compliance. The credential is awarded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

The CPA exam consists of four parts, which can be taken in any order. Requirements vary by state, but most states require at least one year of professional experience. Candidates typically need five years of higher education, totaling approximately 150 credit hours. Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits are required annually to maintain the certification.

2. Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

The CFA designation validates expertise in portfolio management, economics, professional ethics, and investment analysis. Granted by the CFA Institute, this certification is highly regarded in investment companies and beneficial for careers as equity analysts, fund managers, CFOs, and senior finance managers.

Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree and have four years of professional experience in financial services. The 18-hour exam is divided into three levels. Additionally, ongoing professional education necessitates earning 20 hours of CPE credits annually.

3. Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)

The CFE certification showcases proficiency in fraud examination, covering financial transactions, fraud schemes, law, and fraud prevention and investigation. Offered by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), it is ideal for those focused on fraud prevention roles.

To become a CFE, candidates must join the ACFE, meet specific education and experience requirements, and provide three professional recommendations. The exam includes four separate two-hour tests with 100 questions each. CFEs must earn 20 CPE credits per year, with specific credits in fraud detection and deterrence, and ethics.

4. Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)

The CIA is the only globally recognized certification for internal auditors, signifying competencies in risk management, control, and IT auditing. Awarded by The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), it is beneficial for internal auditors aspiring to managerial roles.

Candidates need a bachelor’s degree and two years of internal audit experience, though a master’s degree can substitute for one year. The exam has three parts and takes 6.5 hours in total. CPE requirements vary based on the auditor’s work status.

5. Certified Management Accountant (CMA)

The CMA certification signifies proficiency in cost management, decision analysis, forecasting, and internal control auditing. Endorsed by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), it is valuable for professionals in management accounting or financial management roles.

Candidates require a bachelor’s degree and two consecutive years of experience in management accounting or financial management. The exam has two levels. CMAs must complete 30 hours of CPE credits annually.

6. Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA)

The CGMA is a global certification for CPAs in business and government, highlighting skills in management accounting and business strategy development. Offered by the AICPA and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), it connects professionals to a global network.

AICPA members with three years of relevant experience qualify, while CIMA members qualify automatically. The exam is a computerized case study demonstrating management accounting competencies and is offered quarterly.

7. Enrolled Agent (EA)

The EA credential is for professionals authorized by the government to represent taxpayers. They prepare taxes and deal with the IRS on audit matters. The IRS awards this certification.

Candidates must pass a three-part exam covering individual and business tax returns. Former IRS employees may qualify based on their experience. EAs need 72 hours of continuing education every three years.

8. Certificate in Financial Services for Internal Auditors (FSAC)

The FSAC, offered by TheIIA, replaces the Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA) credential and develops expertise in auditing and risk assessment within financial services.

This credential is ideal for professionals interested in internal and financial services auditing. It ensures alignment with international auditing standards. Certification requires passing an assessment-based program covering 11 subject areas related to the regulatory and risk landscape of financial services organizations.

By obtaining these certifications, accounting professionals can significantly enhance their career prospects and expertise, positioning themselves as valuable assets in the financial industry.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Mike Pocrnich, please contact:https://mikepocrnich.com/

About Element Financial Advisory

Element Financial Advisory is a leading provider of financial services, offering comprehensive CFO and Controller services to a diverse clientele, including non-profit and governmental organizations. Our mission is to deliver strategic financial solutions that drive operational excellence and long-term success.

Post Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Report Blitz journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.