How to Build Strong Business Relationships
Welcome Jim Piechowski, CAE!
Jim Piechowski, CAE, has recently joined the HOCK team as the Senior Director of Global Business Development. We are thrilled to have Jim on board!
Before HOCK, Jim worked with the IMA (Institute of Management Accountants) and other national and international organizations in executive positions. Jim strongly supports professional certifications and is an expert in global business and international relations.
We know that many exam candidates aim to get a promotion and become leaders in their professional field and getting certified is a huge help in achieving these goals. However, there is also a set of skills in addition to the technical skills of your profession that is necessary to build relationships and help your industry grow. So, we asked Jim to share his wisdom.
Working internationally requires a unique set of skills beyond technical proficiency, so I'm happy to share some insights on the most critical soft skills for succeeding in an international setting. These soft skills include increased cultural awareness, adaptability, communication, and emotional intelligence.
- Cultural Awareness: When working with people from different backgrounds and cultures, it's essential to be aware of and respectful of cultural differences. This means being sensitive to different customs, traditions, and communication styles. The more you understand and appreciate other cultures, the better you can build relationships and avoid misunderstandings.
- Adaptability: Being adaptable and flexible is essential when working globally. You may need to adjust your communication style, work schedule, or problem-solving approach to align with your international counterparts' needs and expectations.
- Communication: Effective communication is crucial when working across borders. Clear and concise written and verbal communication are essential for building relationships, managing expectations, and avoiding misunderstandings. Although you don’t necessarily need to know multiple languages, speaking a few key phrases or words in various languages can significantly increase your communication ability!
- Emotional Intelligence: Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your emotions and those of others. This skill is essential when working internationally because it can help you navigate cultural differences and build strong relationships with people from diverse backgrounds.
Thank you, Jim, for all of the tips and recommendations!
Dear readers, please comment below if you have more questions for Jim.
The Bright Future of Women in Accounting
Today, HOCK would like to recognize and celebrate the achievements of female accountants and honor their tireless work in shaping the future of the accounting industry. Accounting has long been a male-dominated field, but that is changing rapidly. The number of women in accounting has been growing, and the trend is expected to continue. Let us look at the trends and predictions for the future of women in accounting.
Increasing Numbers of Women in Accounting
The number of women entering the accounting profession has been steadily increasing in recent years. According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), women now represent more than 50% of all accounting graduates in the United States, and other countries report similar growth in the number of women in the profession.
More Women in Leadership Positions
As more women enter the accounting profession, they are also climbing the ranks and taking on leadership positions. According to the AICPA, women now represent nearly 30% of all partners in accounting firms. This is a significant increase from just a decade ago when women made up only about 16% of partners. We can expect to see more women in executive roles such as CEO, CFO, and COO; these roles have typically been held by men, but as more women gain experience and rise through the ranks, we will see more women in these roles too.
The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion have become increasingly important in the business world, and the accounting profession is no exception. Accounting firms are realizing the value of having a diverse workforce and are actively seeking out women and other underrepresented groups to join their teams. This is not just for the sake of diversity but also because a diverse workforce brings different perspectives, which can lead to better decision-making and improved performance.
Greater Flexibility in the Workplace and Focus on Work-Life Balance
Many women are balancing demanding careers with family responsibilities, and accounting firms are recognizing the need for more flexible work arrangements. This could include options such as part-time work, telecommuting, and job-sharing. Accounting firms are recognizing that in order to attract and retain top talent, they need to create a work environment that is supportive of employees’ personal lives as well as their careers.
The Bright Future
We can expect to see increasing numbers of women entering the profession, more women in leadership positions, and a greater focus on diversity, inclusion, flexibility, and work-life balance. These trends are great news for the profession as a whole because a more diverse and inclusive workforce leads to better decision-making and improved performance.
Happy International Women’s Day!
To all the incredible female accountants out there: thank you for your hard work, your dedication, and your unwavering commitment to excellence. You are an inspiration to us all, and we are grateful for everything you do. Happy International Women’s Day!
Realistic Study Time for the CMA Exam
How long should I study?
A common question we get is, “How long should I study for each Part of the CMA exam?” Unfortunately, there is no one answer that is the same for everyone. Each candidate comes with a different background, education, and work experience, and all of those factors influence how much time each person needs to study to be ready to pass their CMA exams.
Calculating the minimum
There are still some minimums that we can use to determine what that target number of hours should be. We will base this on the reality of the study process, not just a number that sounds good or a number that we think students want to hear. This process is what we do when we create our time estimates for studying for the exam. For example, every MCQ you do requires some amount of time. For MCQs and other things, let us assume that you need:
- Three minutes to read an MCQ, to answer it, and to look at your answer to understand why you got it correct or incorrect.
- One minute to watch one minute of video. (It may actually be a little more than that – you rewind something, you listen to something again, but we will say one minute to watch one minute of video.)
- Four minutes for every page of the textbook that you read. In addition to just reading it, you may need to think about it or reference something else. But, for our purposes here, we will say four minutes per page.
- Thirty minutes for every essay you solve.
Now, with those times in mind, let us calculate how long it will take you to study for one Part if you have the following study materials:
- 2,000 MCQs
- 30 hours of videos
- 40 essays
- 300 pages of textbook
Doing the math
We can now calculate how long it will take to prepare as follows:
- 2,000 MCQs at three minutes each will be 6,000 minutes or 100 hours
- 30 hours of videos will take you 30 hours
- 40 essays at 30 minutes each will be another 1,200 minutes or another 20 hours
- 300 pages of a textbook at four minutes per page will be 1,200 minutes or 20 hours
In total, this brings us to 170 hours to do those MCQs, read the textbook, watch the videos, and do those essays. This 170 hours does not include a mock exam, let alone two mock exams. Also, you haven’t reviewed anything, and you have not done any of the MCQs a second time. So, if we add in doing some of the MCQs a second time, two mock exams, and a final review, we are getting to about 200 hours per Part.
Additional study materials
If you decide to add any additional study materials to your study plan, that is going to add more time. If you get a second test bank and solve 1,000 more MCQs, that will add 50 hours to your study time. If you watch additional videos, that is going to add time as well. Everything you add to what you study is going to add time to the amount of time it takes you to prepare.
This does not mean that you shouldn’t add additional items; you should if you need them. But, as you add additional questions or videos or textbooks, you need to make certain that those additional study materials are adding value to you. This means that you need to make certain that those additional study materials will increase your chances of passing your exam. Doing more questions just to say that you did more questions is not going to help you pass your exam. This is why we rarely recommend that a candidate needs a second test bank. A second test bank adds a lot of time to your studies, but it doesn’t really add very much value.
Total study time for the CMA exam
Having gone through all of this, we can come back to the question we started with, “How long do you need to study for your CMA exam?” We have seen the numbers, and we have done the math. To be realistic, you should start with at least 180 hours as a minimum in your mind. Your actual number may prove to be a little bit more or a little bit less based on your background, education, and experience, but 180 hours is a very good starting point based on the reality of how long it takes you to study what you plan to study.
If someone tells you that you only need 100 hours (some providers even suggest you need only 70 hours per Part), you need to ask yourself what it is that they’re expecting you to do as Part of your studies. And more importantly, is what they are suggesting that you do in 100 hours going to be enough to prepare me for the exam? One hundred hours is just enough time to do 2,000 MCQs – and nothing else. Is doing only 2,000 MCQs going to prepare you to pass your exam?
The key is that you prepare as many hours as you need to pass your exam. The amount of time your friend or colleague needs may not be the same as what you need. 180 hours is a good, realistic starting point for your planning. However, as you study, you need to be ready to adjust this so that you study the number of hours that you need to pass your exam.
If you haven’t started your CMA exam preparation yet:
Start with the free CMA exam trial. The trial lasts for 14 days and includes all HOCK study materials for CMA Part 1 Section A and CMA Part 2 Section E. That is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with the exam topics, practice MCQs, and see if your learning style matches with HOCK.
If you are looking for additional study materials:
As mentioned above, reading another textbook or practicing more MCQs will add a lot of time to your study process but not necessarily add value. Instead, check out HOCK stream. HOCK stream is a subscription-based video platform with CMA videos in various formats. You can choose the most challenging topics for you, watch step-by-step explanations, and join CMA experts for office hours. The subscription starts with a one-week free trial.
If you are ready for the exam and want to check your knowledge:
Take free CMA Mock exams to practice! It will help you practice your time management, build stamina (CMA exam is a four-hour exam without any breaks), and help you identify topics that you need to review before the actual exam.
HOCK stream – now with a mobile App
The HOCK Stream Mobile App is here!
We are happy to announce that HOCK stream subscribers can now watch and download CMA videos via the mobile App available for iOS and Android.
You can now watch videos offline and study on the go!
- Download HOCK stream App for iOS
- Download HOCK stream App for Android
What is HOCK stream?
HOCK stream is a library of live and on-demand video courses that help you prepare for the CMA (Certified Management Accountant) exams. The library includes:
- Short Courses
- Step By Step Courses
- Crash Courses
- Essay and MCQ Explanations
- Study Tips
Additionally, HOCK stream includes:
- Live Office Hours
- Community Forum
How much does a HOCK stream subscription cost?
You get a one-week free trial, and after the trial the cost is only $29 per month. You can cancel your subscription any time.
See you in HOCK stream!
We want to make sure that you understand each CMA exam topic and can answer every question on your exam. Sign up for HOCK stream for only $29 per month and prepare for the CMA exams on desktop, mobile, or tablet!
Have more questions? Read HOCK stream FAQs here.
HOCK stream – CMA video subscription platform
What is HOCK stream?
We are thrilled to introduce a revolutionary CMA exam study tool – HOCK stream! HOCK stream is a subscription-based CMA video platform that includes all of the CMA Video content that HOCK has created. This includes the CMA teaching Videos by Brian Hock, the Step By Step Courses and Short Courses taught by Mr. Kazim, MCQ and essay videos, and more. HOCK stream also includes Live office hours with our CMA experts and an engaging learning community to connect with other CMA candidates.
How much does HOCK stream cost?
You get a one-week free trial, and after the trial, the cost is $29 per month. Of course, you can cancel your subscription at any time.
Is HOCK stream enough to prepare for the CMA exam?
HOCK stream is an excellent study tool and supplement for all CMA exam candidates. However, to fully prepare for the exams, you need at least a Test Bank with MCQs and Essays. A Textbook would be helpful for most candidates as well.
Who is HOCK stream for?
HOCK stream is intended for all CMA candidates who are looking for a way to improve their understanding of the exam topics and increase their chances of passing their exams. In other words, all CMA candidates will benefit from their HOCK stream subscription.
You can have materials from any provider and HOCK stream will be an excellent addition to your study materials. HOCK stream also provides you with more than one video style and structure so that you can find exactly what you need for each topic.
- Maybe you are just starting your CMA journey and want to ensure that you have the best tools and expert support available to you and the learning community. In this case, you will be looking for the Step-by-Step Videos.
- Maybe you failed your exams, and you are looking for additional content for just a couple of months while you prepare for your next attempt. In this case, you may be looking for the Short Courses, and some of the CMA with Brian Hock Videos as well. And you may need to subscribe for only a month or two.
- Or maybe as you are getting closer to your exam date, and there are still a few topics that you are not comfortable with. The short courses and MCQ videos will be very helpful for you, and again, you may be looking for only a month or two of access.
Every CMA exam candidate will find HOCK stream useful and it will add to the confidence that you need to pass the exams. Depending on where you are in your CMA journey, you can subscribe for just a month or for as long as you need to.
What Videos are included in HOCK stream?
There are four different groups, or libraries, of videos that are available on HOCK stream:
- HOCK CMA Classroom Videos (also called CMA with Brian) – there are about 32 hours for Part 1 and 30 hours for Part 2. These are the videos that are part of our You Pass or We Pay Guarantee and cover the entire LOS.
- Short Courses – each of these Videos looks in depth at a specific topic and includes both teaching concepts and solving some MCQs. There are currently 27 Videos for Part 1 and 20 for Part 2. Each video is about 2 hours long and taught by Mr. Kazim Nazeer.
- New Step-By-Step courses that Mr. Kazim is posting on a weekly basis. These courses are our most detailed coverage of the syllabus and include both teaching and MCQs solved by Mr. Kazim Nazeer. The full set of videos for Parts 1 and 2 are scheduled to be completed by the end of May 2023, so you will have access to them before the end of the June exam window.
- Solving Essays and MCQs videos. Although we believe that the most important part of preparing for the exams is understanding concepts, it is also helpful to see the process of solving MCQs and Essays. These short, practical sessions are recorded by Brian Hock and Mr. Kazim and demonstrate solving the more challenging questions and essays.
Why a subscription and not a one-time purchase?
Think Netflix, Spotify, Adobe Acrobat, and other subscription-based platforms. Why do you need unlimited access and ownership of something that you only need for a short period of time? Why buy a movie on DVD if you are only going to watch it once? Subscription is the way for you to get what you want, for as long as you want, at a very affordable price.
As a stand-alone, one-time purchase, CMA with Brian costs $649, and Short Courses would be about $1,100 total, and Step By Step Courses about $1,000. This is a total of almost $2,800! And all of that content is available to you for only $29 per month.
What are office hours?
In addition to all of the video content, HOCK stream is also hosting weekly Live Office Hours with Mr. Kazim for each Part. While each week there is a topic for that Office Hour, you can ask Mr. Kazim any questions you have about that Part of the exam. And if you have a lot of questions or very detailed questions, Mr. Kazim may connect with you outside of Office Hours to answer them.
What is the Learning Community?
The Learning Community is a virtual community where CMA candidates from around the world are able to share study tips, find accountability partners, and motivate each other to the exam date. HOCK experts will also be a part of the community to answer questions and provide support and motivation throughout your study process. With the Learning Community in HOCK stream, self-study doesn’t have to be alone anymore!
Welcome to the HOCK stream!
Before HOCK stream, your options to prepare for the CMA exams have been either self-study or joining in-person classes. However, with self-study, exam candidates often lack community, support, and motivation to keep going. In-person classes require you to follow their schedule at their place and may provide only limited-time access.
That’s why we built HOCK stream. It is a unique learning platform that offers you world-class CMA prep courses in various formats. We have been helping CMA candidates pass their exams for more than 20 years and we are excited about making this new method of studying available to you.
We invite you to prepare for the CMA exams in a practical, personal, and affordable way!
CMA Part 2 Textbook Update January 2023
The CMA Part 2 Textbook has been updated, and the new files are available for current students to download in My Studies. The significant changes are listed below including page numbers in the new January 2023 book.
- Added discussion Relationship Among Inflation, Interest Rates, and Prices of Financial Instruments, pages 136-137.
- Updated models for The Theoretical (or Intrinsic) Value of a Share of Stock, pages 163-166.
- Added Benefits and Disadvantages of Leasing, page 195.
- Added Cash Flow Forecasting, pages 208-209.
- Added Considerations in Selecting Marketable Security Investments, pages 218-219.
- Added Two-Stage Forecasting for Business Valuation, page 246.
- Tax rates changed to 21% to match the current U.S. corporate tax rate.
- Tax rates changed to 21% to match the current U.S. corporate tax rate.
- Added When the NPV and the IRR Conflict, pages 167-168.
- Added NPV and IRR Compared and Contrasted, pages 170-172.
- Expanded the discussion of the SMA, pages 209-219.
- Added Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Reporting, page 227.
If you have any questions about these changes, please contact us and we will be glad to assist you.
You can also learn more about the HOCK CMA Textbooks and other exam prep materials if you are not already a HOCK student.
Resolution To Pass the Exam – Six Practical Tips
Many people made a resolution to pass a professional exam in 2023. There are plenty of articles on staying motivated and keeping up with your resolutions that recommend:
- Have a "Why" and keep the big picture in mind.
- Develop small habits and do a little bit every day.
- Practice self-care.
- Find an accountability partner.
Forbes also suggests Five Ways To Keep Your New Year's Resolutions Based On New Research.
All of these are excellent general recommendations, but we find that the following six steps are the most helpful for keeping your resolution of passing a professional exam:
1 - Sign up for the free trial materials
Our free trial is the best way to see if the HOCK materials are a good fit for you so that you can determine if you like the learning platform, if the textbook is clear to you, and if the videos match your learning style. You don’t have to pay anything to get started, so sign up for CMA Free Trial or CIA Free Trial right away! Don't procrastinate!
2 - Learn how to use PassMap
PassMap is your step-by-step study guide that includes the Personal Study Plan, ExamReady progress bar, study tips, and connects you to the student forum where you can get unlimited CMA and CIA support from HOCK experts. Learn more with our Free PassMap Demo Session.
3 - Choose the materials package that works best for you
The biggest difference between HOCK Standard and HOCK Complete packages is that Complete includes videos and the "You Pass Or We Pay" Guarantee. Compare the HOCK CMA Exam Packages and CIA Exam Packages.
4 - Save money
Once you choose which materials work the best for you, save 50% with our No Excuses sale! That is the best price on the market! Don't miss the deal! Buy CMA materials with 50% off or Buy CIA materials with 50% off.
5 - Set up your personal study plan
Scheduling and planning are the keys to passing a professional exam. We have designed a Personal Study Plan for CMA and CIA exam candidates that shows what to study week by week. The plan automatically adjusts based on the study units you have completed, how many units you have left to study, and how many days you have until your exam.
6 - Ask questions
As the PassMap is leading you through every topic, be sure to understand each unit fully before moving on. Follow the sequence: read textbook and watch the video(s), then practice the MCQs and essays, and use our expert teacher support. If you have any questions, see if it was already answered on the student forum, and if not, you can ask and get an answer from our experts. Check out HOCK CMA and CIA Student Forums.
Use our No Excuses 50% sale to your advantage! HOCK CMA and CIA materials are fully updated to the current syllables and come with unlimited access, unlimited updates, and unlimited teacher support.
We wish you a successful and productive year – the year you become certified!
Time to Become Certified – No Excuses
It is often difficult to start on ambitious goals. There is always a reason that we can find that allows us to postpone starting something big and meaningful. Exam certifications are one of those ambitious goals that you may be having trouble getting started. How long have you been thinking of becoming a CMA (What is CMA certification?), CIA (What is CIA certification?), or getting another professional certification (Which accounting certification is best for me?)? Getting certified is one of the best investments you can make in your own career. However, you are likely using one or more of these excuses to delay getting started: not enough time, too difficult, or too expensive.
When it comes to the decision to start studying for your professional certification, all of these excuses can be used to procrastinate. Guess what? You no longer have these as your excuses.
Here at HOCK, we have eliminated these excuses for you – all you have to do is to start studying, and you will pass the exams in 2023!
I don’t have enough time
You may think you do not have enough time, but our interactive study system PassMap efficiently guides you through all the content that you need to know. A personalized study planner will take you through the exam syllabus week by week and adjusts accordingly if your study schedule changes.
It is too difficult
You may think studying will be difficult because the syllabus is so large. But, with our comprehensive and easy-to-understand study materials, we make learning the content as straightforward and as structured as possible. Regular review and practice sessions, detailed video explanations, a final 3-week review system with multiple Mock exams, study tips, and ongoing support from the CMA and CIA experts will make studying much easier than you can imagine!
It costs too much
You may think it costs too much, but we have done everything we can to help you with that as well. Right now, all HOCK CMA and CIA study materials are 50% off. This is the biggest discount we offer during the year, and it is for a limited time. If your purchase is $299 or more, you can use our interest-free payment plan.
With the HOCK PassMap, our study materials, unlimited access, expert support, and a 50% discount, you have no excuses left. Take advantage of this limited-time offer to start your exam studies right now. Start studying today! No excuses!
A Second Certification for CMAs
You passed the CMA Exam – what’s next?
Congratulations to everyone who passed the CMA Exam in the most recent exam window! This is a great accomplishment and one that you should celebrate.
A common question I get from recent CMAs is, “What certification should I pursue next?” While this is a question that depends largely on you and what you want to do with your career, there is one certification that I think goes very well with CMA and opens up some additional career opportunities.
The world’s leading certification for internal auditors
The Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) is the world’s leading certification for internal auditors working in all industries. One of the reasons that CIA pairs well with CMA is that accounting and finance professionals interact with the internal audit activity as it conducts its engagements. Because accounting and financial professionals provide essential work in the management of the company, the internal audit activity will be spending time providing assurance and consulting engagements in these areas. If you are a CMA and are able to demonstrate that you have the knowledge of an internal auditor, you will be in a better position to add value both as an accounting or finance professional and to the internal audit activity. Or, if you decide to look at a career in internal audit, the knowledge that you have as a CMA will provide you with significant benefits as an internal auditor.
What is covered in the CIA Exams?
In addition to the professional connection between CMA and CIA, CIA is an excellent second certification for CMAs because the CMA Exam covers some of the same topics as the CIA Exam. The CIA Exam is made up of three multiple-choice Exams. Part 1 covers the internal audit activity and its operations, and Part 2 covers the performance of an engagement. Part 3 covers some of the same topics that are on the CMA Exam: business operations, IT, managerial and financial accounting, and finance. If you are already a CMA and you decide to take the CIA Exams, I recommend that you start with Part 3 because you have already studied many of those topics.
How long does it take to prepare for the CIA Exams?
While the CIA Exams are not easy (the pass rate per exam is about the same as it is for CMA, roughly 45%), the preparation process is shorter. We recommend about 60 hours for Part 1, 80 hours for Part 2, and 120 hours for Part 3. So even though it is three exams, it won’t take much longer than preparing for the two CMA exams.
For all of these reasons, if you are a CMA looking for a second certification, I recommend you consider the CIA Exams. The best way to start is to download the CIA Exam Guide and sign up for the CIA Free Trial.
As always, if you have any questions, we will be happy to help.
Should I take the CMA or CPA Exam?
CMA or CPA?
I have been asked this question a lot recently, and I would like to offer some thoughts about these two qualifications and provide some insight to think about when choosing between these two credentials.
First, both CMA and CPA are internationally recognized qualifications supported by international professional organizations. While CPA is still more recognized internationally than CMA, the gap between the two is rapidly closing within organizations that hire management accounting and finance professionals.
Your Career in the Future
Second, you need to match your certifications with what it is that you would like to do with your career in the future. If you would like to have a career as an external auditor or a tax professional, you should probably choose CPA because that is the more recognized qualification in those areas. On the other hand, if you want to work in the accounting or finance department of an organization, then CMA will give you much more practical and relevant knowledge. If you want to start your own business, you definitely should study CMA.
The Difficulty of the Exams
Finally, neither qualification is easy to pass, and you will have to work hard to earn either certification. I have recently spoken to a handful of individuals who have done both CMA and CPA and they all said that overall CMA was more difficult. While on the surface you may see this as a reason not to do CMA, the perceived difficulty of the exam is critical to the value that the certificate. If an exam is viewed as being too easy, then passing that exam does not demonstrate any special level of knowledge on your part. However, when an exam is perceived as difficult, then there is more benefit to you that comes from passing that exam.
On a related note, if you would like to be an internal auditor you should study CIA, and if you want to go into investment banking, then you should study CFA.
Regardless of which certification you choose, make your decision looking at your future and which one will help you the most in your desired career.
Brian Hock, CMA, CIA