Patricia Strawley, CPA, CGMA
Manager, Fidato Partners, LLC.
International Finance Reporting Standards (IFRS) Certificate Program
A focus on continuous improvement
When it comes to development and education, continuous improvement is a no-brainer for me. I’m proud of my certifications and I look for the best learning opportunities. While the IFRS certificate wasn’t a requirement for my job, it is relevant to me because I live in this world. I like to travel and just spent my daughter’s 25th birthday in Dubai. She did her undergraduate work in Italy and is returning there for work.
So, achieving the IFRS certificate was more of a personal goal for me. I like to learn about other things in this world, and the certificate fits into that.
Rekindling a love of learning
After receiving my accounting degree, working in public accounting and moving to an accounting role in business and industry to achieve a better work/life balance, I happily returned to a consulting role. At that point I had been out of school for 20 years. I value education, so I wanted to earn CPE credits to fill that knowledge gap.
Now, I’m getting recognition at work for taking part in the program. I also added the IFRS digital badge to my LinkedIn page and IFRS certificate information to my bio and my resume.
I deal with a lot of change management in the work I do. For example, I may be helping two companies blend their different corporate cultures, processes, systems and workflows together. Also, with all of the new technical guidance and convergence on the forefront for the last 20 years, private companies are still in the weeds for Topic 606 Revenue from Contracts with Customers. Revenue recognition has taken the position of being the biggest issue in the convergence between U.S. GAAP and IFRS.
With an international focus, the IFRS certificate makes my work on convergence issues easier and my conversations with clients easier, too. It shows the client that I understand the entirety of their business; that I look at things with a global perspective.
A changing profession
I’m really excited about where the direction of the accounting profession is heading: It’s growing globally. When the partnership started between the AICPA and CPA Canada for the AICPA Women’s Global Leadership Summit, the conversations at the conferences I attended really started to change.
As we expanded our footprint, the paradigm of our conversations moved forward as we reached for greater horizons. Those are important conversations to have, and they are headed in the right direction.
Another thing that’s really exciting to me inside and outside of work is a shifting attitude towards inclusion. It’s not enough for people to say, “We recognize that we need to have more women at the table during a board meeting.” Inclusion means you’re actually inviting them to the table to add value.
I’ve always trusted institutional and academic knowledge the most to propel me forward. The first place that I go to for CPE is the AICPA. I see a lot of integrity in its foundation and the structure behind it.
Next, I’ll be taking the XBRL U.S. GAAP Certificate Program. It’s another add on to the services I provide. But for me, it’s personal—it’s about continuous improvement. It’s more in line with the work I do and it keeps me more relevant in a changing profession. It also brings me back to work I really enjoy: the preparation and reporting of financial statements.