In two weeks I will graduate from the UNR EMBA program. It was two years of tough work and slogging through many difficult assignments. We never had more than a couple of weeks off. It is definitely an accomplishment that has taught me much. I will always look at the value of money in the true lens of time. I will now always be able to appreciate different business strategies in a given market. I will understand why a business is making certain choices relative to their strategy. And I will always appreciate how glaring and far too common poor management styles are today. (Especially this last one! Management is not that hard, folks. Take Dr. Simmons Bus. Org. class and when you learn how to properly manage others you will be amazed at how bad most managers are!) Truly, my MBA coursework was a great investment.
While the degree was difficult (two solid years with strict deadlines and prolific reading/assignment lists) it still lacked one thing. There was one aspect of business that was not covered well enough. We did not spend enough time learning about the guts of a business. We did not cover well enough the gears of war – accounting.
Accounting tells you everything you will ever need to know about a business. Who has the money, what they did with it, how productive was it, where should it go next year…..all of this can only be answered with accounting. And if you do not know it, then the answer to these questions can be twisted or obscured by those that do. I began a weeks-long conversation with a friend of mine sitting for the CPA exam about a start-up I am working on. During the conversation she informed me of several points in business that I was unaware of due to my lack of accounting background. I felt a bit embarrassed. I now hold a job as an Accounting Specialist and work directly with several accountants of various levels of expertise. As I listen to them and try to keep up with them I again am reminded of this missing component an MBA graduate will likely face without a better understanding of accounting.
For this reason I am moving on after graduation and attending the remaining 7 courses needed in order to sit for the CPA exam. And then I will move along further and take the remaining 6 courses required for the M.Acc. I anticipate that this will be a 4 year journey. However, I honestly feel that this is the only way that I can sit across the table from people and small businesses that I wish to advise and to help successfully grow and feel completely competent. Only then will I feel that I am a well-rounded and solid business man.
Learn the Gears of War or know that your armor holds a fatal flaw.