Magazine article CMA - the Management Accounting Magazine

Membership to Be Asked to Refine SMAC Structure

Magazine article CMA - the Management Accounting Magazine

Membership to Be Asked to Refine SMAC Structure

Article excerpt

The Society of Management Accountants of Canada is in the process of making some radical changes in the way it is managed and operated. They are not the sort of changes most members will notice initially, but over time it should mean that the National Society will become even more efficent and responsive.

At its November meeting, the Board of Directors authorized the Executive Committee to take the measures necessary to introduce a revision to the Society's by-laws to create a new senior staff position, President and Chief Executive Officer. The revision will also:

* redefine the senior volunteer positions, such that the Executive Committee would be made up of a chair and three vice-chairs

* create the staff positions of vice-president, tresurer, and secretary to the Board, and

* create a more appropriate segregation of responsibilities between the Executive Committee and the senior staff officer.

The changes will also eliminate the current senior staff position of executive vice-president. The new position of president and CEO will have a job description quite different from that of the executive vice-president position. As such the Board has decided that a search must be conducted before appointing a president and CEO.

The by-law revisions, once in place, will allow us to operate like a business, with a senior staff person empowered to run the operation and make the decisions necessary to keep day-to-day matters on course. This will truly free up the Board and the senior volunteers to concentrate solely on policy matters.

To be truthful, the unclear division of management responsibilities between the president, the Executive Committee, and the executive vice-president has not provided the senior staff officer with the clear authority and responsibility to do the job without interference. In addition, the Society is too large and too complex to have a part time, chief executive officer with a one-year term as is now the case with the volunteer president also serving as CEO. That conclusion was first reached during our initial strategic planning initiative in the mid-1980s.

At that time, the idea didn't fly. It has, however, been up for discussion at the Executive level on a regular basis since then. Now, in the midst of nation-wide discussions on how the Society in Canada should be governed, it seems like the perfect time to make these changes at SMAC. …

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