Magazine article CMA - the Management Accounting Magazine

CMAs at Crossley Carpets

Magazine article CMA - the Management Accounting Magazine

CMAs at Crossley Carpets

Article excerpt

GORDON LAING, VICE-PRESIDENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION FOR CROSSLEY CARPET MILLS IN TRURO, SAYS HIS CMA TRAINING PROVIDES A WELL-ROUNDED TECHNICAL AND MANAGERIAL FOUNDATION, GIVING HIM THE SKILLS TO DEAL WITH THE DIVERSE ASPECTS OF MANAGEMENT TODAY.

Laing graduated from Acadia University with a business degree in marketing. Soon after, he joined Nova Scotia Power in their finance department and they required all their financial people to enroll in the CMA program. He received his CMA designation in 1990. Shortly after, he took a position at Pratt & Whitney as a controller at the Halifax plant.

Crossley offered him the position of director of finance in 1994 and although he enjoyed Pratt & Whitney, he knew this was an important career move.

"A year later I was promoted to vice-president of finance and the job was expanded to encompass the human resources function, customer service, transportation and distribution, and our sample manufacturing for retail outlets," he says. "It was a large, operational role."

Laing appreciates how the well-rounded CMA program has helped him. "You often focus on developing the technical skills required in the finance function, but then when you look at professional development programs, you realize that what you do affects the entire organization," says Laing. "You take into account not just the financial statements, but how your decisions fit into the strategic goals of the company." You have to think in terms of the big picture of the organization to give better advice to the company.

In 1993 Crossley Carpets focused on growing export sales. "Exports are critical to our future. We grew from almost zero per cent to 20 per cent of sales today," says Laing. "But our goal is to increase that to 40 per cent."

Laing says they are implementing activity-based costing to help them realize their goal. "We've developed models for some overhead departments and we've found that the application of those overheads is not being done accurately from a product costing point of view. Some products should be absorbing more of that overhead. We see the implementation of activity-based costing as being important to make the right decisions to achieve the cost reduction goals necessary to provide export growth," says Laing. "Activity-based costing helps the company better understand the lifecycle cost of a product."

The company also studied their sample department because they wanted to improve the service and delivery. …

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