Yves De Souza aims to put “cost accountant in a manufacturing environment” on his résumé.
“I enjoy solving problems, and accounting is a field where there are so many opportunities to assess multiple cases and provide the best recommendations using a set of well-defined principles,” Yves explains. “Accounting is a language and a process that when well understood can enable powerful decisions.”
Part 1: cost accountant
Yves has taken quite a few steps to get to this position. No stranger to the numbers game, he started work as a staff accountant at Compagnie Ivoirienne d'Electricité (Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire). Since then, he worked as a transaction analyst at Roosevelt Management Company and then as a senior analyst at Ditech Financial LLC, focusing on residential mortgage loan acquisitions and servicing.
Part 2: in a manufacturing environment
To be ready to succeed in this type of organization, Yves earned his master's degrees in both supply chain management and finance from Molde University College and the University of North Texas, respectively.
Putting the two together
Yves is currently a demand planning lead at Intel Corporation—manufacturing environment, check!
“I haven't sat for the CPA Exam yet,” Yves says. “I plan to start with exam preparation early next year. I truly believe that the accounting certificate has set up the foundation for my success toward the CPA.”
With an eye toward the future, let’s roll back the clock to when Yves joined our Accounting certificate.
I wanted to learn from the best, and this program came highly recommended.
What were you looking to achieve through our Accounting certificate?
I heard about the accounting certificate while discussing it with a couple of friends who hold their CPAs. I wanted to learn from the best, and this program came highly recommended.
My main goal was to improve my understanding of the U.S. GAAP and to get enough credits to sit for the CPA Exam. Given that I did my undergrad overseas, I wanted to have a solid review of the accounting curriculum here in the U.S.
I also want to mention that I felt that I needed to improve my accounting skills and having a solid background would help facilitate that transition to cost accounting in manufacturing.
You took all of your classes online. Tell me about that experience.
I started the program prior to the pandemic and was in a job that required a lot of travel at the time, so I knew it would be almost impossible for me to attend in-person classes.
I had a really good experience with the way the classes were handled. I enjoyed the flexibility to work on course materials on my own schedule and that the instructors were really responsive to any inquiry.
For most of the classes, we had a forum where students could exchange ideas on different topics related to the materials we were studying and that helped to get a better understanding through the different angles that were presented.
I am very pleased with the experience of taking the classes online. I didn't know at first how much time and effort would be required to keep up with the classes, homework and exams. I had to learn how to balance my personal and professional commitments. I also had to develop new levels of discipline and execution in my study plans. I had a set schedule that I followed weeks after weeks, and this is how I was able to stay on track.
These are skills that I will be able to leverage in the next chapters of my life.
I also completed a few audits of processes that needed improvements using the methods I learned in the certificate program.
You were working at Intel at that time, but as a senior financial analyst. Were you able to put lessons learned to work?
Yes, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to apply the different concepts I learned in class.
I did a lot of accounting reconciliation work in my prior roles, trying to solve discrepancies and improve the systems by identifying root causes for errors. In my current role, I do a lot of financial analyses of entities we do business with, and I support my operations team with recommendations resulting from these efforts. I also completed a few audits of processes that needed improvements using the methods I learned in the certificate program.
I take great pride in earning this certificate because it was a very challenging experience.
Wonderful! What does earning this certificate mean for you personally and professionally?
I take great pride in earning this certificate because it was a very challenging experience. I remember the long hours and the frustration when working on the course materials. It was not easy, but that was part of the building process and I am glad that I was able to follow through and complete the certificate.
Professionally, this certificate gave me the opportunity to achieve my immediate goal, which was to start a career as a cost accountant in a manufacturing environment for a global corporation.
Check and check on meeting that goal! For other students in the Accounting certificate, any tips you would like to share?
This is a rigorous but rewarding program. Make a good plan about how much effort and time you want to commit to this and then go for it—if you are willing to make the sacrifices. You will learn a lot of valuable skills and will have an opportunity to enter the accounting profession after completing the certificate.