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Kangaroos, koalas, and "kredit:" NACM president addresses credit conference.

Remaining competitive these days increasingly means going global. To that end, NACM President Paul Mignini Jr., CAE ventured down under recently for the Australian Institute of Credit Management's national conference in Perth.

The three-day conference brought together representatives from credit associations in Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S., and featured two presentations from Mignini.

First, Mignini addressed the importance of continuing professional education and certification, informing the delegates that education is the cornerstone of the NACM.

"Education is the vehicle to your professional success," Mignini said.

Responsibilities of modern credit departments transcend the routine task of collecting money. The complexity of tasks, combined with the wide-range of required skills, make credit management one of the most challenging of all business occupations.

Recognition of these challenges has led corporations to elevate the importance of the credit function, and now credit managers are generally part of middle management.

"The status of the profession has changed because the body of knowledge about credit has grown, and more importantly, the risk has grown dramatically," Mignini said. "A credit manager must be courageous under pressure, yet willing to yield when the facts change."

Mignini then congratulated the Australian Institute of Credit Management (AICM) for instituting a professional certification program. With certification comes career recognition, which builds pride and encourages participation. Certification can create a lifetime of professional achievement and commitment from initial education through an entire career with various levels of certification, he said.

"At NACM, the professional certification program is respected and appreciated," he said. "Not only is participation in the program a mark of distinction, it offers our members a wide range of benefits."

Among those benefits is an opportunity to expand knowledge, convey to your employer that you are motivated, and obtain respect among peers.

In the second of Mignini's two presentations, he examined international trends in global credit management, specifically addressing the Australian economy.

"To become truly one world of peace and prosperity, we must have free movement, country to country and continent to continent of products, people, and ideas," Mignini said.

He noted that the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development put the total addition to global economic activity at more than $400 billion and the increase in international trade at more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years. The net addition to Australia's exports during that time is expected to approach $5 billion.

In addition, average tariff reductions will be more than 50 percent on goods of interest to Australia, resulting in tariff savings of up to $450 million. The result of these changes will likely be increased economic activity and higher employment throughout Australia and the world.

But how do these changes affect credit managers? According to Mignini, international credit and finance managers must become strategic thinkers.

"Credit and financial professionals must analyze opportunities in a rapid-paced environment where product life and design cycles have been drastically compressed and direct competitors are seeking ways to collect data, make decisions, and get paid faster," said Mignini. "We must constantly rethink and revise skills in the traditional areas of treasury, finance, and information management, but we must add strategic planning, product development, and customer service to that list."

The AICM was rounded in 1937 and now has about 4,000 members. It sets professional standards and evaluates those credit and financial professionals who wish to gain its professional qualifications and use its designatory letters, AICM or FICM. The stated goals of the Institute are to:

* Raise the status of the credit profession and the members.

* Improve the performance of members in discharging their professional obligations to their employers through education and information exchange.

* Attract new members into the Institute from government, industry, commerce, and other professions.

* Encourage a greater involvement by members in the management and activities of the Institute.

Like NACM, AICM offers its members an array of benefits, including annual conferences, educational seminars, publications, and continued professional education.

Kevin C. Naff is communications associate/editor, NACM
COPYRIGHT 1995 National Association of Credit Management
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Copyright 1995 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:National Association of Credit Management Pres. Paul Mignini Jr; Australian Institute of Credit Management national conference
Author:Naff, Kevin C.
Publication:Business Credit
Date:Jan 1, 1995
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