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Serendipity brings CPA to new role at IMA

Written on Oct 21, 2021

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager 

For OSCPA member Marsha Huber, CPA, reflecting on her new role as director of research at the Institute of Management Accountants brings to mind one word: serendipity. 

“One of the papers I published this year in ‘Issues of Accounting Education’ teaches students how to use serendipity, to further their careers,” she said. “And I thought, ‘Wow, there are so many serendipitous events,’ to bring me to my current role.” 

Prior to her new role at the IMA, Huber was a professor of accounting at the Williamson College of Business Administration at Youngstown State University. Huber’s previous work experience, which has included speaking and writing for OSCPA, prepared her well for her new position when she started at IMA in August. 

Along with her accounting background, Huber has a master’s degrees in journalism from Harvard University Extension and positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, and creativity and change leadership from Buffalo State College. She said she’s especially looking forward to supporting fellow accountants with her research to improve the profession. As director of research, she helps manage the grant process and is the managing editor of the IMA Educational Case Journal, along with her role conducting research as a thought leader. 

“In the research role, I'm most looking forward to doing quality research that helps practitioners and advances the accounting profession,” she said. “We know there are lots of reports about business in general, but this is to help specifically accounting and finance professionals.” 

“Innovation will be a vital part of the future of the profession,” Huber said. From her research on the value of brainstorming and positive psychology, she said, “practitioners will benefit from exploring opportunities and ways of thinking they haven’t tried before.” 

Her journalism degree comes in handy, she said, as she understands when it’s appropriate to write “like an academic,” and when to write in a way that’s more relatable for practitioners. Huber said she’s excited to help bring ideas to organizations to solve problems, increase profitability and to meet other goals any business might have in mind. 

Pursuing her passions has been essential in getting her to where she is today, Huber said, and she’s excited to help further the profession in beneficial ways. 

“I cannot believe how everything I love to do is in my new position,” she said. “I didn't anticipate the reward I would feel by helping others in this role and helping the profession.” 

Hear more from Marsha at the upcoming Ohio Virtual Accounting Shows on Oct. 26-27 and Nov. 16-17. Register now!