Bank of America presents FMAP program
Published: Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 11:09
On Sept. 8, Ascend Baruch hosted two guest speakers in its event, Financial Excellence: Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Anthony Renzo, one of the guest speakers, works for Bank of America and is the Director and Lead Head Recruiter of Finance Management Associate Program for Baruch College.
Accompanying him was John Bini, the other guest speaker, is a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch.
Both came to speak about the Financial Management Associate Program (FMAP) sponsored by Bank of America.
FMAP is offered to seniors graduating in June as an Associate Development program. The areas of interest in this program are Corporate Accounting and Corporate Finance functions. This program does not lead to investment banking.
"That's not the goal of the program, but it's not that it can't happen. What we're trying to build through this program is management in a CFO organization," said Bini.
FMAP is a two-year full time job program with two rotations: work is done in one department and the next year work will be done in another area.
The first year applicants are assigned to their area of work. For the second year one chooses their top five areas.
Every member of the program is assigned a mentor and has the ability to meet with senior leaders.
"You are going to get on the job training from your managers. You're going to get guidance from your managers," said Renzo.
There is a class-support system in place which helps in bouncing ideas off one another according to Renzo.
"Being trained the same way as in terms of your goals and your objectives, how to follow through on your goals and just from a networking and planning prospective," said Renzo on class support systems.
For accountants, the main task in the program is to look at the books and records of the firm. The traders and general ledgers are also looked after for the company's accountants.
"We make sure what gets booked by the traders, all the revenue, balance sheets, hit the general ledger appropriately," said Renzo.
Renzo attributes accounting classes to be more related to manufacturing.
As with financial services, there are still debits and credits with revenue lines and balance sheets. However, classes do not look at accounting from an overall firm prospective.
According to Renzo jobs will vary greatly. There is a lot of reporting involved and from a control perspective there are a lot of flex profits done.
It is the accountant's job to validate traders on how they are making their money and where it comes from.
"Every day we have to roll everything up and at quarterly we will release to the public what [Bank of America's] numbers are," said Bini.
Bini went on to firmly add that it is definitely accounting but it is not public accounting and it's not auditing.
As a company's accountant, one has to be able to speak to the members of the business so they understand what is happening with the company's books.
"[Corporations] want to know what it is they need to know to make the right decision, to make more money," said Bini.
An accountant has to be a partner to the business.
Accountants have a corporate obligation to make sure the controls set in place are carried out.
If proper controls are not in place and are not followed, something like insider trading can ruin a business.
When it comes to resumes Renzo says it's a challenge to differentiate when he's flipping through 150 resumes. He looks for buzzwords and what experiences a candidate may have.
"If your a 4.0 [GPA] and your not part of any clubs and you haven't done any part-time work, to me you're not well rounded. If you're a 3.2 [GPA], but you worked full time and you're part of three clubs and you're the president of an organization, okay, that's going to intrigue me," said Renzo.
A goal of Renzo's is coming to Baruch and meeting the students and talking to them. This makes an impression on him and if he sees a student again that's when they start having a dialog.
He suggests talking to people at Baruch, get to know them and their experiences, and it progressives from there.
Renzo and Bini agree that an FMAP member is able to build life-long skills that he or she can take to other companies.
Associates are extremely encouraged to meet other people and network with others.