Career Guide – Management Accountant
A Management Accountant is a little different from other types of Accountant in that the role involves working ‘in-house’ for one company and handling their individual accounts, rather than working for multiple companies at an accounting firm.
But what does the role entail, and is it for you?
What Management Accountants do:
The specifics of management accountant jobs vary between employers, but generally – this is a role where you oversee a team of other finance professionals and look after the account of a single company.
Typically, daily tasks can range from preparing accounts, to analysing performance and tracking spending. There is often an element of budget setting, and playing a role in formulating business strategies involved as well.
Management accountants are often responsible for identifying and managing financial risks within the business, and for financial forecasting – making data-based predictions about the financial future of the business in the short and long terms.
Often, Management Accountant careers will require you to undertake auditing work – looking at the processes and systems used within the company, as well as checking that all applicable financial regulations are being adhered to; this may also involve preparing reports for outside organisations and ensuring that clear audit trails are documented.
In some companies, payroll, credit control and management of bookkeeping systems may also be required as part of the job.
Management Accountant Skills and Qualifications
To obtain management accountant jobs, you will need a professional accountancy qualification from a body such as the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants, or the Institute of Financial Accountants. Experience in similar positions is generally considered advantageous, as it shows an understanding and capability for the responsibilities of the role.
In terms of the skills needed, a good head for numbers is essential, but an aptitude for analytics is also as important. You need to have good attention to detail – especially for audit based tasks, and a problem-solving mentality will help with budgeting and similar undertakings. Being able to see the bigger picture and apply the necessary facts and upcoming trends and laws to a business is highly desired.
Professionalism, global business awareness and discretion are important skills for any accountant to have as sensitive data and materials will form a large portion of your workload. It would not be considered unusual to be required to sign non-disclosure (NDA) and / or confidentiality agreements with the business or individual you take on as a client.
Management Accountant Working Life
Salaries for these roles can start from £24,000-30,000 and extend anywhere up to £100,000 depending on the level of experience you bring to the role, and the size of the company.
Progression and promotions often involve becoming a senior manager a finance director, or sometimes even taking on jobs such as a chief executive.
Alternatively, you can move into roles such as being a self-employment management consultant.
Many of these career paths will be based on traditional office hours with the requirement to work extra hours and weekends depending on the needs of the individual business. This might mean being expected to take on extra hours at the end of the financial year, or if there is a major event taking place within the business.
Management Accountant Career
Working as a Management Accountant means you will take on a position to make a difference within an individual company – shaping the decisions made about its future, and ensuring that everything is done on a sound financial basis. It is a rewarding career path with room for growth, and the opportunity to branch out in different directions or specialisations as skills and experiences are gained.