A management accountant’s role is normally expected to look for ways of saving your company money and improving profitability and growth. This could involve small changes like switching suppliers or larger changes like bringing in new procedures.
The kinds of activities you’ll oversee as a Management Accountant include:
Advise managers about the financial implications of projects.
Explain the financial consequences of business decisions.
Formulate business strategy.
Monitor spending and financial control.
Conduct internal business audits.
Explain the impact of the competitive landscape.
Bring a high level of professionalism and integrity to business. Preparing financial statements
Making sure spending is in line with budgets
A big focus of your job will be to make sure the business is compliant with financial governance requirements. You’ll most likely manage a team who will help you with all your duties although the role does vary quite widely depending on the size of your business and what sector it is in.
It can get pretty busy at month end and year end so you should expect to put in a few extra hours at these times.
Recent salary data shows that trainees usually earn between £21,000 and £26,000 but that passing exams has a big impact on your earning power. As a newly qualified management accountant you could be on £30,000 to £45,000. Looking ahead, the typical range of senior level salaries is £60,000 to £100,000 plus bonuses.
To work as a management accountant you’ll need professional qualifications, or at least be working towards them. There are six professional accountancy bodies but the most popular in this line of work is the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
You don’t need any qualifications to start studying for CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants), but to get the best from it you’ll need to be good at maths and English. Some other financial qualifications will mean you can skip some of the CIMA exams, for example if you’ve got your Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) or an accountancy or business degree you won’t be expected to take the exams which subjects you’ve already learned.
If you don’t follow the CIMA programme, then it’s worth looking at what the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) or the Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA) have to offer.
To become a fully-qualified management accountant you’ll need to pass your CIMA exams and finish three years work experience.
In total you’ll need to take 14 exams to get your CIMA accreditation (unless your existing qualifications exempt you from some of them).
There’s three main parts to the course covering management accounting, business management and financial management. It’s important to keep your skills up to date throughout your career, even once you are fully qualified.
It’s quite common for fully qualified accountants to take an MBA for example. All six of the professional bodies run on-going professional development courses too and the industry runs lots of networking events for professionals to meet and chew the fat.