Management accountants are responsible for managing a company's finances.

What does a management accountant do?

This role involves looking after a company's accounts, and finding ways of improving profitability and growth. Duties could include:

  • preparing regular financial statements and accounts, such as profit and loss accounts
  • monitoring spending, costs and budgets
  • analysing the company’s financial performance
  • forecasting and planning future spending and profits
  • recommending ways to reduce costs and increase profits
  • making business decisions with other managers
  • carrying out internal audits of various departments
  • providing external auditors with company reports and financial data
  • managing a team of accounting technicians and finance clerks
  • overseeing the company's payroll, credit control and bookkeeping systems

What do I need to do to become a management accountant ?

To do this job you will need to have good maths and computer skills. You’ll need accuracy and attention to detail. You’ll also need good communication skills.

To become an accountant, you must complete training with one of the professional accountancy bodies. Although each professional body includes some company financial management in their training, many management accountants choose to qualify with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

CIMA training involves two stages:

  • CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting – an entry-level qualification with five exams
  • CIMA Professional Qualification – the second stage of training, with ten exams (see Training and development section).

Your starting point will depend on your previous qualifications and work experience.

You do not need any set qualifications to begin studying for the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting, although you will need a good standard of maths and English. You can study full-time, part-time or by distance learning.

Related skills

  • Analytics
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • IT
  • Numeracy
  • Organisation
  • Time management

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

You could work in the accounting or financial department of all kinds of companies or public sector organisations. 

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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