What Sets a Management Accountant Apart from a Traditional Accountant?
- Analyse data, forecasts and budgets to help leaders make decisions
- Create reports to be used internally
- Compile information looking at the future, not the past
- Are responsive – whatever information the business needs, they’ll provide it
- Measure operational, as well as financial, performance
- Can focus on specific parts of the business
- Look at qualitative and quantitative data
- Analyse past financial performance, usually for regulatory reporting
- Create reports to satisfy external regulations
- Are regulated – reports are in line with prescribed requirements
- Measure financial data only
- Focus on the entire organisation
- Compile data as set points of the year, according to legislation
- Look at quantitative data only
The Value Management Accountants Bring to Business
They are Business Leaders
As a management accountant, you’ll understand how your organisation works. You’ll know its business model, strategic context and competitive position inside out. That, combined with your first-class leadership skills, means you play a vital role in any business.
They are Innovation Advisors
For a business to thrive, it needs to constantly adapt to keep pace as the world changes. As a management accountant, you’ll grab every opportunity for innovation and help drive future success.
They are Data-Backed Decision Makers
By combining financial and non-financial data, you’ll paint a complete picture of the business. You’ll use that in-depth analysis to make decisions and pursue business success at the highest level.
They are Forecasters
Management accountants focus on the future. You’ll gather information and analyse statistics to spot trends and help make strategic decisions – from improving internal efficiencies to tackling market expansion.
Where can a career in accounting
Chief Financial Officer
The chief financial officer is the part of the executive management team who develops the financial well-being of the organisation. They are accountable for financial planning, operations, and risk management so require a detailed, wider range of knowledge.
In large organisations, the finance manager role may be concerned with strategic analysis, while in smaller companies, a finance manager may be responsible for the collection and preparation of accounts. A finance manager is typically a fully qualified chartered accountant.
Management consultants advise organisations on how they might implement strategic decisions or improve performance. Management consultants need to be aware of every aspect of an organisation, and have strong commercial acumen, project management skills and analytical prowess.
Management accountants understand business as well as finance, using this knowledge to interpret financial data and make informed strategic decisions. They often work closely with senior stakeholders to help drive growth, with typical activities including budgeting and forecasting, profit and loss reporting and balance sheet analysis.
Finance Business Partner
Finance business partners are commercially aware with strong communication and leadership skills. They work alongside different departments, using analysis and insights to support and advise all strategic and operational decision-making. To excel as a finance business partner, you need core finance skills as well as the ability to clearly and concisely articulate financial information.
Every organisation needs someone to report on its financial position. That’s where a financial accountant comes in. They provide accurate information to budget holders and external parties to fulfil regulatory requirements. The next step on the career ladder for a financial accountant is to become a finance manager.
If you’ve got top analytical skills, you could make a good business analyst. They use their skills to build financial models that support commercial decision making by the senior team. As well as financial modelling, business analysts will take on risk management, so they’re often fully qualified accountants.
Being an accounts assistant will expose you to a wide range of accountancy duties including preparing financial statements and accounts, processing expense claims and invoices, managing ledgers and preparing VAT returns. This role is a great springboard into becoming a financial accountant or a management accountant as you have a solid foundation in finance.
Why choose CIMA
Boost your earning potential
|CIMA Student average salary|
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