What makes a good Management Accountant?
What Makes a Good Management Accountant?
Management accountants give senior managers insights into how the business is performing. They create and present reports that answer vital questions like “How much income can we expect from this new product?” or “Where can we cut costs?” It’s a key role–and an increasingly digital and data-focused one.
Whether you’re looking to hire a management accountant or considering a career in the field, read on to discover the hard and soft skills a good management accountant needs to have.
At a minimum, a good management accountant should have an ACA/ACCA/CIMA qualification, or at least be working towards one. A certification in management accounting is also desirable–either a CIMA (Certified Institute of Management Accountants) qualification or equivalent.
A good management accountant is experienced in handling the full range of standard accounting tasks, such as:
Creating itemised balance sheets, P&L reports, and financial statements.
Managing stock movements, values, and associated usage of materials.
Managing the calculation and reporting of expenses.
Handling the company payroll for both monthly and weekly staff.
Monitoring and evaluating key performance indicators (KPIs).
Managing site overhead expenditure and budget control.
Completing quarterly VAT returns and preparing tax returns.
The evolution of the accounting landscape demands a growing range of digital skills, going beyond Excel to ERP systems like SAP and Oracle, reporting tools like Cognos, and above all a commitment to continuous learning of new tools and platforms.
1. Analysis and Problem-Solving
The rise of data analysis means analytical and problem-solving skills are more sought after than ever. Management accountants need to be able to draw meaningful insights from data to create reports and answer questions that impact the future of the business. Analytical skills are also vital to support the finance team in implementing new operational processes and digital tools.
2. Presentation and Communication Skills
Management accountants need to be able to communicate their insights effectively and accurately to financial experts and laypeople, at all levels of the business, in person and online. A crucial aspect of this is the ability to create visual reports that are easier for busy leaders from other departments to understand.
3. Leadership Skills
Many management accountants will be supervising small financial teams as well as providing payroll and ledger management.They need strong leadership skills to mentor, guide and motivate others in their team, as well as keeping track of other team members’ progress on tasks and projects, even when working from home.
4. Collaborative Skills
A management accountant’s role is a blend of financial analysis, leadership, strategy and technology. The process of communicating their insights will bring them into contact with a wide range of people, often working with other departments, such as IT, as well as with other members of the finance team to create reports for stakeholders. In the new era of work, seamless collaboration with external as well as internal contacts may also be part of the role.
Whether you’re a client or a candidate, if you’d like some expert, personally tailored advice on your next steps, get in touch today for a no-strings chat about what you’re looking for and how we can help you in your search.