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Career Spotlights ~ Management Accountant
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Basic Info
  • Hours: 30-40 per week
  • Starting salary: £18,000 + per year

Management accountants are responsible for managing a company's finances. They look after a company's accounts. They also find ways of improving profitability and growth. So if you are interested in finance and business, this could be just what you're looking for. To do this job you will need to have good Math and Computer skills. You'll need accuracy and attention to detail. You'll also need good communication skills. To start working you will have to finish training with one of the professional bodies. Most management accountants choose to do with the Chatered Institute of Management Accountants.

The Work

As a management accountant you would work for one company as an in-house (internal) accountant. This role is different from a private practice accountant, who provides accountancy services for external clients.

Your work 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 tram of accounting technicians and finance clerks
  • Overseeing the company's payroll, credit control and bookkeeping systems

You would normally work standard office hours, Monday to Friday. You may need to work overtime during busy periods, such as at the end of the financial year. Part-time work may often be available.


Trainee and part-qualified accountants could earn between £18,000 and £30,000 a year, depending on which stage of training they have reached.

Qualified management accountants usually earn between £30,000 and £50,000 a year.

Finance managers and directors could earn between £50,000 and £100,000 a year, depending on the size of the company

Salaries also depend on location, and may be higher in London and the South East.

Entry Requirements

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

CIMA training involves two stages:

  • CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting - Entry-level qualification, with five computer-based exams
  • CIMA Professional Qualification - The second stage of training, with nine exams

Your entry point will depend on your previous qualifications and experience.

Training and Development

To become a fully-qualified Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA), you must pass the CIMA Professional Qualification and complete at least three years' relevant work experience.

To achieve the CIMA Professional Qualification you will need to complete:

  • Three exams at Operational Level
  • Three exams at Managerial Level
  • Three exams at Strategic Level
  • A two-part test of Professional Competence in Management Accounting, based on practical experience and a case study.
Skills and Knowledge

To become a management accountant, you will need to have:

  • Good Mathematical and Computer skills
  • Analytical ability and a logical approach
  • A good understanding of business
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • Good communication skills
  • The ability to explain technical financial information clearly
  • Organisation and time-management skills
  • Honesty and disrection

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