How to Become a Management Accountant

Management accounting is essential to majority of businesses and organizations. It deals with the management of finances and tax information. Management accountants are highly trained professionals that are responsible for recording and examining financial information for their employer.

What does a management accountant do?

Management accountants keep track of all the financial and tax activities of an organization. They keep the records of income, revenue, taxes, and other financial information. They are often involved in the development of new products and strategic planning activities. They are also concerned with cost management, budgeting, asset management, and performance evaluation. Management accountants evaluate and interpret essential financial information that organizations need to make executive decisions that look out for the best interest of the company. They prepare income statements, cash-flow statements, and balance sheets. They also prepare financial reports for others such as tax authorities, regulatory agencies, creditors, and stockholders. Management accountants often concentrate on a specific area such as tax accounting, cost accounting, and budget accounting.

What kind of training does a management accountant need?

Management accountants typically need at least a bachelor degree in accounting or related area. Many employers prefer applicants with a master degree in accounting or business administration. Many aspiring management accountants complete internships to gain practical experience while pursuing their education. Most management accountants are Certified Public Accountants (CPA). Some states and employers require the CPA designation. Many also gain the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation from the Institute of Management Accountants. The requirements include at least a bachelor degree, minimum work experience, and passing a four-part examination. Management accountants must stay up to date on the current advancements in the field and often complete continuing education and additional training throughout their careers.

What are the prospects for a career as a management accountant?

Employment of all accountants is expected to grow faster than average for all professions, increasing 18% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The complexity of businesses will increase the need for management accountants to keep track of the finances and tax regulations of organizations.

Job prospects are expected to be good especially for management accountants with extensive experience. Many job openings will arise from the need to replace management accountants that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do management accountants make?

As of November 2009, the average annual salary for management accountants is $56,000; average annual management accountant salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).

A career as a management accountant is a great choice for individuals with a strong interest in keeping track of the finances and taxes for a variety of businesses and organizations. Management accountants must be accurate and have a high level of integrity. Mathematical aptitude, organization, and ability to evaluate a variety of financial information are essential characteristics. They must also have excellent oral and written communication and the ability to work as part of a team.

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