What Does a Management Accountant Do?

One of the most valuable investments that a successful company can make is the selection of a management accountant. A central figure who combines skills in accounting, management and finance with knowledge of leading edge technology, a management accountant’s role involves interaction with senior level executives.

Necessary Skills of a Management Accountant

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants lists the essential skills that make a management accountant successful.

Analytical

An ability to understand the essence of spreadsheets and mathematical calculations prepared by accountants provides the basis for using the information to help leaders make decisions affecting the operation of a company.

Able to Evaluate Risk

Using analytic skills, a management accountant is qualified to examine all business processes to identify risk and to implement controls.

Planning Skills

With access to accounting systems and with knowledge of a company’s goals and objectives, a management accountant can provide guidance in planning and budgeting for growth. The ability to use observed patterns and trends in data as a basis for guiding business decisions is often a key to a company’s success.

Strategic

Decisions regarding the positioning of resources that enable a company to create wealth for shareholders is at the central core of business strategy. A management accountant helps formulate plans that are based on a company’s vision and goals, priorities and mission.

Communicative

A management accountant has superior communication skills and uses them to translate complex financial matters to executives. In combination with an understanding of finance and accounting, communication is one of the most important qualifications for the position.

Keeping Executive Management Informed

The diverse areas of expertise that a management accountant possesses makes advising management an essential part of the job. The Guardian lists advising managers about formulating strategies in a competitive environment as one of the most important functions. Communicating information about the financial impact of potential projects allows managers to make sound decisions. As preparation for providing reliable information, a management accountant needs to conduct periodic internal audits and maintain a constant awareness of corporate spending.

Staying Aware of Market Economies

In a global economy, a management accountant must have curiosity that extends well beyond a local market area. Staying informed about business operations around the world enhances the ability to see how executives in other countries make decisions and resolve issues. High intellect, curiosity about every aspect of a business and persistence are traits that enhance the ability of a management account to function well in an intensely competitive business environment.

Filling an Essential Function in Business

The job of a management accountant is demanding, and the rewards usually match the demands. Working as a key resource who is available to inform executives, make a presentation to a board or represent a company at international conferences, a management accountant must fill many roles in a company. The job requires a multi-talented person who maintains a willingness to learn and to remain alert to developing issues. The future well being of a business often resides in the wisdom, knowledge and judgment of a qualified management accountant.

A job as a management accountant is challenging, requiring an individual to consolidate many skills. Performing analysis, making risk assessments, planning, developing strategies and communicating well are daily requirements for a management accountant.