ACCA - The global body for professional accountants

Overview

By preparing, developing and analysing financial information, management accountants make sure that organisations make well-informed decisions.

Management accountants are mainly involved in the financial analysis of management information for decision-making to support strategic and operational decisions. 

They use IT systems for budget planning and control and are capable and competent in the management of projects and in communicating to the relevant internal stakeholders. 

The role also involves interpreting financial transactions and internal financial statements such as budgetary and variance reports, so some interpretation aspects of financial reporting are relevant. 

Entry and progression

Management accounting is a key role in finance with roles available in practice, the corporate and public sectors, financial services and shared service organisations. As such there are many entry points into financial accountancy within these sectors with opportunities to progress to senior levels where management accountants support financial strategy and may be involved in strategic information management. 

The ACCA exams provide the knowledge and skills that complete finance professionals and management accountants need. Students working within management accountancy would find the options exams Advanced Performance Management (P5) and Advanced Financial Management (P4) most relevant to their roles. 

It is not just about exams. Getting the right experience helps trainees gain the competencies needed to enter and move up through their career in management accountancy. Areas such as monitoring and controlling budgets (PO14);  evaluating potential business/investment opportunities  and the required finance options (PO15) and managing cash using active cash management and treasury systems (PO16), would all provide great experience and relate to the performance objectives (PO) which need to be signed off as part of the Practical Experience Requirement (PER).

Career progression in this role can be supported by developing and demonstrating professional behaviours. Take a look at the behavioural competencies in the Competency Framework to reflect on the type of behaviours which are useful for manager accountants. 

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