Management accountants work internally in a business and record and analyse the financial accounts of the company for which they work.
What does a Management Accountant do?
Management accountants work internally in a business and record and analyse the financial accounts of the company for which they work. Management accountants are also known as cost accountants.
As a management accountant, you would:
- prepare all of the financial statements for the company
- manage budgets, and undertake annual forecasting and budget planning
- make recommendations for cost reductions and savings
- monitor the company's financial performance
- recommend ways to reduce costs and increase profits
- undertake or oversee internal auditing
- prepare the business accounts for external audit
- oversee the company's payroll and bookkeeping systems.
Key skills and interests
To become a management accountant, you would need:
- the ability to interpret figures and information
- excellent maths and IT skills
- strong analytical and problem-solving ability
- a high degree of accuracy and attention to detail
- good spoken and written communication skills
- good organisational and time management skills.
Working hours and conditions
Management accountants generally work normal office hours, Monday to Friday, with occasional overtime to meet deadlines at busy times. Part-time work may be possible.
You would usually be based in an office environment, and spend most of your time sitting at, and using a computer. You would spend a portion of time in meetings with the accounting team and management.
How to become an Management Accountant?
Entry Level Education
You would become a management accountant by completing a diploma or degree in accounting, or a related field such as business or commerce with a major in accounting. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English and mathematics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.
Graduates of approved courses may qualify for membership or entry to the membership programs offered by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, CPA Australia or the Institute of Public Accountants. Eligibility for membership varies and may require work experience and/or further study.
Employment of accountants is projected to grow strongly over the next 3-5 years. Employment growth is expected to be closely tied to the health of the overall economy.
There has been an increased focus on accounting and financial compliance in response to stricter laws and regulations, particularly in the financial sector. The continued globalisation of business should lead to increased demand for accounting expertise and services in areas such as international trade and international mergers and acquisitions.