Management accountants are responsible for collecting and analyzing the financial data of organizations in order to compile reports and make recommendations on financial decisions to key business areas. The work of a management accountant therefore supports the work of other managers within an organization. Due to the scope of this work management accountants work hand in hand with other knowledge specialists, such as professionals in information technology. Regular duties of a management accountant include processing and auditing monthly balances, reconciling accounts, and ensuring that all accounting records are adequately controlled and in compliance with organizational, state, and federal requirements.
How to Become a Management Accountant
To become a management accountant, thorough knowledge of accounting and economics and the ability to translate this knowledge to others is a must. However, management accountants rarely work only in accounting; broad subject knowledge for the analysis of various business problems is also required. Therefore, most employers prefer candidates for management accountant positions to have a master’s degree in accounting or a Master of Business Administration with a focus on accounting or finance. Many employers also prefer that aspiring management accountants have at least three years of experience working in roles leading up to the levels of responsibility commonly assumed by management accountants. Additional certifications, such as the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation offered by the Institute of Management Accountants, are also sought after by employers.
Career Opportunities and Employers
Management accountants have a wealth of career opportunities in all sectors of the economy, including public and private businesses, accounting firms, non-profit institutions, and government agencies. Regional public accounting firm Marcum LLP takes a customer-focused approach to accounting and consulting across all five of its service areas. Each new hire at Marcum LLP is paired with a “career advisor” who will guide the new hire through a planning process designed to help that individual reach his or her career goals. Marcum LLP welcomes interested applicants to apply for positions as management accountants. After more than 200 years in business, JP Morgan Chase is one of the leading financial institutions in the world, employing over 240,000 financial professionals. Career opportunities for management accountants can be found in any one of JP Morgan Chase’s three subsidiary businesses. US Bancorp, one of the largest banks in the US by assets, has a commitment to ethical business practices guided by diligent corporate governance. Candidates for management accountant positions are invited to apply with the firm.
Management Accountant Salary and Job Outlook
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job growth in the accounting and auditing field, which includes management accountants, to grow by 16% between 2010 and 2020.1 This growth rate is significantly above the average growth rate for all occupations and points to considerable opportunities for management accountants. Moreover, The Association of Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business reports that the average salary for management accountants with between one and five years of experience is competitive, at $77,920.2 Many management accountants also receive additional compensation in the form of bonuses, profit sharing, and other earnings opportunities.2
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Accountants-and-auditors.htm#tab-6
2. Discoverima.org: http://discoverima.org/downloads/2012-IMA-Salary-Survey.pdf?x=ef4eb72d-1bba-4b6f-a8c2-64f093300674
3. Hansen, Don R., Maryanne M. Mowen, and Liming Guan. Cost Management: Accounting and Control. Mason, Ohio: South-Western Cengage Learning, 2009. Print.
4. Lucey, Terence. Management Accounting. 5th ed. New York: Continuum, 2003. Print.
5. Chenhall, Robert H. et al. Handbook of Management Accounting Research. Vol. 3. Oxford: Elsevier, 2009. Print.