Management accounting is generally described as the ability to look into the financial future.
Jobs in this area usually ask for skills that include accounting and finance, but actually the required skills go further, toward a wide range of general business management principles.
Financial management techniques employed by our current generation of qualified management accountants help drive businesses forward in terms of financial results, creation of wealth and shareholder value, and development of general business best practice.
Looking back to before the credit crunch, there are quite a few questions that we should ask ourselves:
Could the finance function have been better prepared?
Was the budgeting and forecasting process flexible enough to cope with the speed of the changes?
Could updates be provided to the investor community based on tested scenarios?
Were the real risks facing the business fully understood, measured and managed?
The skills that are required of a qualified management accountant must constantly evolve in order to cope with:
General business demands
The ever-increasing need to partner operational management
The need to extend a sphere of financial and business influence
Commercial accounting is about getting the right information to the right people at the right time. The core skill required, which never changes, is the ability to communicate well with non-financial people and managers, but others skills required include:
Part of the appeal of a career in management accounting – or of developing experience in this area as a rung on the ladder to becoming an accomplished Finance Director – is that management accountants work across an entire business, not just in finance.
From advising operational managers about the financial implications of projects to reviewing the consequences of actual or potential business decisions, management accountants have commercial input into business strategy, cost control, spending and analysis of the competitive landscape.
By choosing a career in management accounting, where your job will analyse and interpret business intelligence, you will add significant value as your financial analysis converts into clear actions for business leaders.
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