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Your guide to starting out in Management Accounting

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How to become a Management Accountant

What is a Management Accountant?

A Management Accountant will usually work in the Finance department of a single company. Roles are often varied and could involve:

  • setting and monitoring monthly budgets for other departments
  • supporting new product launches, including setting prices, predicting sales volumes or controlling costs
  • looking at strategies to grow and develop the business for the future.

You could even see your career progress to join the Board of Directors as its Chief Financial Officer!

What can I expect to earn?

A typical starting salary for a qualified Management Accountant is £32,000* a year, with benefits including private pension and healthcare. This can exceed £60,000 as you gain experience.

What skills do you need to be a good Management Accountant?

  • Strong communication and people skills – you’ll work with people across the business and will often have to attend meetings or give presentations
  • Problem solving – you’ll love problem solving and will often have to think creatively to come up with solutions to problems you are given
  • Commercial awareness – you’ll always be thinking about what is best for the business, helping them to reduce costs or maximise revenue

How do I get into a career in Management Accounting?

To become a Management Accountant, you’ll first need to study a Chartered Accountancy qualification, the most common of which is CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants).

Did you know?

According to research carried out by CIMA, qualified CIMA members in the UK are earning more than twice the UK national average at £63,000 in basic salary plus £7,200 in bonuses. That’s a total salary of £70,200 per year.

Most people new to Accountancy start the Certificate in Business Accounting (Cert BA) qualification, which gives you a strong introduction to accountancy and management topics. This will also help you secure your first role in an accounts department, giving you opportunity to apply the knowledge you learn in a practical setting.

From there (or if you already have exemptions from Cert BA), you can then progress onto the CIMA Professional Qualification and secure your role as a trainee Management Accountant.

Get more information about becoming a Management Accountant on our CIMA qualification page.

*Source: 2019 Association of International Certified Professional Accountants Salary Survey