Roles and Skills of the Right Management Accountant
The role of management accountants is different from regular accountants. They go beyond the basic accounting tasks as they play a significant function in terms of the management and strategy of the organisations they work for.
What does a management accountant do?
The roles of a management accountant mainly revolve around financial accounting and strategic management. Simply put, a Certified Management Accountants (CMA) main responsibility is to record and analyse the books so a company can improve both its budget and performance.
It is also a part of their job to oversee basic accounting tasks such as recording transactions, fulfilling tax obligations, and preparing financial statements. They make use of these data and interpret them to make forecasts and plans to be presented to the management, which in turn helps the higher-ups to make decisions grounded in solid data and also avoid costly errors.
CMAs share the task of choosing an organisation’s investments. They are expected to identify trends and opportunities for improvement, mitigate potential risks, and arrange allocations of budget, among others. The following tasks also fall under the tasks and responsibilities of a management Accountant:
- Ensuring spending is kept in line with the budget,
- Informing key strategic decisions and helps in formulating business strategies,
- Advising on the financial implications and consequences of business decisions,
- Analysing the financial performance and contributing to short-term and long-term business planning/forecasts,
- Negotiating on major projects, loans and grants,
- Interpreting and communicating financial data to non-financial managers,
- Liaising with other function managers to put the finances and accounts in context,
- Monitoring and evaluating financial information systems and suggesting improvements where needed, and
- Implementing corporate governance procedures, risk management and internal controls.
What skills does a management accountant need?
The tasks and responsibilities of a management accountant are critical for an organisation. For management accountants to do their duties effectively, they must obtain the necessary skills.
First, CMAs must have a solid foundation in basic to advanced accounting skills. They must be adept at the basics of accounting, the standards such as the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), and other tax principles.
Management accountants should also be analytical. They need to see the organisation’s current standing in different aspects to forecast strategic steps needed to improve the business’ finances in both short-term and long-term perspectives.
If you are great at your craft, you fully understand the role of management accountants in decision making and how your expertise contributes to keeping the firm above the water.
Lastly, CMAs should also possess leadership and management skills to guide their staff in achieving their goals, making critical decisions, formulating strategic plans, and communicating the company’s financial needs to the management.
Playing the role of a management accountant can catalyse the financial transformation of any entity. CMAs are important in a company’s pursuit of success as their skills and expertise can help in achieving business goals in the most efficient way possible.
If you are now in the search of a management accountant for your organisation, why not talk to our experts at D&V Philippines? You can check out our F&A solutions for our clients here, or you can also download our latest whitepaper D&V Philippines’ Solutions for Modern Accounting Firms and learn how our in-house CPAs and CMAs can build great back-office support for your operations while you focus on what you do best.
This post was first published 26 January 2015 and edited 27 August 2021.
Edited by: Maria Katrina dela Cruz