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Finance & accounting

Management accountant

Management accountants look after a company's finances and find ways to improve profitability.

Annual Salary

£22,000 to £55,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 39 a week

You could work: between 8am and 6pm;

Future employment

There will be 2.4% more Management accountant jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

You could:

  • prepare financial statements and accounts
  • monitor spending and budgets
  • analyse the company's financial performance
  • forecast and plan future spending and profits
  • recommend ways to reduce costs and increase profits
  • make business decisions
  • audit departments in your company
  • prepare company reports for outside organisations
  • manage a team of accountants
  • oversee the company's payroll, credit control and bookkeeping systems

Working environment

You could work at a client's business or in an office.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • combining work with studying a professional qualification

You could do a degree in any subject and then apply for graduate schemes that offer training towards a professional accountancy qualification.

Subjects that show you have excellent numeracy and analytical thinking skills may be particularly useful.

If you want to take a more focused route to a graduate scheme, you could take an accountancy related degree, like:

  • accountancy
  • accounting and finance
  • business and management

Some courses may give you exemptions from some of the professional accountancy training modules.

It's useful to check entry requirements with companies you are keen to work with. They may have a preference for applicants with an accountancy related degree.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
For more information

You could gain your professional qualifications through apprenticeships. You could take your first steps to a career as a management accountant by starting off on:

  • a professional accountancy technician higher apprenticeship
  • an accountancy and taxation professional higher apprenticeship

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information
Other routes

To become an accountant, you must complete training with one of the professional accountancy bodies, even if you have a degree.

All professional bodies include some company financial management in their training. However many management accountants choose to qualify with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

Some management accountants choose to train with the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA). You can take the business management modules instead of audit and taxation options in the final part of your training.

The Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA) offers training in financial management. You can complete technician, associate and fellow training with IFA. They do not offer chartered training.

More information

Career tips

Look out for ways to get experience in a company's finance department or with a financial organisation. There are opportunities to do:insight days; work shadowing; Easter and summer holiday schemes; virtual and workplace internships; year in industry placements

These opportunities will give you an insight into the role and help you make contacts in the sector.

Small and medium-sized company work experience schemes may be less competitive than those in large national companies.

Further information

You can find out more about working and training in accountancy from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

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With experience, you could become a senior manager, finance director or the chief executive of a company. You could also become a self-employed management consultant.

You could offer accountancy services in private practice if you register with CIMA.

You can find out more about working and training in accountancy from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of economics and accounting
  • maths knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • administration skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications
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