The job of a management accountant basically is to manage a company’s financial resources no matter how large it may seem. This role is quite a huge one and demands a high level of precision and accuracy. Extreme carefulness is needed all the time because you will be analyzing a company’s financial performance from time to time and accessing if it is progressing or retrogressing.
You’ll also be monitoring the company’s spending activities noting the costs, the budget and the cash inflow. All these demands an eye for details, even the tiniest bits. That’s just part of the responsibilities of a management accountant, there’s more to it but we are concerned about the qualification you will need to get your foot on the door.
Qualification Needed to Become a Management Accountant
Like earlier mentioned, you will need skills like a sharp pair of eyes for details, sharp numeracy skills and a sharp memory. Also basic computer skills is needed as well as proficiency in computer accounting packages like Microsoft Excel. But you need to pass through the major route first to get qualified and you can get that qualification via the:
University Degree or College
There are no alternatives for getting qualified as a management accountant save for the university or college route.
Although for some professions, there are alternatives but here the level of professionalism involved is quite on the high side and so bagging a degree in management accountancy from a reputable college or university is the least you could do for yourself if you want to practice management accountancy.
A degree in accounting or commerce conventionally gulps a period of three years.
Getting Certified as a Professional Management Accountant
After your degree, before you can gain a reasonable employment in a top auditing firm or company, you need get certified first as a Chartered Management Accountant (CMA) by undergoing a training with any of the professional accountancy bodies.
The most recognized and most preferred of these professional bodies is the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). This training by the CIMA to get certified requires that you cross two bridges:
- CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting; an entry-level qualification with five exams and
- CIMA Professional Qualification; with ten exams
However, if you have a Master’s Degree in Accounting, you won’t need to cross these bridges, just a three hours examination would suffice for your certification from the CIMA. Your work experience (years spent working as a management accountant) also counts and could determine if you will cross the two bridges or just one of them.
If you’ve been successfully certified by the CIMA as a chartered management accountant, you’ll then be awarded the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) Designation.
The managerial accounting corporate ladder is very scalable and so you’ll be needing more qualifications to go higher till you get to the zenith of the profession where you can then be qualified as a chief finance officer, become a consultant or even run your own firm.