IMA estimates that nearly 75% of financial professionals work in business as management accountants: financial analysts, accounting managers, controllers and chief financial officers, and more. Management accounting professionals can influence the decision-making process and business strategy, making a real impact on the future of their organizations.
As financial professionals need more analytical and problem-solving skills to stay current, more and more people are earning the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) credential. The knowledge you’ll gain from the CMA program will equip you with the competencies needed on the job, and can enable greater career and earning potential.
Common Management Accounting Roles
Staff Accountants perform a range of fundamental accounting tasks, such as account review and reconciliation, journal and general ledger entries, and preparing financial reports. Additional duties may include testing internal controls and basic cost accounting. (No experience required.)
Financial Analysts often report to a manager or director and assist with financial modeling, budgeting, and preparing supporting schedules and forecasts. Analysts also track results and perform variance analyses. (1-3 years of experience.)
Accounting Managers typically report to the Controller and are responsible for all aspects of general ledger accounting and the monthly financial close. Accounting Managers often serve as the liaison with external auditors and implement changes to internal accounting practices to meet regulatory requirements. (Years of experience may vary.)
Manager/Director – Data Analytics
Professionals in this role have deep knowledge of statistics, data science, data extraction, and data visualization. They are responsible for analyzing raw data from across an organization, including nonfinancial data, to identify trends and insights that impact business decisions. (5+ years of experience.)
Manager/Director – Strategic Planning
Professionals in this role typically report to the CFO or CEO and are responsible for developing comprehensive strategies for growth across the entire portfolio of a company’s products and services. Their duties include scanning the external business environment to determine organic grow potential as well as opportunities through mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activities. (5+ years of experience.)
Vice President – Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)
The Vice President of FP&A leads a staff of managers and financial analysts and typically reports to the CFO. They are responsible for finalizing and implementing corporate strategies that focus on profitability and cost containment. In addition, they ensure that strategic priorities and decisions are built into the planning processes across the company. Executives in this position will also play a central role in analyzing business cases for developing new markets, products, and services. (10+ years of experience.)
The Treasurer leads managers and staff responsible for cash operations, cash forecasts, lender relationships, and corporate stock plans. Typically a direct report of the CFO, they are knowledgeable in financing and hedging strategies and lead communications with ratings agencies and external investors. (10+ years of experience.)
This senior leadership role typically reports to the CFO or CEO. The Controller manages a staff responsible for all financial reporting and accounting operations, including internal and external financial statements and regulatory reporting requirements. Additional priorities for Controllers include implementing internal control systems, evaluating the effectiveness of accounting systems, and monitoring business performance metrics. (Years of experience may vary.)
As a member of the senior leadership team, the CFO is a key advisor to the CEO. Priorities for the CFO include capital requirements for the entire business, sourcing and structuring corporate financing, maintaining relationships with lenders and investors, and evaluating merger and acquisition opportunities. The CFO often communicates with external parties such as investment analysts, regulatory officials, and the news media. Addition responsibilities of the CFO include all financial reporting and accounting operations and may include additional functions such as Information Technology, Human Resources, and Facilities. The CFO is typically supported by a Controller. (Years of experience may vary.)