Every year on May 6, IMA celebrates International Management Accounting Day. This day is not to be confused with November 10 which is International Accounting Day. You may ask the question, “why do management accountants need their own holiday?” This is usually followed by, “what is a management accountant anyway?” The questions are telling. Few people understand what the distinction is between management accountants and other accountants who celebrate their holiday on November 10.

At IMA, we champion management accounting as a career and so would like to make it easier to recognize a management accountant.
Here is our list of the telltale signs of a management accountant.

  1. A management accountant works on behalf of the management of a private or public company, non-profit organization, or government entity. Management accountants provide management with the financial information they need to make informed decisions about operating the company/organization, meeting regulatory/compliance requirements, safeguarding assets/reputation, and planning for the future.
  2. A management accountant’s friends and family are told many times what a management accountant does, but they have yet to put it to memory.
  3. A management accountant has usually studied accounting and/or finance as an undergraduate in college.
  4. A management accountant may also be called a cost accountant, managerial accountant, industrial accountant, private accountant, or corporate accountant (all of these titles can be used interchangeably with management accountant).
  5. A management accountant’s phone number is on the speed dial of the CFO. The CFO depends on this person to give him/her guidance on significant decisions impacting the company or organization.
  6. A management accountant immediately envisions a scatter plot when discussing the competitive landscape of their market with senior management.
  7. A management accountant becomes enthused when someone at a meeting discusses creating a 3-D Python chart to show a complex trend affecting the business.
  8. A management accountant wishes the next person they interview for a job brings a custom SWOT analysis of themselves to prove they are a fit for the job.
  9. A management accountant has a certification attesting to their skills and expertise for the role.
  10. A management accountant sees no limit to their career potential.

Becoming a management accountant is a rewarding career path. How do we know? IMA keeps tabs on the sentiments of those in the field. We conduct global surveys to probe the minds of those working in management accounting for insights on how we can better prepare the next generation for this profession.

One of the best indicators that management accountants have unlimited career potential is their willingness to leave their current employer for another one. This denotes ample job opportunities coupled with confidence on the part of those working in the profession. According to our latest Global Talent Survey, 38% of 18-34-year-olds plan on leaving their current employer in the next 12 months. This indicates a robust job market for management accountants, with plenty of opportunities to find employers who fit your needs and lifestyle.

On this International Management Accounting Day, IMA celebrates the unique role management accountants play in diverse organizations all around the globe. If you are working as a management accountant or just aspire to be one, IMA encourages you to explore this multi-dimensional career path.

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