His answer is “No.” He argues that the skill set of management accountants needs to change to adjust to the new role technology and analytics play in the profession. Traditional accounting roles that exist today may not exist in a few years. Value creation will be the essential role of management accountants; i.e. using data to better support decision-making, formulating, and implementing strategy.

In order to exploit the digital transformation and successfully transition into the role of value creator management accountants will need to:

  • Enhance their skills in data analytics;
  • Know how to leverage the technology that will free them from repetitive, time-intensive manual tasks;
  • Develop their strategic management/thinking skills; and
  • Focus on innovation and change management.

Specifically with regard to data analytics skills management accountants will need to be able to:

  • Explore new ways to manage, analyze, and extract value from data;
  • Apply analytical and critical thinking skills to address strategic issues; and
  • Identify the most useful questions Big Data can answer.

To prepare for the future, IMA’s Management Accounting Competency Framework and CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification are two useful resources for retooling and staying relevant in the digital age.  The author also recommends developing an appropriate mindset, enhanced communication and relationship-management skills, and the ability to think critically.

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