Overview

Management accountants ensure that organisations make well-informed decisions.

Management accountants provide financial analysis of management information. They do this through preparing, developing and analysing financial information. This allows the organisation to make strategic and operational decisions.

Management accountants are capable and competent in:

  • managing projects
  • communicating to relevant internal stakeholders
  • using IT systems and digital tools for budget planning and control.

Management accounting involves:

  • interpreting financial transactions
  • interpreting internal financial statements, such as budgetary and variance reports.

Management accountants are the bedrock of organisations. Without good management accountants planning and decision making would be ineffective.

Entry and progression

Fulfilling a key role in finance, management accountants work in:

  • practice
  • corporates
  • public sector
  • financial services
  • shared service organisations. 

These sectors provide many entry points into management accountancy.

Management accountants may progress to senior levels supporting financial strategy and working in strategic information management.

ACCA develops the skills and knowledge required by forward thinking professional accountants, including management accountants.

Exam options

For those who work in management accountancy, or aspire to be a management accountant, the most relevant exam options are:

Performance objectives

Remember it’s not just about exams. You need to have the right experience so that you are competent – you have the experience and knowledge – to start and continue your management accountancy career.

Performance Objectives (PO) which would provide great experience and must be signed off as part of the Practical Experience Requirement (PER) could include:

Competencies

High level competencies required by management accountants include:

  • Sustainable Management Accounting

    A. Applies development and performance management in the wider business and technological environment in the context of strategic planning and implementation.

    B. Directs organisational performance through the selection and measurement of financial and non-financial performance indicators.

    C. Collaborates on the key tactical and organisational areas of budgeting and control, capital investments, people and resource management.

    D. Consults on the design and use of current and emerging technology and information systems to improve strategic decision-making and organisational performance.

  • Leadership and Management

    A. Applies appropriate leadership strategies to effectively deliver business objectives.

    B. Leads, motivates and manages people to optimise performance and effectiveness.

    C. Collaborates, supports and works to achieve the objectives of the organisation, harnessing appropriate digital technologies.

    D. Acts proactively and thinks strategically, in anticipating organisational needs, recognising the wider business environment and dynamics.

  • Strategy, Technology and Innovation

    A. Applies business acumen and commercial awareness to deliver business objectives.

    B. Recommends a range of suitable strategic options from which to develop plans and objectives.

    C. Evaluate, justifies and implements suitable strategic options.

    D. Adopts and applies innovative methods and technologies to implement strategy and manages change.

  • Ethics and Professionalism

    A. Develops advanced ethical values and professional skills in the promotion of public interest and the profession.

    B. Demonstrates personal effectiveness in fast changing environments.

    C. Encourages innovative thinking within the context of professional scepticism.

    D. Thinks proactively about the future, applying professional judgement and commercial intelligence and seeks specialist input when needed.

    E. Communicates effectively and influences others.