Management Accountant

Job Description:

Management accountants look after a company's finances and find ways to improve profitability.

Job Category:
Financial Services

What you will do:

Management accountants help to make decisions regarding the daily finances of a company.

Your responsibilities might include:

  • analysing current and future market trends
  • deciding how much your business should charge for a new product
  • working closely with the manager or director of a company to help them make decisions
  • analysing how much revenue a future product will create

Management accountants present information to the internal members of a company (such as its managers or board of directors), to help them make financial decisions about the business.


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of economics and accounting
  • maths knowledge
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • administration skills (organisational skills)
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork)
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • numeracy skills and ability to analyse numbers
  • the ability to manage money
  • communication skills (to present information to other people)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Management Accountant in the UK, you typically need to complete specific educational and professional qualifications. While specific GCSE subjects may not be mandatory, there are recommended subjects that can help you prepare for this career path. Keep in mind that the requirements may vary slightly depending on the specific educational and professional paths you choose, but here are some recommended GCSE subjects:

  1. Mathematics: Mathematics is crucial for a career in accounting, including management accounting. A strong foundation in math will help you understand financial concepts and perform calculations.
  2. English Language: Good communication skills are essential in the accounting field, as you’ll need to convey complex financial information clearly and effectively.
  3. Business Studies or Economics: These subjects can provide you with a basic understanding of business principles and economic concepts, which are relevant to management accounting.
  4. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Proficiency in using computer software, especially spreadsheet applications like Microsoft Excel, is important in accounting. You’ll be using these tools extensively for financial analysis and reporting.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • combining work with studying a professional qualification

You could do a degree in any subject and then apply for graduate schemes that offer training towards a professional accountancy qualification.

Subjects that show you have excellent numeracy and analytical thinking skills may be particularly useful.

If you want to take a more focused route to a graduate scheme, you could take an accountancy-related degree, like:

  • accountancy
  • accounting and finance
  • business and management

Some courses may give you exemptions from some of the professional accountancy training modules.

It’s useful to check entry requirements with companies you are keen to work with. They may have a preference for applicants with an accountancy related degree.

You could gain your professional qualifications through apprenticeships. You could take your first steps to a career as a management accountant by starting off on:

  • a professional accountancy technician higher apprenticeship
  • an accountancy and taxation professional higher apprenticeship

Other Routes
To become an accountant, you must complete training with one of the professional accountancy bodies, even if you have a degree.

All professional bodies include some company financial management in their training. However many management accountants choose to qualify with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), in the UK and other countries around the world.

Some management accountants choose to train with the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA). You can take the business management modules instead of audit and taxation options in the final part of your training.

The Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA) offers training in financial management. You can complete technician, associate and fellow training with IFA. They do not offer chartered training.

Look out for ways to get experience in a company’s finance department or with a financial organisation. There are opportunities to do:

  • insight days
  • work shadowing
  • Easter and summer holiday schemes
  • virtual and workplace internships
  • year in industry placements

These opportunities will give you an insight into the role and help you make contacts in the sector.

Small and medium-sized company work experience schemes may be less competitive than those in large national companies.

Working Hours and Environment:

You might work within the public sector (the part of an economy controlled by the state), or the private sector.

Most management accountants work full-time hours, Monday to Friday.

There might be particular times, such as the month end and year-end, when there are tight deadlines. During these times, you might be required to work extra hours.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could become a senior manager or finance director, or the chief executive of a company.

You could also become a self-employed management consultant.