If you have both a love of numbers and strong leadership skills, you may find that the only thing holding you back from pursuing a degree in accounting is your desire to eventually obtain a management role. With the right planning, education and experience, you can do both. Work as a managerial accountant combines the best of number-crunching and business management to allow these professionals the chance to influence how businesses function and improve productivity.
The Job of a Managerial Accountant
As the job title suggests, managerial accountants play an important role in the management of a business. Sometimes that role is direct, in the form of supervising lower-level accountants and finance staff in a firm or business that hires numerous accounting professionals. Part of their job as supervisor is to evaluate staff performance.
Other job functions of managerial accountants affect business management in indirect ways. They create budgets, plans of how companies can conduct business in the most cost-effective ways, and prepare financial reports and investment recommendations for business managers. Because they work for private businesses, they also go by the job title private accountants, as well as cost accountants, management accountants, industrial accountants and corporate accountants, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of course, managerial accountants may also be called on to complete accounting work that is not necessarily reserved for management, so they may still have to keep and examine financial records and statements for the business even in this high-level position.
Advantages of a Career in Managerial Accounting
Managerial accountants are among the most highly-paid professionals in the field of accounting. They can earn as much as $60,000 per year at smaller firms or rake in lucrative annual salaries as high as $400,000 working for large companies. For professionals who take pride in their leadership abilities, the job can be as personally satisfying as it is financially rewarding. The opportunity to lead a team of accounting and finance professionals and to construct a budget that will enable a business to grow and succeed is what makes the day-to-day work of a managerial accountant fulfilling.
While the position of managerial accountant isn’t for everyone, it is an excellent career for those whose interest in accounting and finance extends beyond statements and tax preparation. Keep in mind, though, that as a management position, the job of managerial accountant is only available to candidates with the education and experience to handle it. Aspiring managerial accountants may have to first accept a post as a lower-level accountant with the desired company and then work their way up to manager level. Along the way, they may have to prove their leadership abilities, dedication and business insight to supervisors in order to move up the ranks. However, for those best suited to the position, the work required to become a managerial accountant is worth it. The opportunity and salary can more than make up for the long journey necessary to obtain this position.