How to become a management accountant
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:
- 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'll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
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
You'll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
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).
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.
You can find out more about working and training in accountancy from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.