Management accountant

Aids managerial planning and commercial decision-making tasks by providing appropriate financial information and undertaking related accounts administration. A challenging area of accountancy that rewards dedication, leadership and expertise.

Alternative job titles for this role

  • Lead accountant
  • Enterprise accountant


Management accountants interpret financial information to make business decisions. Broadly, this role combines accounting, finance and management with the techniques needed to drive successful businesses. They provide business data and analysis to managers within organisations to assist in business decision-making and control. They tend to be more involved with general management, working with managers to analyse cost and revenues: the focus is on the analysis and reporting of a company’s financial position in order to provide insight into business performance. Specifically, they provide the monthly management accounts, and budgets and forecasts to aid business planning.

What the job involves

  • Work closely with general management on business decisions and plans
  • Analyse cost and revenues
  • Analyse, compose and communicate a company’s financial position
  • Provide insights into business performance
  • Provide the monthly management accounts, and budgets and forecasts to aid business planning
  • Work on cost analysis and cost-reduction projects
  • Work on competitor analysis, variance analysis, tender preparation and review, strategic planning, long- and medium-term planning, as well as investor appraisal

How your career can develop

A management accounting qualification provides a foundation for a variety of roles. Opportunities for progression in all areas of an organisation are plentiful and varied, depending on individual interests, aspirations and abilities.

Why management accountancy matters

The professional body for Management Accountants (CIMA) expects its members to abide by an ethical code and to adopt the fundamental principles to their working lives. CIMA members are at the heart of business as its conscience, adding judgment, independence and objectivity to their professional qualification.


  • Leadership
  • Self-motivation
  • Responsibility
  • Ability to reflect on one's own work as well as the wider consequences of financial decisions
  • Business acumen and interest
  • Organisational skills and ability to manage deadlines
  • Team working
  • Client-facing (customer service) and interpersonal skills
  • Proficiency in IT
  • Analytical ability
  • A methodical approach and problem solving skills
  • Numeracy

Typical employers

  • Professional accountancy firms
  • Commercial organisations
  • Industry
  • Government departments
  • Regulatory bodies

Typical salary

  • Graduate/Starting Average starting salary in 2014 was €22,500
  • Senior/Potential €89,000+

Typical qualifications

There are two main paths to follow. Progressing to head of financial planning and analysis is a route that allows access to a more sophisticated reporting and analysis environment. The alternative is to ultimately progress to a financial controller role and become finance director. In this case, it is recommended to consider a role in financial accounting. The role of a management accountant is also transferable to financial services up to manager level.