Guest Post: How to Begin a Rewarding Career in Management Accounting

Are you a hardworking, determined student or graduate looking for a career where you can earn up to an average of £143,000 per year? If so, then a career in managing accounting might be perfect for you! Read on to discover exactly where management accounting can take you, and how to get started.

What Is Management Accounting?

Management accounting is a discipline that combines financial expertise and business acumen to achieve sustainable business success. Key to this role is understanding how the different parts of a business come together, and using this information, how to drive long term profitability. As you will have guessed, management accountants need to have a strong grasp of accounting skill, but also ‘Big Data’, sustainability, integrated reporting, cost management, and a plethora of other finance and business related areas.

While many management accountants work in finance departments, the role also has a strong emphasis on business acumen, allowing trained management accountants to also take on leading roles across any organisation, including the roles of CEO, Managing Director, or Chairman.


As a result, training as a management accountant is a great foundation to your career, allowing you to rise up to the very highest echelons of leading businesses.

What Is A Chartered Global Management Accountant?

The highest level of management accountants are known as Chartered Global Management Accountants (CGMA), which is a designation set up by CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) in partnership with AICPA (American Institute of CPAs).

A CGMA designation is a globally recognised qualification which tells the world you’re a trusted, expert strategist, able to connect all aspects of business to drive long term success. Successful CGMAs possess strong technical, leadership, people and business skills, which are all aspects of the CGMA competency framework.

CGMA competency framework

Earning Potential and Job Roles

As we’ve already seen, management accountants can ultimately earn a very high salary, but what will you be earning along the way? Currently, the average salary of a CIMA member is just under £67,000, with starting salaries of £28,000. After a few years’ experience you’ll seen an average salary of £32,000 at operational level, £35,000 as a manager, then rising up to £117,000 as a CIMA fellow.

One of the great benefits of studying to become a CGMA is that you can learn on the job, meaning you’ll get that great starting salary as a student, 36% above the national average, without having to add more student debt or take time out of work.

As the demand for management accountants grow, you’ll see your salary rise, in contrast to the continued drops in average national wage rises. Over the next 12 months, wages for management accountants are expected to rise by 3.4%, above the inflation forecast of 2.7-2.8%.

Find out more about management accountant salaries at the CIMA Salary Survey 2013.

How to Become A CGMA

Anyone with a degree can study to become a CGMA, as you’ll already have many of the transferrable skills needed to be successful. To become qualified as a CGMA, you’ll need to begin by studying for the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting and the CIMA Professional Qualification.

If you’re studying for or have completed a degree related to accounting, business, finance or law, then you may be eligible for exemption from the Certificate in Business Accounting qualification, or parts of the CIMA Professional Qualification, meaning you’ll have a bit of a head start!

Once you’ve passed the final exam and have become a CIMA member, you’ll be able to use the CGMA designation.

Find out more about how to become a CGMA at the official CGMA site.

Written by:
Seb Atkinson
Search Marketing Executive
Selesti Limited

2 Comments Add yours

  1. George says:

    Fantastic advice, though you do not need to approach accountancy through traditional methods and study in your own time.

  2. Charles says:

    A management accounting career’s salary looks promising even in the United States. 🙂

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