There are different career paths that can lead to becoming an accounting manager, but all of them require high levels of education. A bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting is necessary, and a master’s degree is required for many management positions. According to Robert Half, the professional services and staffing firm, employers also often seek at least five years of experience and may require advanced licensure such as that held by a certified management accountant (CMA) or chartered global management accountant (GCMA).
Accounting managers are generally responsible for a team of accountants and report to a company’s chief financial officer or controller. Typical duties of an accounting manager include:
Preparing and reviewing ledgers and reconciliations
Maintaining the general ledger
Preparing financial statements
Assisting with regulatory reporting
Researching accounting issues for compliance with GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles)
Overseeing the budgeting process
Hiring, training, and supervising accounting staff
While each of the three careers examined in this article has their own set of skills and job requirements, many of the same themes can be seen in all three. Earning a master’s degree in accounting helps with developing interpersonal and leadership skills, building communication skills, and improving analytical thinking and problem solving — all abilities that employers value.
A complete and accurate accounting system — driven by a knowledgeable accounting professional — is crucial for any business or nonprofit entity that wants to provide value. Organizations must have a clear picture of their fiscal health and financial dealings. They must be able to react to changing market dynamics, tax laws, and financial regulations. They must have the information to make smart financial decisions that work to ensure operational success. A trained accounting professional can play a central role in all of these areas — and beyond.