How Much Does a Management Accountant Make on Average?
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 13 October 2022
Published 30 November 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
If you like the idea of working as an accountant within a specific company, a career as a management accountant may be a good fit for you. This role gives you the ability to work alongside a company's management and influence an organisation's long-term strategy and growth. Learning how much a management accountant earns can help you decide if this position is right for you. In this article, we give you insights into the salary of a management accountant, provide information about the role and offer advice on how to increase your salary.
How much does a management accountant make?
To answer the question of how much does a management accountant make, it's necessary to factor in several considerations. On average, a management accountantmakes £35,892 per year. This figure varies slightly between regions. For example, bigger cities like London often offer a higher management accounting salary. The amount you earn also depends on your level of experience and your seniority. For instance, you're likely to earn more once you have a few years of experience, additional certifications or specialisation.
Here are the average salaries for management accountants in some of the highest-paying cities :
London: £43,405 per year
Derby: £36,240 per year
Leicester: £35,308 per year
Manchester: £35,296 per year
Glasgow: £34,933 per year
Edinburgh: £34,833 per year
Bristol: £34,719 per year
Birmingham: £34,628 per year
Newcastle: £34,036 per year
Liverpool £33,891 per year
Bigger cities such as London command higher management accountant salary levels. This is mainly due to the cost of living and many prestigious companies using London as their base. This means that differences in salary may not always reflect higher levels of disposable income, so consider as many factors as possible if you want to move location for a higher salary. For example, many London-based accounting firms have branch offices in other areas. You could search for these near your current or desired location.
What does a management accountant do?
Management accountants help companies to select and manage their investments while reducing financial risks. They work for public and private companies, charities and government bodies. These professionals perform a series of analyses to budget, plan and strategise business initiatives. They then present their review to company owners or a board of directors to help them to make better operational decisions and improve performance.
It's necessary to have an aptitude for and interest in maths, numbers and business, combined with a good foundation in accounting skills. Paying attention to details while also being able to see the big picture of an organisation are useful skills.
Some of the responsibilities include:
analysing profit and loss
making financial forecasts
negotiating projects, loans and grants
helping the management team to make financial decisions
preparing financial statements and reviews
creating and communicating business strategies
planning medium- and long-term business actions
communicating with other function managers
implementing corporate legal procedures.
Overall, this position requires significant leadership and strategic skills. A management accountant who is persuasive and has knowledge of both human and financial capital management are likely to succeed.
Related: What does an accounting manager do?
How much does a management accountant make at different career stages?
Here are some salaries management accountants can make at different stages of their careers:
Entry-level management accountant roles
To become a management accountant, obtain at least an undergraduate diploma. Entry-level salaries for graduates joining accountancy are around£27,350. After a few years of experience, you can expand your qualifications and so significantly increase your salary. Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) graduates have an estimated salary of £35,122, which is 22% higher than the national average wage.
Senior management accountant roles
After some years of experience and once fully qualified, senior management accountants earn on average £63,000. Senior-level chartered management accountant salaries go from £46,000 to more than £100,000. Additionally, the average bonus of a management accountant ranges from 8% to 10% of their annual salary.
How to increase your salary as a management accountant
Here are six ways to increase your management accountant salary:
1. Get certified
Credentials such as Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) can enhance your profile and help you to earn a higher salary. You can become a CGMA by gaining a CIMA qualification once you have an undergraduate degree plus a minimum of three years of experience. You can complete the CIMA in two years or longer if you want more work experience between exams.
2. Consider your specialism
Management accountants operate in various sectors and can specialise in fields such as taxes or planning. Skills in higher demand include accounting information systems, business planning and strategy. Refining your competencies in desirable areas increases job opportunities open to you and helps you access more competitive salaries.
Related: What Is Strategic Management?
3. Stay current with trends in your industry
As the workplace becomes increasingly digital, management accountants can gain better job offers by expanding their digital skills. Those who adapt to new technologies and combine them with existing skills are more likely to progress in their careers. You could research how technology is changing current business practices and propose new solutions for your team. There are also digital development courses available online that can expand your skills.
4. Ask for more responsibility
One efficient way to improve your skillset is to ask for more responsibility at work. Embrace every opportunity to grow your competencies and make it clear to your employer that you want to take on more responsibilities. Your employer may value your enthusiasm, and taking on new duties increases your experience and confidence, helping you to command a higher salary.
5. Negotiate your salary
If you think your experience and salary do not match, you can negotiate a raise with your current employer. As an experienced management accountant, your role in a business is vital, so most employers recognise the value you bring. Calculate your value by considering your years of experience and your training and specialisations. Research the market and other companies' management accountant salary pay scales.
Related: How to Negotiate a Better Salary
6. Explore new opportunities
Average salaries for management accountants vary between different fields such as banking, technology or retail. You can look for a new position in your current sector or change to a new one that offers higher salaries. Additionally, temporary and project-based roles can generate much higher pay while potentially providing a better work-life balance.
How can you become a management accountant?
There are multiple routes into management, all of which include at least an undergraduate degree, ideally including business and management or accounting and finance. Note that because of the high competition, larger companies might require a certain amount result in your degree and a good level of English and maths. Previous experience is not always required but can be advantageous. This can include any short courses, part-time employment or voluntary work that gives you business experience.
After some years of professional experience, you might eventually decide to become a chartered management accountant by studying with CIMA. This establishes you as a highly qualified professional and increases your salary potential. There are other routes available for becoming chartered, such as the Institute of Chartered Accounts of England and Wales (ICAEW).
Growth opportunities for management accountants
With several years of experience, you could become a senior manager or senior analyst. Some management accountants become finance directors, supervisor controllers or even chief executives. Depending on your personal goals, you may want to change location and move to a country with better career opportunities and higher-paying positions. Some companies might need an English-speaking management accountant to carry out specific projects in their international branches, for example, in Europe or Asia.
Review your current position to identify aspects of your work that you particularly enjoy. You could then focus on developing a specific area of expertise or sector. You could also pursue the path of self-employment and become a management consultant or open your own management company.
Is management accounting the right career path for you?
It's a good idea to carefully consider if this role matches your interests and whether it can satisfy your long-term goals. Management accounting is a good career choice if you enjoy working with numbers and have strong leadership capability. It is also a great option if you love to strategise, analyse and solve problems. The ability to work well with others and have good communication and presentation skills are useful.
Like most corporate positions, management accountants usually work from an office and attend regular meetings. As part of your job, you may travel to complete specific projects or work with other teams, domestically or internationally. Expanding your expertise in sought-after markets and fields increase your chances of receiving competitive job offers. Choosing the right sector and location adapted to your interests and skills can also influence your remuneration.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location. Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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