How to Write a Management Accountant CV
A management accountant - also known variously as a cost, industrial, managerial, corporate or private accountant - is a senior role that involves contributing directly to the management team's decision-making processes, which must be reflected in their Management Accountant CV. Typically, the management accountant is a member of the executive team and plays a role in strategic planning or the development of new products.
This is achieved by managing the organisation or group's finances, assessing and evaluating financial performance and looking forward to producing ways to increase profitability (or to further objectives of non-profit organisations).
This means that the management accountant's professional CV must convey a lot of information when they are applying for accountancy jobs. You must highlight considerable knowledge of the accounting department and its processes, as well as solid management experience.
The advantage to the organisation in appointing you must be immediately obvious in your Management Accountant CV, with the possibility of both short-term improvements and longer term growth being evident.
What Should You Include in a Management Accountant CV?
The management accountant's primary role is to record and analyse financial information for the organisation. They gain a clear overview by managing all the accounting processes, and undertaking effective budgeting, clearly evaluating performance, and efficiently managing costs and assets. These all need to be clearly highlighted in a Management Accountant CV.
You may also prepare financial reports for other parties, such as stockholders and creditors, tax authorities and auditors, etc. In larger organisations, there may be a senior management accountant working at executive level, with other management accountants in the next tier, working in areas of accounting, such as planning and budgeting, cost accounting, financial analysis, etc.
In the UK, executive level management accountants are usually fully qualified with the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants), or ACA (Associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants). Management accountants at department level are usually part way through gaining these qualifications, or are already qualified.
A Management Accountant CV should list the job's primary responsibilities, which may include some of the following:
- Preparing financial statements and accounts, including month end and year end consolidated reports, balance sheet reconciliation, fixed asset maintenance, budgeting and forecasting.
- Analysing sales figures and creating forecasts.
- Developing means to increase profitability and optimise operation costs.
- Establishing an accounting standard for financial periods.
- Establishing methods of controlling expenditure.
- Variance analysis: identifying causes of variations between established standards and performance results for financial periods.
- Managing other accounting staff.
- Managing payroll, stock control and credit control for organisation.
Characteristics to Demonstrate on Your Management Accountant CV
As well as displaying exemplary accounting skills, a Management Accountant CV needs to demonstrate management capability required to both inform and challenge management actions and decisions - a proactive personality is required. The applicant therefore needs to demonstrate and provide evidence of having:
- Meticulous accounting skills and knowledge of procedures.
- Positive and constructive outlook, with powerful analytical thinking and problem solving skills.
- Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, for preparation of and delivery of reports and analyses.
- High level of integrity, being trustworthy and respectful of confidential information.
- Resourceful and able to work alone, but fully able to provide input to executive team decision making processes.
- Able to prioritise workloads and oversee completion of monthly and financial period reports by the accounting team.
- Confidence in liaising with regulatory representatives and professionals in external organisations.
- Staff management skills, with strengths in supervising and motivating a team, sometimes over different sites.
- Strengths in information technology skills, particularly accounting packages and systems.
What are an Employer's Concerns on a Management Accountant CV?
Naturally, the employer wishes to make the appointment with the most chance of success. This means your Management Accountant CV needs to show how you've minimised risk, address financial issues and make recommendations with confidence. Employers are particularly concerned about:
- Can this manager guarantee that executive decisions are reflected in exemplary accounting strategy and processes?
- Can they assist in building the organisation by establishing meaningful and attainable financial goals?
- Will they be able to make a real difference within their role as a Management Accountant?
- Is this person dependable, being an innovative thinker but a thorough accounting manager?
All of these questions must be addressed in your Management Accountant's CV. They must be substantiated with evidence of your performance to date, adding weight to the employer's belief that your work will help the organisation move forward.
For all accounting jobs, you have to sell yourself to the employer by meeting their concerns directly within your CV and outlining yourself as a clear front runner, targeting your CV at each employer by researching and understanding their objectives.
Hit Hard with Your Profile in Your Management Accountant's CV
The Profile section of your CV must be a hard-hitting statement that leaves no doubt as to the quality of your application.
It sets the tone for the rest of your Management Accountant CV by highlighting your greatest strengths and attributes, thereby urging the employer to read on and find out more about you.
With management accounting, the areas where you need to be strong are fairly consistent from person to person: all areas of accounting procedure, management of a department, and strategic planning based on financial data.
However, what matters to the employer is how you will fit into their organisation. Which means that the number of years of accounting experience you have is important, plus which accounting qualification do you have? ACA, ACCA or CIMA? Which type of organisations have you gained your experience at? How similar is your previous management accounting experience to the job you are applying for, such as the organisation's activities, turnover, departmental scale, etc.?
You can also list 3 or more key strengths, including skills or personal attributes. You need to focus on what is most important to an employer, rewriting your CV's Profile to closely align it with each separate employer's requirements.
If you're having trouble writing your Profile, then see our CV writing service. With 28 years' experience we are well versed in producing an interview-generating CVs for management accountants.
Back It Up with Achievements on Your CV
To make the greatest possible impact with your CV, include an Achievements section that is packed with compelling data. This provides quantitative evidence of your previous experience by showing, in measurable terms, how you made a significant contribution.
Achievements are highly individual and do an enormous amount to differentiate you from other candidates - most recruiting employers will be more influenced by your achievements than by a straightforward record of your previous jobs.
Good achievements that are relevant to the vacancy will actually inspire and motivate the employer, as they will be able to envisage what you might do for their organisation too. Achievements for a management accountant might read as follows:
- Worked closely with financial controller and directors in preparation of group annual budgets, by preparing and providing budget for borrowing cost base on $10 million secured loans.
- Developed a strategic plan for the sale of group assets during the liquidation of FDM Plc, achieving a sale price of $145 million, 20% higher than the Board's initial forecast.
- Created four innovative models and analytical tools to facilitate variance analysis using Pivot table, an advanced Excel function.
- Played key role in team project to establish a revised funding strategy for the JEC group, designed to meet the operating costs and payments required to fund development of an exciting new product.
You may include 4 to 6 excellent achievements, which should reflect the employer's requirements. The Achievements section on your Management Accountant CV can set you apart. Others may have similar experience or qualifications, but your achievements will typically be unique to you and can instantly tell an employer why they should interview you.
A Solid Career History on Your Management Accountant's CV
Here is a checklist for your Career History section within your Management Accountant CV:
- The name of your employer and job title (e.g. Management Accountant).
- Your major responsibilities and duties as a Management Accountant.
- Specific projects you worked on, which could include take-overs and acquisitions, etc.
- Outline any new accounting systems, processes and practices you introduced.
Your Career History can't just be a list of your previous job descriptions, as this doesn't make interesting reading and clearly won't sell your strengths and abilities.
Therefore the trick is to pull out your main responsibilities and rewrite them in the same way as you wrote your achievements in bullet points.
Use 'active' verbs to spice up your CV, such as: administered, allocated, analysed, appraised, assessed, balanced, budgeted, established, measured, pioneered, planned, reviewed.
Keywords taken from adverts, job descriptions and person specifications can also boost your CV, because employers often employ scanning software on incoming CVs. Be carefully though, as using too many keywords could ruin your Management Accountant CV if you are not careful.
A List of Enviable Specialist Skills
If you have a good portfolio of IT skills relating to accounting, then it may be worth adding a Skills section especially to highlight these. You could include Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook, plus accounting software such as Sun Ledger, Magnitude and Business Objects.
Qualifications and Training for a CV of a Management Accountant
At this level, your accounting qualification takes precedence in your Qualifications and Training section, which should also include your education. List this first, whichever of the six main professional accountancy bodies you are qualified with: ACCA, ICAEW, ICAS or ICAI, which deal primarily with private practice, or CIMA and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance Accountants (CIPFA).
If you took a degree or postgraduate degree in business studies, economics or another highly relevant subject, list this next. Include details of any secondments or special projects you undertook that were vocationally relevant. Give the institution's name, your degree result and the date you completed it.
If your degree was in an unrelated subject, include it beneath relevant training, which means significant vocational training undertaken since leaving secondary level school. Provide the organisation you trained with and relevant dates.
Present Yourself Professionally
As a management accountant, the overall presentation of your CV will reflect on your standards, whether it's managing data, accounts or people.
Your role is going to involve influencing executive decision-makers on matters of policy, so it is important that the employer can feel confident in every aspect of your communications.
For instance, you cannot claim to be an attentive and detail-focused manager if your CV is peppered with spelling mistakes - the employer would certainly pay great heed to your errors than to your claims. It is important to check and double check your Management Accountant CV for errors, using the spell checker, your own eyes and a second opinion from someone else.
The formatting of your CV should be extremely clear, so that it is easy to read, being well laid out and presented. Always write in a confident, clear and enthusiastic manner. Every word needs to support your core message in your Management Accountant's CV: that an employer must interview you, because you are clearly the best candidate for the job.
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