Last Updated on August 28, 2023
Aspiring accounting and financial professionals face a bewildering array of degree, concentration, and career options. Individuals seeking high-paying financial analysis or management careers may do well to consider a management accounting concentration.
Read more about Certified Management Accountant Starting Salary, management accountant salary per month, management accountant qualifications, management accountant salary in us, and functions of management accountant.
What type of accountant is the highest paid?
Top 10 Highest Paying Accounting Careers
- 1) Financial Controller.
- 2) CMA (Certified Management Accountant)
- 3) Chartered Accountant.
- 4) Bank Branch Manager.
- 5) CGA (Certified General Accountant)
- 6) Senior Accountant.
- 7) Financial Analyst.
- 8) Credit Supervisor.
Is management accounting a good career?
Management accounting is definitely a good career if you enjoy math and generally have an aptitude for working with numbers. It’s also a great option if you love supervising, doing analysis, working with financial statements, making decisions, solving problems, and if you work well with others.
Certified Management Accountant Starting Salary
Featuring versatile curricula that integrate business acumen with quantitative and communication skills, managerial accounting concentrations train students to use financial data to inform organizational decision-making. With professional certifications and experience, this concentration can support students pursuing high-paying financial manager jobs, which boast a median annual salary of $129,890, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The following overview explores degree options, career paths, curricula, and professional resources related to management accounting concentrations.
WHAT IS A MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING CONCENTRATION?
The field of management accounting employs financial information and skills to guide internal management and planning. Management accounting concentrations cultivate students’ skills in financial planning, control, decision-making, and problem-solving. Students train to become strategic partners by using business sense, accounting principles, and financial data to help executives make sound decisions. Graduates of management accounting programs often work as accounting managers, cost accountants, or CPAs.
General accounting degrees cover a wider breadth of topics and often focus heavily on financial reporting principles and practices, while management accounting concentration coursework focuses on forecasting, planning, and financial decision-making. Management accounting students often gain deeper understanding of the contexts and dynamics informing financial data.
Students can study management accounting at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. level. Many accounting positions require a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree or professional certification program can help candidates meet requirements for certified management accountant (CMA) or certified public accountant (CPA) credentials. Students interested in accounting research or education often earn doctoral degrees in management accounting.
General accounting bachelor’s programs cover various business and accounting topics, while management accounting concentrations focus more heavily on cost accounting, management accounting, and budgeting. Graduates often work as financial planners or cost accountants. Bachelor’s in management accounting programs may appear under the following degree types and titles:
- Bachelor of Accountancy (BAcc), Cost and Management Accounting
- Bachelor of Science (BS/BSc), Accounting and Management
- Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Cost and Management Accounting
- Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Accounting and Management
- Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Accounting and Management
Managerial accounting master’s degrees feature a blend of core accounting courses and advanced managerial accounting courses. Most accounting master’s programs feature core courses in accounting theory, internet technology, accounting analytics, and financial statement analysis. Management accounting concentrations include additional courses in controllership, internal and operational auditing, accounting and reporting issues, and advanced management accounting.
Master’s degrees in management accounting may appear under titles such as:
- Master of Accounting (MAcc), Cost and Management Accounting
- Master of Management (MMgt/MM), Accounting and Finance
- Master of Management (MMgt/MM), Accounting
- Master of Business Administration (MBA), Cost and Management Accounting
- Master of Business Administration (MBA), Accounting and Management
WHY GET A MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING CONCENTRATION?
Pursuing a management accounting concentration bears many personal and professional benefits. This versatile concentration prepares students for lucrative accounting and financial management careers and/or continuing education in related fields. Major advantages of management accounting concentrations include the following:
- Varied Job Opportunities: Management accountants can find work in government, nonprofit organizations, and private corporations in many industries. Graduates with a management accountant degree also sometimes become educators or consultants.
- Positive Career Outlook: Stricter financial and legal regulations may raise the demand for accounting professionals. Pursuing a management accountant specialization can qualify candidates for financial manager positions, a job which the BLS projects will grow 16% in 2018-2028.
- Salary Advancement: Earning a management accounting degree can help graduates qualify for promotions and/or higher salaries. Management accounting bachelor’s degree graduates average $84,000 annually, according to PayScale.
- Preparation for Additional Degrees: Some bachelor’s degree graduates use their degree to meet prerequisites for a master’s degree in a related field. Graduates interested in academic careers also may pursue doctoral degrees in accounting or business fields.
- Preparation for CMA/CPA Certification: Many master’s programs in management accounting meet educational requirements for CPA and/or CMA certification, credentials which usually improve job prospects.
When Is a Management Accounting Concentration Better Than a General Accounting Degree?
Management accounting’s emphasis on using accounting for business decision-making prepares students for high-paying financial management roles within organizations. By examining business strategy and analytics, management accounting concentrations also position graduates for consulting careers.
According to BLS job outlook data for accountants and auditors, management accountants often advance into high-level executive positions and controller roles. A management accounting concentration can help position accountants for such advancements.
When Might a General Accounting Degree Be Better Than a Management Accounting Concentration?
General accounting degrees expose students to a wider variety of accounting fields, areas, and topics. General degrees may therefore give students a wider breadth of career options. This track usually best suits students who are unsure of their career plans.
Relatedly, students interested in pursuing more advanced degrees often use a general accounting degree as a foundation, then follow it with a specialized master’s or doctoral degree.
What About Other Concentrations?
Most organizations require accounting services, so accounting programs often provide diverse concentration options focused on specific fields, roles, or skill sets. Popular accounting concentrations include auditing, cost accounting, financial accounting, and information systems. Some schools also offer specializations in fields such forensic accounting, environmental accounting, international taxation, or sports accounting.
- Introduction to Management Accounting
This course introduces students to foundational accounting principles and practices. Students learn job order and process costing, activity-based costing, managerial accounting statement preparation, and overhead cost allocation.
- Cost Accounting
Students learn how to improve profits through capital budgeting, target costing, price setting, and constraint analysis. Cost accounting courses also teach job costing, inventory valuation, and cost collection system creation. The course discusses how each of these essential tools supports sound business decision-making.
- Business Law
Business law courses help students understand ethical and legal issues that shape the business world. This course covers contracts, torts, negotiable instruments, and the law of sales. Students also learn about business crimes, constitutional law, the court system, and the Uniform Commercial Code.
- Strategic Management
Focused on central ideas and useful tools for creating and implementing business strategy, strategic management courses cultivate skills in competitive analysis, competitive advantage creation, and long-term resource allocation. This interdisciplinary course often draws on knowledge provided by prerequisites in economics, organizational behavior, statistics, and accounting.
- Accounting Information Systems
AIS courses familiarize students with information software and technologies involved in financial reporting and transactions control. This course emphasizes the power of AIS analysis, design, and improvement to protect and enhance business outcomes.