How to become a management accountant: Omar's story

Omar is 19 and is a degree apprentice at EY in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, working as a management accountant. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

"Anti-money laundering work involves investigating individuals and companies to check if they're using their funds in an illegal way."

  • Omar is on a chartered management degree apprenticeship. He gets the chance to train on the job and gain experience on different projects

  • Omar is currently working on an anti-money laundering project. This involves investigating individuals and companies to check if they're using their funds in an illegal way. Omar works on a computer and checks customers' accounts for suspicious activity

  • Teamwork is important in Omar's job, as well as communication and time-management - especially as he also has university assignments to complete

  • As part of his apprenticeship, he will gain an honours degree and will then be able to choose which professional qualification he studies and wants to specialise in. This might be anti-money laundering or cyber security, for example.

What to expect if you want to become a management accountant

When Omar completes this apprenticeship, he will have completed rotations on different projects, giving him the opportunity to specialise in an area of his choice and build further responsibility.

If you're exploring the accountancy sector more broadly too, you might be interested in pursuing a career as a Management Accountant. Management Accountants look after a company's finances and find ways to improve profitability.

Management Accountant salary: from £25,000 to £100,000 depending on experience Management Accountant working hours: 37-39 hours per week

What qualifications do you need to be a management accountant?

Typical entry requirements: To follow Omar's career route, you'd usually need a minimum of Level 2/GCSE (or equivalent) in English and Maths and three A-levels or equivalent. Entry requirements vary depending on employer and role however, so it is best to check company websites for up to date information.

To become an accountant, you'll need to complete training with one of the professional accountancy bodies. Many management accountants choose to qualify with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). There are two stages to this: the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting and the CIMA Professional Qualification. This training is usually paid for as part of a apprenticeship programme, if you choose the apprenticeship route. Your starting point will depend on your previous qualifications and work experience, although you'll typically need a good standard of Maths and English.

Some management accountants train with the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA), taking the business management modules instead of audit and taxation options in the final part of their training.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

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