What does a Certified Managerial Accountant do?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 10 October 2018
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A certified managerial accountant is a financial matters expert who works for a business or corporation. He or she reviews internal records to analyze budgets, production and labor costs, investment policies, and other important figures. In addition, a certified managerial accountant often acts as a financial adviser, helping executives determine the best ways to increase savings and profits in both the short and long term. Accountants play vital roles in making sure that their businesses remain competitive and successful in their respective markets.

Managerial accountants ensure that their companies' monthly, quarterly, and annual financial statements are accurate. Professionals may perform audits personally or review the findings of internal and external auditors to make sure they are free from errors. A certified managerial accountant also looks at operating costs to determine if money could be saved or better used by allocating resources differently. He or she may suggest policy changes that impact production, shipping, marketing, human resources, or another major division of a business.

Forecasting and planning for the future are primary responsibilities of a certified managerial accountant. An accountant relies on his or her expert knowledge of economics to predict the outcomes of current policies and practices and determine if tweaking them could produce more desirable results. After thoroughly researching possible outcomes, he or she creates reports, charts, and presentations to deliver to executives that explain findings. Companies use the information uncovered by their accountants to make reliable business decisions.


The requirements to become a certified managerial accountant can vary by region and country, but a hopeful worker usually needs to hold a bachelor's degree or higher in accounting, economics, or another major related to business administration. In order to qualify for certification, a college graduate typically needs gain one to two years of entry-level experience in an accounting position and pass an extensive written examination. Organizations such as the Institute of Management Accountants in the United States and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants in the United Kingdom provide highly respected credentials for new professionals in the field.

With certification and ongoing experience, an accountant may be able to advance within his or her career. Some professionals become senior accountants or head financial advisers at their corporations, supervising the work of other certified managerial accountants and making the ultimate decisions regarding financial policies. In time, a managerial accountant may even be rewarded with an executive title, such as chief financial officer.



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