Accounting and Finance Insight Series – Management Accountant

Hunter Campbell are invested in the future of the Accounting and Finance profession. Using our technical understanding and specialist expertise we bring you the Hunter Campbell Accounting and Finance Insight Series. Profiling roles within the Accounting and Finance sector, including jobs in demand, wages and employment prospects with a feature on how this has been impacted by Covid.   

In our fourth article we spotlight the role of Management Accountant, with some additional commentary on the role of Commercial Analyst.  

 Purpose of the role 

Typically reporting into the Finance Manager, Financial Controller or Commercial Manager, dependent on the size of the organisation, a Management Accountant/ Commercial Analyst is responsible for budgeting, forecasting, cost centre reporting and analysis. Another key aspect of the role is business partnering with key stakeholders and providing commercial insights.  

Skills required 

  • CA/CPA or CIMA qualified (but not essential in this type of role) 
  • Analytical experience, potentially working with large data sets 
  • Intermediate to advanced Microsoft Excel skills 

Career advice/prospects 

To get into this type of role, you will need to have previous experience in a similar role within industry, such as an Assistant Management Accountant or Analyst position. Alternatively, you will have a minimum of 3 years’ experience within Public Practice, typically coming out of either Business Advisory with exposure to budgeting and forecasting. If you are coming out of Audit, it is useful to have data analytics experience within public practice, to help showcase your ability to be analytical – or potentially Corporate Finance experience where you work on financial models. 

After spending a couple of years in a Management Accountant position, this will set you up nicely to continue your career path to a Finance Manager, Commercial Manager, Commercial/ Finance Business Partner role. Equally, if you are in a broad Management Accountant role, which has a mixture of management accounting as well as financial reporting, this will open doors to either stay on the analytical / commercial route or branch into a more technical role. 

Many more candidates are now looking for more commercially focused roles, as opposed to remaining purely technical. If this resonates with you and you are struggling to get your foot in the door with one of these roles, my advice is to find a role with a mixture of financial accounting and management accounting initially. This will allow you to understand the intricacies on both sides and are therefore more set up to make your next career move down either path.  

It is useful to note Hiring Managers will look towards your soft skills in this role too, so make sure you can demonstrate your ability to build rapport, develop relationships and influence successfully. 

Industries that are recruiting these types of roles 

Nearly all industries in the past 12 months have had a demand for these roles, in particular we have seen strong volume in FMCG, Construction, Manufacturing, Financial Services etc. 

Salary guide/trends 

  • Junior; $90,000 
  • Intermediate; $90,000 – $100,000 (3 years experience, newly qualified) 
  • Senior, $100,000 – $120,000 (4- 5+ years experience) 

 These salaries will vary depending on the industry, company size and levels of responsibility. Typically, a Junior salary would be appropriate for someone not yet qualified or potentially a smaller organisation, whereas the Intermediate and Senior salary guide would be relevant for roles in medium and large businesses that have some level of complexity. 

Throughout 2014-2020, there was an even split of commercial focused and financial roles. Come 2021, the market had doubled in its need for Financial Accountants and only half on the commercial. Due to the impacts of Covid, there was a significant drive for technical accountants and less of an appetite for commercial candidates, with a number of redundancies happening within this space too. From 2020-2021, we noticed an increase of around 60% for new technical roles in comparison to the previous 6-7 years.  

Now the market confidence is back, the demand is returning to a fairly equal split between financial and commercial roles. In addition, with New Zealand being a skill short market due to the borders being shut for two years, it has been a market led by candidates. They in turn have been dictating a more even split of MA/FA in the role – which is why I suggest always taking the job title with a pinch of salt and reading over the JD before making any rash decisions on the opportunity, as it could be much broader than what it seems.  

If you would like to find out more about the role of Financial Accountant, please contact Josie Clarke. Josie specialises in Permanent recruitment solutions: Newly Qualified CA/CPA, First Move from Practice, Financial Accountant, Management Accountant, Group Accountant, Financial/Commercial Analyst, Finance Business Partner roles. For more news and views, visit our website by clicking here, see what opportunities we have available here or follow us on LinkedIn. 

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