As an apprentice management accountant, you will help produce, collect, and analyse financial data for an organisation’s management team to make informed decisions to ensure future stability, growth, and profitability.
You will develop and maintain financial policies and management information systems while offering high-quality help to management colleagues on all financial matters.
An apprentice management accountant’s job is to look forward. You will evaluate a company’s performance and provide recommendations for minimising problems, adapting to changing situations, and improving value. This is performed by managing and reducing operational and manufacturing costs and implementing newer, more efficient technologies.
Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:
- prepare financial statements and accounts
- monitor spending and budgets
- analyse the company’s financial performance
- forecast and plan future spending and profits
- recommend ways to reduce costs and increase profits
- make business decisions
- audit departments in your company
- prepare company reports for outside organisations
- manage a team of accountants
- oversee the company’s payroll, credit control and bookkeeping systems.
- Starting salaries vary considerably depending on location, sector and size of the firm. The highest salaries tend to be found in London. The average salary for apprentices is £22,000.
- Salaries increase substantially after passing the relevant examinations. A basic salary of £32,000 is typical for a student studying for a professional qualification with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
- CIMA-qualified finance professionals, irrespective of level of experience or role, earn on average £63,000, including an average bonus of £7,200. Salaries at senior levels range from around £46,000 to more than £129,000.
- The average bonus for CIMA students is 8% of their annual salary, while the average for qualified members is 10%.
You’ll typically work standard office hours between 37 and 39 hours a week from Monday through Friday. Overtime and extra hours may be required regularly. Weekends and shifts are not often included in working hours. However, there are times of the month and year when tight deadlines, such as the end of the month and the end of the year, and hours may be required.
You could work at a client’s business or in an office.
Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice management accountant include:
- Level 7 Accounting and Taxation Professional – Entry requirements for this level include 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship. This qualification will take 18 months to complete.
On a management accountant apprenticeship, you’ll learn:
- maths knowledge
- analytical thinking skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- knowledge of economics and accounting
- the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
- the ability to use your judgement and make decisions
- ambition and a desire to succeed
- thinking and reasoning skills
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently.
CIMA members are well represented in many sectors, not just financial services, including:
- manufacturing (covering automotive, aerospace, electronics and pharmaceuticals)
- travel and tourism
Employers can also be found in the following areas:
- local and central government
Many organisations that provide CIMA training to apprentices will have a curriculum combining the requisite practical experience and the chance to study for the tests. Although many employers offer study leave, a large amount of independent study is required.
The study required while working requires a significant amount of personal time, effort, and determination to achieve this qualification.
Study approaches include full-time, part-time, evening classes, or a combination. Universities that provide distance learning packages and online study via CIMAstudy.com, the only CIMA-endorsed online study system, are two possibilities for self-study.
Advancement requires the successful completion of CIMA qualifications.
Post-qualification progression is based on experience and abilities such as project management and transferable skills such as communication and teamwork.
CPD is also important, and CIMA-qualified accountants are often invited to training courses and corporate networking events.
Working on specific projects may lead to a specialised profession in a specific field. In addition, it has the potential to pave the door for a more strategic role in general management.
Mobility will aid growth, and it may be necessary to go outside the organisation for opportunities. Companies may also require employees to relocate to different locations while undergoing training to gain the most exposure to the company.
When combined with relevant experience, the skills gained from studying for the CIMA exams may lead to additional job opportunities.