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How an MBA Can Take Your Management Accounting Career to the Next Level

Being a management accountant, you’re involved in accounting for startups and new projects within a large business. This is often more interesting than just producing the statutory accounts for the business where little changes quarter to quarter, or year to year. There are more line items to wrestle with and a greater number of people […]

Being a management accountant, you’re involved in accounting for startups and new projects within a large business. This is often more interesting than just producing the statutory accounts for the business where little changes quarter to quarter, or year to year.

There are more line items to wrestle with and a greater number of people inside and outside the organization to liaise with to get the numbers right. The fate of projects in part rests on the accuracy of your forecasts when it comes to project costs, cash burn rates and the likelihood of success.

However, once the initial honeymoon period is over, it becomes more obvious that there are limited career opportunities in some industries and you’ll have to chase new, interesting projects and upcoming companies to make better use of your talents. It’s hard to create a career that way.  

Step into a New World

When undertaking an MBA, you’re entering a new world. While management accounting is certainly not to be discounted, it’s just one of many skillsets that you will utilize once qualified with a Master’s in Business Administration.

One of the new subjects that you’ll master on an MBA course is strategic thinking. The ability to think on your feet, plan strategically for the future of the business and hone your skills in this regard will set you apart later from other accountants at the company.

The ability to use effective reasoning to analyze a business situation using all available data points and reference information, see relevant patterns, arrive at meaningful conclusions, and make quick decisions are vital skills that companies seek in high level employees.

Forge a Better Career Path with an MBA

A host of roles opens up to graduates with an MBA under their belt. It’s not just about where you are now, but the knowledge you possess and how you can help their business move forward.

Some roles for new MBA graduates could include a Management Analyst or Financial Manager. The Management Analyst role places you in a key position to use both your management accounting knowledge along with the broader business and finance skillset acquired through a master’s course. Being a Financial Manager is another direction to go into that is likely to lead to a CFO role down the line.

Certainly, moving all the way up to a Chief Financial Officer, Chief Executive Officer, or to finally become the CEO after investing more time into your career is certainly possible. Other positions can be considered stepping stones to upper management and eventually taking on a leadership role.

Slow Down Later in Life Too

Later in life, it’s also possible to be a well-rounded financial consultant while working independently of a single employer. This might suit accountants looking ahead a couple of decades and wanting to find a career path that eventually leads naturally into part-time consulting while reducing their weekly hourly commitment.

While thinking this far ahead might not be something that everyone does, it’s a useful test of your current career path. With the uncertainty surrounding how much wealth is required to be financially independent, it’s likely that you could want to feather the nest for a few more years in a less stressful environment. Consultants with an MBA and years spent working in business should have no trouble finding clients that can benefit from their knowledge and experience.  

Flexible Study Courses for MBA Students

When you’re working in full-time employment and have commitments already, then taking off several years to study academically seems out of the question. Thankfully, that’s no longer essential, even for a masters.

MBA courses have evolved over the years. While they previously required students to live fairly near to campus and attend regular classes, that’s no longer the case. There’s an online MBA program for you that doesn’t require regular attendance to complete the study curriculum.

Some programs do offer either on campus classes, meeting with the MBA faculty or to attend group events with fellow students and/or alumni. Other programs might include optional international seminars offered at progressive universities that believe strongly that any MBA course should have an international flavor to be relevant in today’s global marketplace.

While being a management accountant (or another type) is valuable in and of itself, there’s no need for a career to stall out. By pursuing ongoing educational improvements and seeking to expand your knowledge to the broader business and financial world, it opens numerous doors that were previously closed. It’s also a good situation to deal with future recessions because with a wide range of possible jobs and job titles, a holder of an MBA has a wealth of employment options available.

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