Business Management Schools
If you have a passion for business and leadership, you may be well-suited to a position in management. This broad field encompasses a wide range of industries and specialties, and has proven to be one of the few professions that are virtually impervious to the recession. Corporations and small businesses will always need management professionals to oversee and execute key functions.
As a manager, you might choose to focus on marketing, human resources, finance, sales, or other area. Whether you plan to work for a corporation, as a sole proprietor, or as part of a partnership, you can benefit from an effective training program. Through a series of management courses, you'll learn about the essentials of sound business management, including effectively leading and directing others, mastering the art of negotiation, ensuring top-notch customer service, delegating business functions, and understanding the legal and tax requirements that impact your chosen industry. You'll also learn about the importance of ethics and integrity in a managerial role.
Management is largely a people-based profession; the most successful managers understand how to motivate and empower their employees to achieve measurable results. As a management trainee, you'll learn how to hire the right people and how to get the most productivity out of your team.
For an accounting career that takes an active role in a business from start to finish, management accounting allows accountants to work as more of a partner within a business. They become more involved in the day-to-day activities of a business and directly support the goals of the company.
Accountants that actually work for a company or government agency that have a job title of accountant or corporate financial officer are management accountants. They may also have titles of budget or financial analyst, controller, or internal auditor.
Duties that are included in the field of management accounting are:
- Implementing procedures for gathering financial data
- Compiling data and designing reports for financial reporting
- Evaluating financial statements
- Budgeting and forecasting expenses and revenue
- Writing, implementing, and monitoring internal controls
Management Accounting vs. Certified Public Accounting
While both areas of accounting deal with finances, management accounting works from the beginning to the end of the accounting and business processes and makes decisions along the way. A CPA employed in public accounting usually comes in after the fact with advice, audit responsibilities, and tax preparation and guidance.
With internal controls in a company being emphasized in recent legislation, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, management accounting is more important than ever in a company's success.
With the recent collapses of large corporations, and the losses that were incurred as a result, legislation was passed to keep companies on the straight and narrow regarding their financial reporting. Sarbanes-Oxley tightened up accounting procedures for companies that are publicly traded. While it does not affect smaller, privately-held companies, the emphasis on sound financial reporting is the trend for all businesses, and management accountants need to be on top of current laws governing business practices.
What exactly is Sarbanes-Oxley? It is a federal law passed as a reaction to a number of major corporate and accounting scandals including Enron, Adelphia, and WorldCom. Some of the key provisions of the act include:
When these large corporations failed, it not only affected the employees, but the shareholders and investors as well. Billions were lost by shareholders due to fraudulent and underhanded accounting practices. Sarbanes-Oxley sought to restore confidence in the public accounting system.
Management Accounting and Sarbanes-Oxley
One aspect of Sarbanes-Oxley that affected internal accounting was the requirement that a CEO of a corporation sign and take responsibility for the corporate tax returns. With the CEO's name on the line, obviously they want their accounting employees to make sure those financial reports are correct and reflect proper accounting procedures.
Management Accounting Outlook
As companies, both private and public, continue to raise the bar on accounting standards, the management accounting field will continue to hold favorable job prospects. Those accountants familiar with Sarbanes-Oxley, current trends in business, and those that can relate the financial reporting to the operations of the company will be in high demand for years to come.
While obviously a strong aptitude for numbers and finance is an important aspect of becoming a management accountant, other skills that lead to success in this area are:
Management accountants tend to specialize in a particular area, such as:
While holding the title of a Certified Public Accountant is not mandatory for the field of management accounting, a CPA tends to be a preferred method of measuring accounting education and background. CPAs who work in the management accounting area tend to have a salary that is 10% higher than those who don't hold the certification.
- A mandate that senior executives take individual responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of corporate financial reports
- A tightening of accounting standards and reporting requirements
- A tightening of independent auditor standards
- Excellent communication skills
- Excellent people skills
- Excellent computer and technology skills
- Budgeting: Planning expenditures and forecasting revenue to keep a company profitable and manage cash flow.
- Cost Accounting: Determining how much it costs to produce a service or product.
- Tax Accounting: Preparing tax returns as well as setting up a company to make the most of tax laws.
Business Management Schools
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