What is a Management Accountant?
Management Accounting represents a happy blending of the two older professions of ‘Management’ and ‘Accounting’. The two important elements in the success of a business concern are accounting control and management efficiency. These two determinants are completely merged in management accounting through the harnessing of accounting for improving the efficiency of management.
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Functions of Management Accountant
He has to establish, co-ordinate and administer as an integralpart of management, an adequate plan for the control of the operations.Such a plan would include profit planning, programmes of capital investmentand financing, sales forecasts, expense budgets and cost standards.
He has to compare actual performance with operating plansand standards and to report and interpret the results of operations to alllevels of management and the owners of the business. This is done throughthe compilation of appropriate accounting and statistical records and reports.
He consults all segments of management responsible for policy or action. Such consultation might concern any phase of the operation of the business having to do with the attainment of objectives and the effectiveness of the organisation structures and policies.
Responsibilities of Management Accountant
The role and responsibility of a Management Accountant is one of support. They provide help to these managers who have the primary responsibility to fulfill basic managerial functions. Positions that have direct responsibility for the basic objectives of an organization are known as line positions. Positions that are supportive in nature and have only indirect responsibility for an organization’s basic objectives are called staff positions. For instance, a manager of a production department holds a line position and has the responsibility and authority to make decisions concerning his department.
The Management Accountant, however, has no authority over the production manager and other line positions managers. But since the management accountants have the responsibility of providing and interpreting accounting information, they can have a significant influence on the policies and decisions made by production and similar line managers.
Duties of Management Accountant
Following are important duties of a management Accountant:
- Maintain an appropriate level of professional competence.
- Communicate information fairly and objectively.
- Refrain for disclosing confidential information.
- Monitor subordinate’s activities to assure the maintenance of confidentiality.
- Refuse any gift, favor, or hospitality that is for influence or appear to influence the actions.
- Perform the duties in accordance with relevant laws, regulations and technical standards.
Qualities of Management Accountant
Following are the essential qualities of successful Management Accountant:
- Management Accountants are emotionally mature so that they are neither frustrated by failure nor overjoyed by success.
- A Management Accountant’s knowledge of a subject (i.e AdvancedAccounting and Cost Accounting must be up-to-date and greater than that of his subordinates.
- A Management Accountant must remember that “knowledge of subject is important but what is more important is the knowledge of human nature.
- A Management Accountant must possess decisiveness. Vacillation is fatal for a management accountant. But the rigidity of decision is equally bad.
- A Management Accountant must also possess empathy or social sensitivity.It is the ability to look at things objectively and understand them from another’s point of view.
- A Management Accountant must depend on his initiative in organizing the means to achieve his objective. The initiative simply means doing the right things without being told.
- A Management Accountant is also expected to handle the important duties of processing as well as simplification of the data which essential for the organisation in decision-making.
- A Management Accountant provides useful services of an interpreter in connection with various financial statements, statistical charts, diagrams, etc.
- A Management Accountant should try to appraise economic and social forces and governmental influences continuously and interpret their effect on business.
- Since planning is presumed to be essential for the organisation for smooth functioning and for continuity in operations, hence it is assumed that the management accountant should perform the objectives in the most efficient manner.
Traits of Management Accountant
Following are the traits of successful Management Accountant:
- Adaptable to situations
- Alert to the social environment
- Ambitious and achievement oriented
- Assertive (firm)
- Proper decision advisor/taker
- Tolerance of stress
- Willing to assume responsibility
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