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If you're looking to start a career in managerial accounting, WGU offers program options that could be a perfect fit for you. For those without a bachelor's degree, consider pursuing a bachelor's in accounting or finance to start gaining a foundational knowledge in the field. If you already hold a bachelor's degree, a master's degree in accounting can not only help you gain advanced accounting skills but also management skills that are essential for success in the field. WGU's programs are designed to provide hands-on learning experiences that prepare students for real-world scenarios, so you can feel confident in your ability to navigate the complexities of the job. With a degree from WGU, you can be well on your way towards becoming a successful managerial accountant. 

Skills in Managerial Accounting and Similar Professions

Managerial accounting requires a variety of hard and soft skills, most notably:

  • Finance knowledge: A managerial accountant must be able to read, interpret, and make recommendations based on statements, which provide insights into a company's financial health and performance.
  • Analysis: These professionals distill large amounts of data into key points of information that can be used to make decisions about a company's finances. This requires strong analytical skills and the ability to think critically about data.
  • Communication: Accountants must be able to clearly communicate their findings and recommendations to those who may have a limited background in accounting or finance. This encompasses the ability to both write and speak clearly and concisely.
  • Organization: A managerial accountant has to keep track of multiple projects and deadlines simultaneously. The ability to prioritize tasks and stay organized even when there is a lot of information to command is essential.
  • Interpersonal skills: A managerial accountant often works with other departments within a company, such as sales, marketing, and operations. They build relationships and work collaboratively with others toward a common goal.
  • Time management: Accountants should complete tasks promptly while maintaining accuracy and precision in their work. The ability to plan and use time efficiently will determine an accountant's success. 
  • Problem-solving: Managerial accountants often encounter challenges related to budgeting, forecasting, auditing, and tax compliance, and they must use their problem-solving skills to come up with creative and effective solutions. 

Income and Growth Potential in Managerial Accounting

One of the most critical considerations when choosing a career path is salary. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for accountants and auditors in May 2021 was $77,250, with the top earners bringing in more than $128,970. However, the specific amount a managerial accountant makes is influenced by many factors, including their level of education, years of experience, and location. 

Employment of accountants and auditors, including managerial accountants, is projected to grow by 6% from 2021 to 2031. This growth is due to global expansion, changes in financial regulations, and increased accountability of companies' financial practices. 


Bachelor's Degree In Accounting

A bachelor's degree in accounting can help students build a strong foundation in financial principles and practices. Graduates gain a wide range of skills relevant to a career as a managerial accountant, including proficiency in financial analysis, tax planning, and auditing. They also develop a keen attention to detail, critical thinking, and strong communication skills. This degree program prepares students for accounting careers by offering coursework that teaches them to apply accounting principles to real-world situations and prepare financial statements. Hands-on experience with accounting software and collaboration with industry partners further enrich students' learning experience. Graduates leave the program with a firm grasp of accounting principles and practical skills that they can apply in various accounting roles.

Bachelor's Degree in Finance

A bachelor's degree in finance equips students with various relevant skills for a future managerial accountant. Key learnings include analyzing financial data, developing effective financial strategies, and communicating complex financial information to stakeholders. These skills are essential for success in the accounting industry, where professionals must make informed decisions based on financial data and share financial information clearly and concisely. This degree program also prepares students for accounting careers by providing hands-on experience through internships or co-op programs and opportunities to earn professional certifications such as the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation. Overall, a bachelor's degree in finance gives students the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the complex world of accounting and finance.

Master of Accounting

Earning a master's degree in accounting provides students with an in-depth understanding of financial procedures and practices. Through this program, students can gain key learnings such as advanced knowledge in accounting principles, taxation, and auditing. Moreover, this degree offers skill acquisition that is useful for future managerial accountants, such as the ability to analyze and interpret financial statements, budgeting, and forecasting. The mastery of these skills not only prepares students for accounting careers and allows them to become an integral part of a company's financial decision-making process. Overall, a master's degree in accounting equips students with the essential skills, knowledge, and experience necessary for a successful career in the accounting world.

Careers in Managerial Accounting

With a degree in accounting or finance, you can pursue managerial accounting along with a variety of other career paths, such as:

What Does a Managerial Accountant Do?

In business, managerial accountants are crucial in helping organizations make sound financial decisions. Unlike traditional accountants who mainly focus on recording transactions and preparing financial statements, managerial accountants are more concerned with analyzing financial data to provide insights and recommendations to management. They work closely with top-level executives such as CEOs and CFOs to ensure that strategic decisions align with the organization's financial goals. From analyzing cost patterns and forecasting future revenues to preparing budgets and monitoring performance metrics, a managerial accountant's diverse skill set is essential in improving a company's bottom line.

Do I Need a Certification to Become a Managerial Accountant?

Certification is not required to become a managerial accountant, but obtaining a CMA designation is highly encouraged. The CMA exam evaluates an individual's financial planning, analysis, control, and decision-making skills and knowledge. By successfully passing the CMA exam, you showcase your proficiency in managerial accounting and demonstrate your commitment to professional development. The certification can help you stand out in a competitive job market, open up new career opportunities, and lead to higher earning potential and job satisfaction.  

Do I Need a Managerial Accounting Degree to Pursue This Career?

No, a specific degree in this field is not required. However, it is important to note that having a solid educational background in accounting, finance, or business can be incredibly valuable as a managerial accountant.

What Do You Learn in Managerial Accounting?

Managerial accounting is an essential branch of accounting that deals with analyzing and interpreting financial information in a business. This specialized area of accounting focuses on providing managers with the financial insights they need to make better decisions for their company. In managerial accounting, you will learn how to create budgets, forecast sales, develop performance metrics, and analyze financial statements. You will also be introduced to the principles of cost accounting, where you will learn how to analyze and allocate costs to specific business activities and products. 


How Is Managerial Accounting Different from Financial Accounting?

Two of the most common types of accounting are managerial accounting and financial accounting. While similar in some ways, the two also have significant differences. Managerial accounting is focused on providing information to managers within a company to help them make better decisions. It includes things like budgeting, cost analysis, and operational performance metrics. In contrast, financial accounting is geared towards people outside the company, like investors or regulatory bodies. It focuses on creating accurate reports of a company's financial performance, such as revenue, expenses, and profit. 

How Do I Become a Managerial Accountant?

If you're considering a career as a managerial accountant, the first step is to earn a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, or a related field. Many employers also require a master's degree in accounting. Once you have your degree, you'll need to gain experience in the field. You can do this by working in various accounting roles, such as staff accountant or financial analyst. Along the way, consider pursuing professional certifications such as CMA or Certified Public Accountant (CPA). These certifications can help you stand out to potential employers and demonstrate your commitment to the field. Finally, network with other professionals in the accounting and finance industry to build relationships and find managerial accounting job opportunities. 

Why Choose WGU?

Why should you choose an accounting or finance degree from WGU? Here are a few reasons a WGU degree is a wise choice:

  • It's affordable. Our low, flat-rate tuition is charged per six-month term and covers as many courses as you complete. 
  • It's career-focused. WGU's degree programs are designed with your future employment and success in mind, so the skills you learn will translate directly to your management career. 
  • It's accessible. Our scholarships and financial aid make college even more affordable, along with our already-low tuition. 
  • It's at your pace. Thanks to our competency-based education, you can pass courses by proving what you know, meaning you can speed up your program and graduate faster.

Overall, the accounting and finance programs at WGU can be a great choice for motivated students looking for a high-quality education that can be tailored to their specific needs.


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