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Management Accountant VS Financial Accountant

AmyRichardsonAmyRichardson Feels At HomeRegistered Posts: 89
Hi people!

Is there an actual real difference between say, an ACCA qualified management accountant and an ACCA Financial Accountant?

I want to know what people think!?



  • deanshepherddeanshepherd Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,809
    Presumably one trained in industry and the other in practice?

    They are not standard terms so it depends on the context.
  • paulstaffordpaulstafford Feels At Home Registered Posts: 126
    I think the split is :

    management accountant:

    prepares reports for internal consumption eg managment accounts, sales reports for managers.

    financial accountant:

    prepares reports for external consumption eg year end financial statements, trading updates for stakeholders such as banks.

    In reality I suspect an ACCA qualified accountant working in all but the largest corporations will get involved in both reporting areas. I did when I was employed as management accountant.
  • Paul CPaul C Well-Known Registered Posts: 193
    I'm a management accountant in local government and it is a very different role to the financial accountants.

    PaulStafford described the roles. But to add to that, as a management accountant day to day people skills are really important. Being able to form strong working relationships with diverse service managers and their staff is really important. While also being able to tactfully give them the bad news, say when something is not correct or when rules are being broken. It's about trying to balance their service needs and those of the organization as a whole, being fair to both.
  • stevefstevef Well-Known CarmarthenRegistered Posts: 258
    ACCA make no distincion between a "Management Accountant" or a "Financial Accountant", ACCA is a professional body for Accountants who have passed their exams, met their experience criteria and complied with the CPD regulations.

    Splitting Accountants into Management or Financial (or Technical, or Treasury or Cost or Capital or Service or ......) is fairly arbitary exercise in employers applying job titles. The usual difference between Management and Financial is as noted by paulstafford, however I have seen a number of jobs with the title Management Accountant whose sole duties are external reporting.

    Internal and external reporting are based on the same datasets and require similar skills in preparation, also the more senior you become the more you get involved in all types of Accountancy work. In most Local Authorities you will have Service Accountans, who are Management Accountants, but you will also have a Capital team, a Treasury Management team, a Technical team and in the Corporate team you will have the Financial Accountants. All these report to a Chief Accountant, who reports to the Head of Finance who reports to a Director (of Resources often). So the Chief Accountant upwards are both Financial and Management.

    I work in Local Government, but we are smalll compared to the big Welsh Unitary Authorities. In my Department I do not distiguish between different types of Accountant, we all do both all the time as well as Technical and Treasury work. I do not think there is any real difference.
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