Published On: Wed, Jan 20th, 2021

4 Skills Management Accountants Contribute To Business Operations

When you first choose a career, you may be asked what you find exciting or what you think you might be good at, but for first jobs, you’ll rarely be asked to determine whether you have the niche skills for a high-stakes job. 

Rather, those questions arise over time as you rise through the ranks. If you’ve spent some time in professional circles, though, such as while doing the field work in advance of taking your Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam, you’ll need to spend some time evaluating your capabilities. 

What does it take to succeed as a CMA? Though there’s some overlap with the skills used in business management, you’ll be tested on a number of key competencies critical to this high-stakes industry. These four are among the most important.

Accounting And Tax Basics

While you may not do much in the way of standard accounting or tax preparation as a CMA, you’ll need a strong foundation in accounting principles to do this job. That’s because you will likely oversee others who do perform these tasks. You’ll also have to interpret accounting and tax data to do more advanced analytics work in this role. 

In addition to these fundamental accounting skills, many CMAs also do advanced work to learn more about cost accounting and other more specialized economics skills. These abilities will help you support businesses seeking to grow and evolve, maximizing their financial potential.

Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

Professional Ethics

If you look at the information covered on the CMA licencing exam, or the content included in top programs like the Wiley CMA Exam Review platform, you’ll find that a significant portion of the exam is committed to professional ethics. That’s because CMAs handle a lot of confidential data, and their work could easily create conflicts of interest, put shareholders at risk, or even be used to manipulate markets. As such, CMAs are tested on professional ethics, as well as various operational standards and controls. However, it’s also important to remember that you can know what’s expected of you and lack the internal ethical guideposts to carry out those norms; all professionals should keep this in mind.

Technology Talents

Technology goes hand in hand with analytics as a key competency area for CMAs, but top professionals can’t just be good with today’s technology. You also need to be able to readily adapt to new technology, including platforms for data collation and visualization, new data analysis programs, and innovative modeling tools and algorithms for future financial projections. If you typically have a hard time learning new software, this may not be the best career for you.


Many business leaders are forward thinkers who are excited to imagine what will come next for this business and their industry, but CMAs are in a unique position. That’s because it’s actually the role of the CMA to make concrete projections about the future of the business. This demands having a degree of comfort with uncertainty, since you can make projections, but you can’t predict the future.

CMAs bring many valuable skills to business operations, but technological skill, ethics, and financial acumen are among the most important, along with the ability to support a company as it moves forward. And while it may not be a well-known or understood career, it’s one that helps businesses thrive and evolve with a changing world. What could be more important than that?

Author: Anna Johansson

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