Industry and Commerce Accountant Careers

How to become industry and commerce accountant

What does an industry and commerce accountant do?

Accountants working in industry and commerce evaluate and give advice on the financial performance of the company they are working in. Commonly known as management accountants, they assist other managers with business decisions by making financial projections and using their economic judgement.

Management accountants prepare and present:

  • periodic financial statements such as profit and loss accounts and cash flows
  • management accounts, such as budget comparisons
  • sales reports
  • business forecasts, eg the consequences of a merger
  • recommendations to increase profitability.

They analyse and monitor:

  • budgets and costs
  • credit control and supply chain systems
  • company performance
  • financial procedures through internal audits.

They may also manage a team of accounting technicans and finance clerks, and oversee the company's financial information systems.

A key role for management accountants is forecasting and planning. When business managers need to make a decision they use the expertise of a management accountant to help them anticipate costs and financial implications.

Management accountants work within businesses and are associated with strategic planning and financial performance, whereas private practice accountants work for accountancy practices and are usually associated with dealing with audits, tax and accounts on behalf of fee-paying clients, although there can be some overlap.


What's the working environment like working as an industry and commerce accountant?

Accountants in industry and commerce normally work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. They may need to work extra hours at busy times, such as the end of the financial year. Flexible working is common. Part-time work and job sharing may also be available.

The work is usually office-based. Some travel may be required and business trips overseas may be necessary. Dress code is usually formal.


What does it take to become an industry and commerce accountant?

To be an accountant in industry and commerce you should:

  • have good numeracy skills
  • be able to plan and present information
  • have an understanding of business, economics and commerce
  • enjoy analysing data and solving problems
  • be able to create a good rapport with clients and colleagues
  • have good negotiating skills and be able to act on your own judgement
  • have an understanding of information technology
  • be discreet, tactful and assertive
  • be able to motivate and manage a team.


Industry and commerce accountant career opportunities

The demand for accountants in all sectors is growing and work is available in all parts of the UK. There are self-employment opportunities for management accountants to become management consultants.

Once qualified, it is possible to move between private practice, the public sector and industry and commerce to gain experience and help career prospects. Those working for a large organisation may be offered transfers within the company to advance their careers. There are many openings for accountants in senior management positions.


Further information

If you would like to learn more about becoming an industry and commerce accountant that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
26 Chapter Street
Tel: 020 8849 2251

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
2 Central Quay
89 Hydepark Street
G3 8DT
Tel: 0141 582 2000

Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA)
Burford house
44 London Road
TN13 1AS
Tel: 01732 458080

Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies (CCAB)

Financial Services Skills Council (FSSC)
51 Gresham Street
Tel: 020 7216 7366

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