An accounting manager blends people skills, analytical skills, and accounting skills to provide a professionally run department. Duties include overseeing payroll, accounts payable, receivables, tax, internal and external auditing, finding analyst or auditor services when needed, overseeing staff accountants and technology needs, answering any data request from management, and general ledger entries. In addition, they help to develop and implement finance procedures in their company's day-to-day operations. When cash flow and financial analysis reports are needed, the accounting manager pulls them together as well as assists auditors in gathering necessary information for audits. People skills are needed as accounting managers supervise accounting and payroll clerks in their duties. To become an accounting manager, a combination of work experience and an education from an accredited university is required. This will mean a return to school and thousands of dollars spent on tuition as a student takes time out of their schedule to study and ace each exam, but once students earn their degrees and improve their knowledge in various areas, such as taxation, their salary increases accordingly.
How much do Accounting Managers make?
Accounting manager salaries vary depending on the size of the company, the industry, and the geographic region where the employer is located. It can also be affected by any specific certifications the manager has. For example, if they earned an MBA with a concentration in accounting, they may still not be paid as much as if they earned a double MBA in accounting and international business or if they passed all four parts of the CPA exam and earned the CPA certification. Graduates who search for a school that offers the best and most in-demand courses and curriculum will have the most opportunities for jobs when they leave school. The average salary is $69,599 according to Payscale.com. In addition to the salary, accounting managers average $4,888 in bonuses, $3,079 in commissions and $2,467 in profit sharing each year. Many companies also provide benefits such as paid vacation, personal leave time and medical/dental insurance.
What is my earning potential?
The accounting field is definitely one in which your level of education can make a significant difference in earning potential. Today's market commands, at the very least, a bachelor’s degree to secure the position. Many accounting managers have their MBA, or are working toward one to increase their earnings and careers. According to Payscale.com, accounting managers in the US earn $43,985-$101,855 annually.
How do Accounting Manager salaries compare?
Accounting management salaries compare favorably to several other management pay scales including food service management and lodging management. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median wage for a food services manager is $52,030 annually. The median annual wage for a lodging manager is $51,800. Payscale.com places the median salary for accounting managers at $68,599, as of 2017.
In addition to making more money as an accounting manager, than in some other management positions, there are perks that cannot be measured by dollars, but can be important. For the most part, the work week for an accounting manager is Monday-Friday, during normal business hours. A food service manager and lodging manager typically work some nights and weekends, especially at the beginning of their careers. Weekends are usually when kids' athletic games take place, neighborhood parties, and family camping trips. Having weekends off allows for more social and family time.
Is there demand for this career?
As long as companies exist, there will be a demand for accounting managers. Whether the company is in manufacturing, retail merchandising, the service industry, public sector, professional sports, or any other industry, there will be a need to manage the accounting aspect of day-today operations and if the company has separate accounts payable, receivable, and payroll departments, it is even more reason to hire a manager to supervise them all. According to Dmdatabase.com, the US has more than 28 million businesses listed. While approximately six million of them show no activity, there are still 22 million active businesses. The demand for accounting managers is without question.
What is the job growth for the field?
The possibility of job growth for accounting managers is impressive. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects a 19% job growth for this career by 2026, which is significantly above the norm. Using this position as a springboard to even better paying positions is not uncommon. Some typical career advancement goals include:
- Finance Controller
- Finance Director
- Corporate Controller
- CEO – Chief Financial Officer
- Financial Manager
- Director of Finance
How much competition will I face for a job?
Competition for this position can be stiff as those already working in the accounting field gain experience and apply from within the company. For example, an employee who worked their way up from accounting clerk to accounts receivables supervisor or lead, might already have or later obtain a bachelor's degree and apply for the manager position when it is available. However, due to the projected job growth and the number of companies in the US with a need for accounting managers, landing a position is likely if you have the right experience, background, and education. Most accounting management positions require a bachelor's degree, but if you can obtain your MBA it will give you a leg up on the competition. It will also put you ahead of the game when it comes to advancing your career to higher positions.
What kinds of institutions hire accounting managers?
Almost every industry out there has the need for accounting managers, if the company is large enough to sustain the position. Very large companies can have a large accounting clerk staff that the manager will supervise. Examples of fields that use accounting managers include:
- Retail Sales
- Food Services
- Service Industry
An accounting manager can oversee several accounting departments, or run the show independently, doing all accounts payable, receivables and payroll functions as well as providing audit assistance.
How do I advance my career as an accounting manager?
Additional education and obtaining certifications are two ways to advance your career as an accounting manager. The vast majority of accounting manager positions require a bachelor's degree. If you do not have one yet, that should be a priority. If you already have your bachelor's degree, think about getting your MBA (Masters in Business Administration). This advanced degree not only makes you more valuable to your current company but will also make you more marketable industry-wide and is offered by many schools throughout the U.S. In addition, an accounting manager position is about as high as you can go with a bachelor's degree in the field. Many of the positions you will aspire to from there will require an MBA and or certifications, such as becoming a certified public accountant. Once you are a CPA or obtain an MBA the career possibilities significantly increase. Getting it done now will put you ahead of the game, and an MBA allows you to command more money in your current position. Accounting is a proven, stable, career choice in which you can garner a lucrative salary. A management position will provide you with a career, not just a job.