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How to Become a Cost Accounting Manager

Career News May 27, 2014

Unless you are rabidly self important or about to marry the boss’s daughter, you realize that cost accounting manager IS NOT the first step in your career journey. Thus, having already implied that you are likely to become a cost accountant before you achieve the goal of manager, what should you do?

A good place to start is majoring in accounting, in your undergraduate work. That gives you an overview of the field. Think about where you might like to work, if it is an elective course or two in engineering. Then consider that you will, should you attain manager’s status, have to present your conclusions in an elective speech or debate.

In your early years, research internships will prove helpful. A long lost uncle or family friend may provide an “in” if you have that available; otherwise find several that you like and apply.

You will have to fit the bill for your living expenses with your accounting skills, since almost all of them are unpaid. Keep your credit as high as possible and do not attain too much debt. Neither may be an issue with your employer, but why put up unnecessary red flags when they can be avoided?

What is a Cost Accounting Manager?

The job of cost accounting manager is a specialized field of accounting. It is responsible for the senior management of the company and is charged with the duty of supplying information required to make financial decisions that will guide the management toward achieving the best interests of the business.

A cost accounting manager frequently reports directly to upper management, and written and verbal communication skills are extremely important. An undergraduate degree and several years of accounting experience are general requirements for obtaining a position as a cost accounting manager.

As you rise through the business, understanding the language of accounting will be important but so will an understanding of the manufacturer and product.

Requirements Employers Look For

A good rule of thumb is that you probably cannot be over qualified for this site, so use this as a guidepost and add items as they become available.

A strong knowledge of computer operations will become ever more important as your career goes on, so an awareness and study of all business software will be a plus. Obtaining licensure as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) may be required for some positions, and professional certification is available in a variety of places. Then there is an average three to five years of professional experience commonly expected.

Finding Your First Job

Since cost accounting is a specialized field, you may be asked to provide information so the company can make decisions that will benefit stockholders. The cost accounting manager is responsible for garnering financial information and providing it in an understandable fashion to business executives for use in planning and decision-making. Available positions are found in a variety of industries in settings such as administrative offices or payroll services departments. The broader you can make your education, the more helpful it will be to your future.

Cost Accounting is a field with a variety of challenges, but it can be rewarding in many ways. The field can be quite lucrative, although wages will change over the years. However, a salary in the $100,000 range would not be unexpected. That will vary, but it will definitely beat a nine to five job with no hope of advancement! Keep focused, plan well, and a very exciting future can be yours.

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