A short article in CIMA’s Insight e-zine caught my attention recently. I have written posts before on the non-accounting skills accountants need – such as good communication skills and technology skills.
This CIMA article also notes the importance of skills and experience in other areas for finance staff/management accountants who want to climb the career ladder to become finance leaders or directors. 69% of finance directors surveyed by a recruitment firm reported the need to learn and understand the business operations. I could not agree more. My own experience as a management accountant really did not blossom until I learned the basics of how production planning in the factory where I worked. With this to hand, it was much easier to make the link between what happened on the floor and how money was made or lost.
The article also notes that students should apply theoretical knowledge as soon as possible. Again, I could not agree more. Setting up a standard costing system in the same factory as above really helped me understand what I learned, but also appreciate that textbooks do not teach you everything. For example, it was easy to set machine running standards as the machine suppliers had a wealth of experience and could easily tell you how many units an hour could be produced under varying conditions.
The full articles is worth a read – see here Non-finance experience essential for budding finance leaders.