For a management accountant today, sky is the limit. In our previous post we saw how management accountants are in huge demand due to the rapidly changing economic scenario and complex nature of business today. Especially in India, there is a growing demand for CIMA professionals due to various factors. So, if you are a student planning to enroll with the CIMA or a CIMA member already, you would want to know where your career path would lead you from here. It is true that CIMA opens a whole range of opportunities, but your career path is also determined by your aptitude towards a certain function, your experience and personal skill sets. You automatically brace yourselves for a fulfilling career once you arm your aptitude with a global degree like CIMA.
Below, we have discussed some of the key roles that you as a CIMA member can consider in India, based on your aptitude levels and previous work experience. Needless to say all of them are highly coveted roles with lucrative pay scales.
As a CIMA member, this is one of the most widely available options that you will find.The role is pivotal and involves preparation of monthly or annual profit and loss statements and variance analysis. Duties also include reviewing overhead costs to ensure efficient allocation of resources, conducting monthly reviews metings with managers to communicate the operations and finance strategies. In a nutshell, the main activities of this role is geared towards strategizing, liasoning with internal or external stakeholders, and optimization of cash flows.
If you have always been the highly revered advice guru and problem-solver since teenage, management consulting may just be the right thing for you! A management consultant’s role directly depends on the quality of his decision making skills and recommendations. His role includes analysing numbers and drawing insights for various issues at the operational and strategic level. The process involves bringing the most relevant information and people together when making decisions. The approach of the consultant can be tactical or standardized based on the uniqueness of the issue.
We live in an age of data overload. So much of data which revolves around company affairs needs an analyst to crack it and make recommendations based on it. While a financial analyst uses only financial and accounting data, a business analyst works with absolutely any metrics and data related to the company. Business Analysts provide valuable insights to the management in making strategies that can be helpful to improve the revenue of the company, predict the key performers, compare with industry benchmarks, etc
Enron, Satyam and Tyco shook the world with accounting scandals. This proves the growing need for forensic accountants day by day. A forensic accountant needs to possess investigative skills to verify the genuineness of the transactions, detect white collar crimes such as asset misappropriation, embezzlement of funds, securities fraud, etc.
A finance controller has to carry out analysis of the books of accounts, report to the management, monitor the activities of the department, lead the team, overseeing the preparation of financial statements, etc. A FM takes financial decisions of the company: procuring funds, project finance for buying assets, producing financial and accounting reports, help management take decisions regarding financial projections, etc.
Execution, leadership and management sum up the key requisites of a good Project Manager. A project manager is primarily responsible for timely execution of the project: he has to analyze the requirements of the project, procure funds in some cases, manage fund allocation, guide and lead the team members. You will find this role in leading IT companies and multi national banks or investment houses. The profile of a Project Manager is not only dynamic and challenging but also financially rewarding.
Time for some statistics
Now that you have a fair idea about the career opportunities available after CIMA, lets take a glance at some of the findings based on CIMA Salary Survey 2016. The following are the results for India.
The road ahead
According to CIMA there is a huge shortage of qualified management accountants with business partnering skills in India. Hence, there is a good opportunity for new CIMA members to bag senior level roles across sectors. Specialists, more than generalists are in demand, in this country. Which means candidates with experience in a particular sector are more preferred.
The key skill sets that employers are looking for are: (1) Track record in value addition (2) Sharp business acumen and (3) Strong communication and people management skills. So, if you have your eyes set on those plum offers, it’s time to take a serious look at CIMA (if you still haven’t), review your strengths and focus on your key competencies. Once you prove your worth to the prospective employers, there is no stopping you!
A leading job portal in India shows listings of various roles for CIMA members