Group management accountant: Toby Fowlston explains what it takes to land this highly sought-after position.

AuthorFowlston, Toby
PositionSo you want to be ...

Many newly qualified CIMA members want to move into group accounting roles and, because group management accounting is a natural progression for a CIMA professional (and an increasingly popular choice for ACAs), you will face strong competition to secure the job of your choice. The main duty of the group accountant is to sit above the various operating units and consolidate reports from all the finance functions, giving comprehensive insights into the whole business. This means that a group role not only gives a bird's-eye view of an organisation; it also provides a fantastic opportunity to network across different divisions. If it's your ambition to become a senior finance professional, this is a great position from which to further your career-many finance directors and CFOs in the FTSE 250 started out in group accounting.



Last year was challenging, but prospects are beginning to look more positive: companies are retaining their good people and paying them well, while increased activity in the financial markets is trickling into the commercial sector. Companies that didn't have the budget to recruit last year are starting to hire, but they are still being cautious. This means that employers can be particularly selective about the types of candidates they will look at, so it's important that you have realistic expectations. It will take time to return to the hiring levels we saw two or three years ago, but there are things you can do to get ahead of the competition.

Our clients are looking for a "clean" CV, which means you should ideally have passed your exams at the first attempt and be able to show high levels of academic achievement and good tenure in...

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