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Does a career in management accounting involve any/much hand writing? watch

    • Thread Starter


    I intend to start a career in management accounting in a financial accounting firm,
    e.g. working in the management accounts / finance department at Price Waterhouse Coopers

    but my concern is there will be a lot of writing needed,
    As due to illness my hands lack strength to grasp a pen for long periods of time,
    my handwriting is awful as a result once i write over 1-2 sentences.
    But i can write my signature fine many times as less pressure/neatness is needed in my signature

    i also have no problem when using a keyboard for very long periods of time

    would be great to hear from those who work in management accounts or finance departments


    For the job, no. You'll use a computer for pretty much everything.

    However you may well struggle with the inevitable professional qualifications (you can't be an accountant without them), as that'll involve time pressured written exams.
    • Thread Starter

    thats okay as i contacted CIMA and they said they allow disabled candidates to have 'special facilities' if needed

    I work as an accountant in industry so my experience may assist.

    Over the years I have used less and less handwriting, the only activities in my work that still involve using a pen are:

    Taking phone messages
    Coding invoices prior to input (eg filing in box grids with supplier codes, nominal codes, job codes and authorising)
    Writing cheques (now pretty infrequent)
    Addressing the odd envelope or a short note on a compliment slip.
    Signing letters

    Most other activities involve using accounting/payroll/tax software, using excel, writing e mails, typing in word and using powerpoint.

    When I worked in auditing in the 1980s and 1990s I did use pens (lots of different colours) for hand written transaction testing etc, however this does not appear to be the area you are considering and I expect audit tests are now recorded on laptops.
    • Thread Starter

    thank you DJKL for sharing,
    as you work in industry, does this mean you studied CIMA?

    how long did it take you to fully finish CIMA?
    If it wasnt CIMA, which other body was it?

    How do you find it working as a management accountant?
    what are the advantages and disadvantages of pursuing this career path?
    any advice

    No, I trained as a CA in Scotland but never finished my training contract (Firm I trained with is now part of Baker Tilly, at the time it was circa number 20 in the UK by size)

    I worked in practice from 1985 to 1990, industry 1990 to 1994, practice 1994 to 1999 and industry 1999 to date.

    I do still keep my practice skills honed as I still do a fair bit of tax planning and compliance for both my employers and also for a number of private clients in the evenings/weekends, but to a far lesser degree than in the past. (Reading taxation and reviewing accounting/taxation web readers queries/articles plus on occasion reverting back to the Finance Acts/tax annuals etc)

    I am probably somewhat of an endangered species these days, when accountants seem to be narrower in their work, as I cover a fair range of types of work, probably nowhere near cutting edge in any of them but more akin to a generalist, e.g. accounting records, management accounts, statutory accounts, tax compliance (IT, CT, CGT, VAT), tax planning (IT,CT,CGT, vat on property) payroll compliance, Construction Industry Scheme, business plans/raising debt finance, general business administration and paperwork, some general contract law work, some basic employment law work and a fair bit of property law administration (property sales and leases)

    These days I probably spend less than 50% of my time on more traditional accounting/tax work as managing the admin of the group who employ me takes up the bulk of my time.

    I am out of the loop these days re qualifications and their flexibility, but can say that in my day the English/Scottish/Irish chartered qualification was the most flexiblw way to go, it opened options to either work in practice or industry. ACCA was to a degree okay for same though there were far fewer ACCA qualifieds in practice and CIMA was really only for those who were going to work in industry. I met one CIPFA in practice during my training but he was employed by the firm as we did a fair number of local authority / similar audits.

    Each to their own with careers, I liked the breadth of training I received in accounting, audit and tax in a fairly small office (20 staff/partners) of a mid table firm (exposure to some quoted company audits at branch/local level but consolidations etc run through London office), however I note from other posts I have read that it appears that breadth only comes with training with smaller firms (exam support in my day was lower with these than with the big eight, as they then were) which may well limit experience and larger firms (even in my day) tended to in the main only give niche experience but often far better exam support.

    A friend from University, who trained with Price Waterhouse (Coopers were a different firm then), told me that two years into his training he had not yet prepared a set of accounts, he had done nothing but audit work for two years. I on the other hand, by the start of my second year of my indenture,had been let loose at clients, staying out of town on my own for possibly two weeks at a time with the partner only visiting near the end to review the file/my progress. I believe this sort of breadth of work from 1985-1988 probably formed how my career panned out, even if I had finished the CA course I was never going to be the FD of a quoted company, but the smaller/ medium sized client emphasis in the early years I have no doubt is why I still do a bit of everything.
    • Thread Starter

    Very insightful, thanks.
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