Management Accounting Profession – Creating Value Amid Global Chaos

May 07, 2020 | Hanadi Khalife

As we enter just five months into 2020, I can’t help but wonder what an unexpectedly eventful year it has been so far! But as the global economy continues to grapple with the impact of COVID-19, it also gets ready to commemorate International Management Accounting Day.

A milestone day that marks the evolution of this noble profession that is playing an even more crucial role today, than ever. Finance professionals across the globe are utilizing their skills to help their organizations to mitigate the impact of this crisis as well as develop strategies to better prepare for the future.

Over the last three decades, the management accounting profession has gone far beyond its bookkeeping origins in the early 1800s and emerged as a fundamental business tool. The reality is that the roles of finance professionals and CFOs have become more central to their organizations and more strategic. Today’s management accountants are leveraging their operational expertise on just about every organisational aspect of the business in order to create value across the entire supply chain.

 Management accounting is no longer just about being a good custodian of the company books. In a post COVID-19 world, the survival of management accountants depends on their ability to be nimble, cross-functional, tech savvy and global in outlook. By earning a seat at the table, management accountants can enable their CEOs and cross-functional partners to address current and future challenges and disruptions head-on and facilitate a more agile decision making process to help create a competitive advantage for their organizations – something that may well determine the difference between success and failure in times ahead.

Going forward, the following key areas will be significantly more critical to the future of the profession than ever before: Technology and Automation, Decision Making and Strategy, Communication and Global Operations. But unlike in the past, these will now also be linked to sustainability and business continuity to ensure that any subsequent upheavals, whether local, regional or global, can be absorbed and dealt with better, without loss of life, livelihoods, or business.

Here’s to noting this milestone in better times and for now, we hope every organization taps into the insight, foresight, and direction that can be derived from its management accounting function. And may it continue to create the value it was intended for! 

Hanadi Khalife
Senior Director, MEA & India Operations, IMA