Management skills for accountants are vital as you get promoted.

You transition from being a technically excellent accountant, to managing a team of technically excellent professionals.

The skills that were so valuable for your career up ’til now start to become less important than the soft skills of management.

Instead of doing the technical accounting work you are managing others who do it.  Indeed, they may do it better than you ever could!

Developing the soft skills of management is essential for those stepping up from their accounting role into a management role.

What is management?

One of the simplest definitions of management is “getting things done through people”.

Instead of getting on with the job, you now need to achieve the same tasks but by managing others who do it.

Management includes planning, setting objectives and controlling what others do.

However it also involves

  • working with people
  • understanding them
  • motivating them
  • assessing their performance
  • hearing their grievances
  • and dealing with the myriad of issues that people bring to work both individually and as a group.

The clue to management is in the title – actively managing things.

What is it that you have to do to ensure that your team does the work on time and to the required standard?

For example, you may consider these questions:

  • Who needs to do what and when?
  • Who is responsible for each of the different tasks?
  • How do you ensure that people do things to the right standard?
  • How do you give feedback when things are going well and not so well?
  • What do you do when things go wrong?

Delegate effectively

One of the most important skills to learn is how to delegate effectively.

Specifically this means to give someone else the responsibility for doing a task. However, you must recognise that you retain the accountability for it to be performed to the right standard.

  • How do you deal with that tension effectively?
  • How do you ensure that people do the things required, without micro-managing them?

Learning the art of effective delegation is key for any management role. Finance, in this regard, is a special situation as things can be monitored and quantified much more easily than in many other disciplines.

However the consequences of poor delegation and insufficient oversight can also be more damaging than in other disciplines – and even catastrophic for the whole organisation.

Motivating people

Getting things done is one thing, but it has to be done through others. Therfore it is critical that you understand what motivates your team.

Motivating people really is a soft skill! It involves picking up on what motivates the team as a whole – and each individual within it – and then building up a relationship to tap into that motivation.

Develop your own management style

There are some core management skills and some tried and tested approaches to learn. However your training and background also give you a particular set of skills, strengths and values.

From this combination you can develop your own authentic management style. This means that it feels right to you and is others see it as genuine.

Why are management skills for accountants so important?

Who else can run a finance team better than someone with strong technical accounting skills AND the soft skills of management?

Developing your management skills is vital for your career to flourish and for your organisation to have effective finance teams.

Indeed, data suggests that about one third of accounting jobs listed mention management skills.


Developing your management skills will enable you to “get things done through people”.

This is essential if you are to thrive in a management role and running your own finance team.

Which of the other key soft skills for accountants do you need to develop?

Discover the Seven Essential Soft Skills for AccountantsDownload the Report Now