The CPA Guide to Management

As CPAs hone their skills in corporate accounting, public accounting, and other financial services, many naturally want to move up the management ladderBut, a management position is not necessarily a given. Yet, you know that your certification is valuable. And that, combined with the right experience and continued education, will grant you entry into your choice of management opportunities.  To be promoted to management, CPAs needs to show they can handle any of the work being performed by support staff under them.  So, where to begin?

Identify Options and Direction

As a CPA, you can choose from several career pathways. Begin by reviewing your interest and aptitude for each.

  • If you excel at technology and information analysis, consider options like big data analysis or business systems manager.
  • You can advance your banking or tax sector management eligibility with certifications in those areas.
  • Interest in accounting’s legal applications may guide you toward studying law.

Pursue Management Education

It is a given that accounting advancement and continued learning go hand-in-hand. Though there is on-the-job training, formal education assures management success.

  • Begin with a course or first step toward a certificate.
    • If most of your coursework was in finance and accounting, consider an IT or human resource option to broaden your knowledge base.
    • When you are considering different career paths, take a continuing education course in each. Doing so offers lessons that can guide your next career step.
  • Use educational benefits at work. Meet with your supervisor to discuss your aspirations.

Refine Your Tech and Soft Skills

Continually upgrade your technical and interpersonal skills to enhance your management potential.

  • Advancing your tech prowess can be accomplished at work or in school.
    • Request to be part of an IT department project or the chance to job shadow.
    • Take a course that will advance skills and demonstrate your commitment to learning.
  • Read about leadership, communication, workplace culture, and employee engagement.
    • Yes, you may find a course on these topics!
    • Objectively assess your workplace in these areas. As a future manager, you can learn as much about what to do well as what to avoid.

Be Your Own Manager First

This is a twist on the “walk the talk” adage. Manage yourself by mastering areas that will benefit from growth.

  • Practice extroversion if you are reserved.
  • Hone your listening and observation skills.
  • Learn to speak before groups.
  • Gain leadership experience by volunteering in your community.

For more career advancement tips, check out Plan Your Path to the CFO Office



cost accountant

Benefits of Hiring a Cost Accountant

If your business is interested in reducing waste and increasing cost efficiency, you may want to consider hiring a cost accountant.  Unlike a financial accountant, who calculates assets and liabilities, cost accountants analyze financial processes and make cost saving recommendations.

Roles and Functions

Determine if a cost accountant serves your business purposes. Familiarize yourself with the role as you prepare to discuss potential benefits with managers. The central functions of the role are:

  • Computation is the main function, determining the unit cost of a product, be it for a mechanical product or a surgical procedure in a healthcare setting.
  • Cost control strategies balance the limitations of budget allocations with actual expenses for producing an item or service.
  • Cost reduction methodology considers ways for limiting overall and product expenses while maintaining an approved level of quality.


Gather concrete examples of the benefits of a cost accountant. This step aids you with learning more about the position as you prepare to present a proposal to your leadership team.

  • Indirect costs for space and employee training have been exceeding projections. The cost accountant will investigate this and suggest alternatives.
  • Product expenses per unit have outpaced revenues. The cost accountant details the reasons for this and provides information about strategic solutions.
  • Calculation of equipment depreciation and inventory value, and identification of finance tracking gaps are within the role’s purview.
  • The cost account provides you with cost gap solutions and details on budget and performance measure redesigns.

Cost Accountant Selection Tips

  • Choose a cost accountant who has:
    • A bachelor’s degree with a solid academic accounting background and three years of experience.
    • Working knowledge of accounting software systems and the ability to use them analytically.
    • Good communication and interpersonal skills for working with all levels of employees.

Cost Overview

According to the 2019 DLC Group Salary Guide, the base salary range for a cost accountant in Los Angeles is $84,300 – $158,000.   Employing an accounting and finance staffing agency, such as Beacon Resources can help you find the right full-time cost accountant for your company.  However, if you don’t have a need for a permanent-full-time employee, DLC can provide you with a professional on an interim basis who can make an immediate difference.







conference call

Conference Call Tips

Technology affords businesses multiple advantages, including the ability to hold remote meetings. People are able to meet in a timely manner without incurring travel costs or time away from office and home. Despite these benefits, there are pitfalls your team may face in the conference call environment.

What guidelines does your workplace follow to assure remote meetings run smoothly?

Conduct Technical Checks

The mechanics of conferencing involves tech devices new and old.  Leave nothing to chance so your meeting starts smoothly by:

  • Reserving space and equipment ahead of time. Confirm its availability the day before.
  • Checking audio and video conference devices ahead of the meeting, preferably the day prior and an hour before.
  • Having backup equipment and/or IT staff on hand for high stakes meetings.

Create a Conducive Conference Call Environment

A welcoming, cooperative atmosphere sets the tone for a successful meeting. Assure that:

  • Lighting is conducive for video conferencing by:
    • Preparing for adequate natural and/or artificial light.
    • Have the primary participants facing or away from windows to avoid shadowing created by daylight.
  • Best audio exchange is established by having the speaker sit closest to the microphone. Remind people to speak up to be heard clearly.
  • These effects work by testing ahead of time in the space you will use.
  • Virtual meetings from home are prepared as if you were in the office by:
    • Limiting visual and sound distractions
    • Dressing the part

Establish a Virtual Agenda

Draft a meeting agenda as soon as it is scheduled. Do so even when conferencing is a portion of a longer meeting.

  • Request input on the draft and agree on talking points.
  • Allow sufficient time for discussion, assuring each person has opportunity to speak.

Conference Call Conduct

Meetings with successful outcomes share these common themes:

  • The organization’s meeting protocol is followed consistently, including:
    • Meeting facilitation and flow of dialogue among conferencing participants;
    • Agreed upon meeting attire;
    • Opening greetings, introductions, and announcements; and
    • Close of meeting expectations.
  • Participants display professional dialogue and behavior.

You may also enjoy, Avoid These Mistakes During One-on-One Meetings