What Accounting Skills are Necessary for Operations Management?

Written By Accounting-Degree.org Staff

When it comes to operations management, the right accounting skills are needed to maintain accuracy and efficiency. Below explores the required accounting competencies within different industries and explains the skills needed to excel in operations management.

Business Operations

Most businesses that employ operations managers assign them various duties. An entry-level operations manager will need to understand accounting processes and how to interpret financial statements. They will be expected to have demonstrated problem-solving skills, which will help them deal with basic accounting issues, and strong organizational skills, which will help them prioritize and manage workloads. Business operations managers need to be skilled at working effectively with diverse employees and cross functional teams. The ability to form positive business relationships across functional areas is important. An entry-level business operations manager will most likely collaborate with accounting managers, but they should still proactively take ownership of employee errors and business problems.

Manufacturing Operations

Those who work as operations managers in manufacturing facilities will manage daily production operations and their associated accounting activities. They establish and enforce proper accounting methods and expense reporting. They monitor and evaluate financial data from purchasing, shipping, production and processing viewpoints. Based on the information they gain, they create financial reports for upper management. These operations managers must be able to implement new accounting methods that improve processes, data accuracy and overall revenue flow. Manufacturing operations mangers must have basic knowledge of accounting principles and processes in order to communicate with executives and meet financial objectives.

International Operations

A multinational corporation will expect their global operations managers to have a strong knowledge of foreign currency accounting, U.S. GAAP rules and the International Accounting Standards (IASs). They will ultimately be responsible for consolidating and interpreting global financial results. This includes managing internal deadlines, external reporting deliverables and providing guidance to foreign subsidiaries. International operations managers must have excellent communication skills in order to effectively exchange information with employees whose first language is not English. They must also have outstanding interpersonal skills in order to establish and maintain long distance relationships with business partners via email, phoning and video conferencing. International operations managers should also be familiar with common global taxation, revenue and financial issues.

Billing Operations

Major companies all have billing departments that are centers of financial operations. An operations manager in one of these departments would supervise employees who process orders, invoices, credit memos and internal client requests. These managers must be able to review processes, interpret actions and confirm the accuracy of bills. They must be skilled at handling and organizing documentation because they will maintain customer records and business files. These operations managers need to be comfortable with cloud environments and traditional software programs. Strong analytical skills are needed to monitor subscription services, collections activities, account reconciliations and usage and renewal billing. Billing departments can be stressful and demanding, so operations managers must work well under pressure in fast paced environments with short deadlines.

All staff who work in operations management will need strong accounting skills and knowledge of internal controls so they can maintain internal controls and identify areas for process improvement initiatives.