What has been your career path?
I joined Arkema in 2001 for the set-up of a management software system. I was then made manager of the accounting department at Villers Saint Paul, and later the management accountant of the "Urea Formaldehyde Resins" BU at the headquarters. In 2006, I became the management accountant for the Saint-Fons and Balan plants and part of the Cetia plant, before moving to South Korea in 2011 to take up a position as financial manager of the local subsidiaries. In early 2015, I came back to France to take up a position as worldwide management accountant for the Acrylics BU.
What is your job about?
The management accountant helps the management team to understand and steer their business. To do that, the management accountant must set objectives in line with the development strategy, establish relevant and reliable performance indicators, monitor them, and project them into the future.
Can you describe your main responsibilities?
My main responsibilities are to establish and analyze the financial aspects of the business unit: the income statement, as well as the working capital (stock levels, customer and supplier receivables), investments, etc. Each month, those indicators are compared with our budgets and projections, which lets us check that our business is at the expected level of performance and, if not, to identify the shortfalls.
What skills does your job require?
You have to be curious, interested in industrial and commercial business, and in our organizations. You also have to understand the issues involved. This puts me in contact with a lot of different parties. You also need to properly understand the numbers involved, the accounting methods and computer systems we use, and to have a good capacity for summarizing so you can extract the most important information.
What kind of training is needed?
A business school is a good option, but it is possible to get into management accounting from different training backgrounds and types of professional experience.
What do you like about your job?
If you are a management accountant, you work closely with the managerial team of the entity where you are assigned. That means you can play a role in developing that entity's strategy: In which areas is our performance strong? How can we improve? What should our priorities be to grow our business and Arkema? There is also a lot of contact with different people, including people in different countries. So, it gives you the chance to discover new cultures in the context of your work. That is very rewarding.
What are your career plans?
Maybe a new expatriate assignment to work as the financial manager or management accountant of a subsidiary…
What do you like about Arkema?
Arkema has always offered me new challenges and opportunities: new jobs, new regions, and more. I have always been made to feel very welcome by my colleagues. It is a company where the working environment is very pleasant.