Accountant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

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Last updated: June 22, 2022

An Accountant or Accountant Professional is responsible for the management and reporting of financial data of an organization. Their duties include preparing financial statements, examining and analyzing a company’s accounts and ensuring compliance with financial reporting and other standard accounting procedures.

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Accountant duties and responsibilities

Accountants prepare and examine financial records, ensuring records are accurate and that taxes are paid. Different types of Accountant duties and responsibilities may include the following:

  • Reconciling the company’s bank statements and bookkeeping ledgers 
  • Completing analysis of the employee expenditures
  • Managing income and expenditure accounts
  • Generating the company’s financial reports using income and expenditure data
  • Keeping a check on the company’s finances based on financial status
  • Filing and remitting taxes and other financial obligations
  • Initiating and managing financial and accounting software used by the company
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Accountant Job Description Examples

What does an Accountant do?

Accountants typically work for an accounting firm or as part of a corporation, but they can also complete freelance work for small businesses and individuals. They use their knowledge of financial practices to perform important accounting tasks. Their job is to check over financial statements, monitor company budgets, calculate employee paychecks for each pay period and review and prepare tax obligations.

Accountant job description intro paragraph

When writing an Accountant job description, start by introducing the job and company to prospective Accountants. Briefly highlight the work environment, what sets your company apart and why the role is important to your company.

For example:

“Company ABC is looking for a self-motivated Accountant to join our financial management department. In this role, you’ll play an important role in our company’s financial operations, ensuring accuracy in accounting and compliance with the law. We’re a fully remote company and welcome applicants from anywhere in the United States to apply.

Here at Company ABC, we’re committed to fostering a culture where employees feel heard and valued. We’re proud to have a 4.5 star rating on Indeed Company Pages and an above average ​​Work Happiness Score from our employees.”

Accountant skills and qualifications

In order to best perform their duties and responsibilities, an Accountant should possess the following skills and qualifications: 

  • Experience with accounting software and data entry
  • Excellent understanding of accounting rules and procedures including the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
  • Advanced knowledge and experience of spreadsheets
  • Ability to work independently
  • Analytical skills

Accountant salary expectations

An Accountant makes an average of $57,290 per year plus other benefits. The salary may depend on experience, education or location. 

Accountant education and training

The Accountant position requires a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting or any other related field. A master’s degree is an added advantage. New graduates with relevant internship experience will work well in entry-level roles. For senior levels, certification and relevant experience in a managerial position is an added advantage.

In the absence of a bachelor’s degree, some certifications can suffice. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is subjected to thorough training that involves a specified number of hours doing coursework, practical work and written and oral examinations. Other certifications include Certified Management Accountant and Certified Financial Analyst (CFA), among others.

Accountant experience requirements

A successful candidate should have experience with accounting and financial software and should stay up to date with current trends. Expert-level knowledge of working with spreadsheets is crucial. Experience with word processing software is essential for generating and writing reports for record-keeping as well as presentations.

Other experience requirements that Accountants should have include management of company finances and drawing up a budget based on income and expenditure accounts. Experience conducting internal and external auditing is an added advantage. Working experience with general ledger functions is required.

Job description samples for similar positions

If this Accountant job description is not quite what you were looking for, check out our job descriptions for other similar positions:

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Frequently asked questions about Accountants

 

What qualities make a good Accountant?

A good Accountant has excellent attention to detail, allowing them to review financial statements, identify errors and make corrections accordingly. They have proficient knowledge of accounting software programs and continuously strive to further their knowledge of different software to complete their job efficiently. They also need to be well-organized to keep track of important financial documents for future analysis and reporting. Further, an Accountant has an investigative nature that enables them to track errors in calculations on cash flow statements back to the source. This ensures the accuracy of the company’s financial reporting.

 

How do I write an Accountant job description for an open position?

Review this list of steps to help you write an Accountant job description that is unique to your company:

  1. Identify your needs. This helps to create an outline of the qualifications necessary for the Accountant position. For example, an Accountant willing to work an additional 10 hours at the end of each month to organize and prepare files.
  2. Review typical Accountant qualifications. Refreshing your memory of standard Accountant qualifications allows you to gather a list of skills and education requirements for a worthy Accountant candidate.
  3. Include company facts and information. Providing a summary of your company gives candidates knowledgeable insights about your company, its purpose and work culture to determine whether or not it’s the right work opportunity for them.
  4. Keep it short and concise. Writing a brief job description helps maintain reader focus and ensures that you only include necessary facts and information about the position.
  5. Work with HR for additional guidance. This is because the HR department most likely has expertise in creating job posts and can provide you with a professional opinion before deciding to post it to job websites and other areas.

 

What is the difference between an Accountant and an Accounting Clerk?

The difference between an Accountant and an Accounting Clerk is that both have different roles that complement one another. For example, an Accounting Clerk works to calculate data and enter it into organized spreadsheets. An Accountant then reviews that data and uses it to aid financial analysis and reporting.

 

Who does an Accountant report to?

An Accountant typically reports to an Accounting Manager or a Controller. An Accounting Manager is an experienced Accountant who oversees the accounting department and the department’s employees. They set expectations and communicate ideas from upper-management. A Controller may act at a higher level than the Accounting Manager, overseeing a company’s financial procedures as a whole and working closely with the finance or accounting department.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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    Last updated: Apr 28, 2021