Staff Accountant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: August 22, 2022

A Staff Accountant is an entry or mid-level accounting professional who is responsible for maintaining financial records at a business, usually as part of a team. Their duties include confirming compliance with IRS rules, reconciling bank statements and balancing the ledger for regular reports.

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Staff Accountant Duties and Responsibilities

A Staff Accountant is responsible for maintaining financial procedures and confirming financial compliance through preparation of a company’s reports and statements. They will usually report to the senior accountant or chief financial officer.

Here are some typical duties and responsibilities of a Staff Accountant.

  • Review financial statements for accuracy and legal compliance

  • Prepare and file tax returns

  • Enter accounting related information into business logs

  • Inspect account books for efficiency and accuracy

  • Organize and update financial records

  • Recommend ways to reduce costs and enhance revenue

  • Perform monthly bank settlements

  • Prepare documentation for external auditors

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Staff Accountant Job Description Examples

What Does a Staff Accountant Do?

Staff Accountants work in the internal accounting department of a company to carry out consistent company procedures. Their role is to prepare and review financial information and organize it in a way that provides a clear picture of the company’s fiscal health. Staff Accountants can handle billing processes including accounts receivable and accounts payable. When processing financial documents, Staff Accountants may also look for ways to improve efficiency and recognize unnecessary expenses. They regularly update company records with details about income and itemized expenses to reflect the most accurate information and meet financial regulations.

Staff Accountant Skills and Qualifications

Staff Accountant skills and qualifications may include degrees and certifications, previous work experience, technical skills, soft skills and personality traits that are compatible with constantly working with numbers. 

Skills and qualifications you might need as a Staff Acountant might include the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance required

  • At least two years’ experience in accounting or a related field

  • Strong mathematical and analytical skills

  • Proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills

  • Proven ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously

  • Ability to read and analyze financial reports

  • Strong understanding of US tax regulations

Staff Accountant Salary Expectations

The average Staff Accountant salary is $51,137 per year in the US, with a range between $21,000 and $94,000 per year. The starting salary for your open position will vary based on the experience and skills you require.

Staff Accountant Education and Training Requirements

Staff Accountants are required to have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance or another related field. If your accountant will be filing reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), they are legally required to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). These licenses are issued by your state’s Board of Accountancy. Most states require 150 semester hours of college courses to become a CPA. 

Staff Accountant Experience Requirements

Your type of business and size of your accounting staff will determine what experience level you require of a Staff Accountant. If you have a large accounting team, you may be able to hire an entry-level candidate who can learn from your senior team members. An entry-level job description may require as little as one year of experience. If you are recruiting for an intermediate level Staff Accountant, you might require between two and five years of experience, depending on what they will be responsible for.

Job Description Samples for Similar Positions

This guide will get you started on your Staff Accountant job description. If you need more ideas, here are some related sample job descriptions:

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Frequently asked questions about Staff Accountants

 

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

Staff Accountants perform high-level accounting functions and financial tasks while Accounting Clerks serve a general support role that is mostly clerical and administrative. Accounting Clerks perform data entry and bookkeeping tasks to make it easier for Staff Accountants to track company accounts, confirm compliance and produce quarterly budget and expense reports. Accounting Clerks prepare and sort the data that Staff Accountants then analyze to produce recommendations for company strategy. Staff Accountants generally have more education and usually posses CPA status to confirm their familiarity with tax law and data integrity standards.

 

What are the daily duties of a Staff Accountant?

Staff Accountants generally work during standard business hours in an office environment, though they may work occasional overtime to meet reporting deadlines of complete audits of company records. Staff Accountants delegate tasks to Junior Accountants, Bookkeepers and Clerks to meet deadlines and improve department efficiency. They provide direct support for other accounting staff by closing accounts, balancing checkbooks, updating accounting entries and producing write-ups and projections based on past accounting reports. Throughout the day the Staff Accountant will make copies and sort them according to a logical organization structure to provide continuity in the company’s documentation.

 

What are the characteristics of a good Staff Accountant?

Good Staff Accountants have natural math skills and are able to calculate simple operations in their head, speeding up the process of auditing files, confirming the accuracy of account reports and adding up department receipts. They should also understand how more complex mathematical calculations can improve accounting processes. Another important quality of a good Staff Accountant is the ability to multitask and balance multiple projects at once without mixing up files or missing deadlines. Good Staff Accountants take industry regulations and compliance seriously, and are willing to double-check all of their work as a best practice for preventing errors.

 

What should you look for on a Staff Accountant's resume?

When assessing resumes for a Staff Accountant position, pay attention to the volume of files they are used to working with. Look for Staff Accountants that are prepared for the volume of work they will need to process at your company. Good Staff Accountant resumes should reference their previous experience auditing documents, explain the results of those audits and outline how they use that information to support their employer’s financial goals. Candidates who list specific information about their output and productivity indicate an anlaytical mindset that is ideal for a Staff Accountant role.

Job Description Examples

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