Staff Accountant Job Description Example, Duties, and Responsibilities
What Does a Staff Accountant Do?
Staff accountants are employed by non-profit organizations, governmental agencies, accounting firms and public companies to work as in-house accountants.
Their job description includes preparation of various documents, such as monthly reports, financial statements and income tax returns.
These accountants do their work under the supervision of a director, certified public accountant (CPA) or controller.
They are accountable for the provision of records, financial reports and general ledgers, the analysis and preparation of budgets, and the general performance of bookkeeping.
Usually, billing activities like accounts payable and accounts receivable are expected to be performed by them.
A prospective accountant in this position should expect to work at least forty hours per week.
Many staff accountants are involved in preparing tax returns which indicates the possibility of overtime required during the tax season.
Other roles they are involved include transcription, production of forms, provision of telephone, filing, and maintenance of schedules and support.
Typically, employers of staff accountants require them to have completed a first degree program in accounting and have at least one year of accounting experience; such experience is expected to be garnered through participation in an internship program or via previous job.
Students aspiring to bag a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting will need to dedicate four years to completing such a course which will prepare them with required skills in various subject areas such as information technology, business, ethics, management, and accounting.
Coursework is expected to focus on areas such as computer applications, business communications, accounting information systems and statistics.
Staff Accountant Job Description Example
Below is a job description example showing a list of duties, tasks, and responsibilities that make up the daily activities of most staff accountants in many organizations.
The accountant may not perform all these tasks; his/her exact duties will depend on the organization’s peculiar needs and processes.
- Prepare consolidated financial statements – internal and external, by gathering and analyzing information from departments and the general ledger system
- Analyze options and information by verifying information and developing spreadsheet reports
- Prepare ledger entries by maintaining files and records, and reconciling accounts
- Prepare payments by reconciling accounts, accruing expenses; requesting disbursements, and assigning account numbers
- Answer financial and accounting questions by researching into and interpreting data
- Provide accounting support by converting data to general ledger system, obtaining supplementary information for preparing financial statements and reviewing financial information
- Protect organization’s integrity by keeping firm and client information confidential
- Update job knowledge; maintain personal networks; read professional publications; participate in educational opportunities; and participate in professional organizations
- Endeavor to accomplish accounting cum organization mission by completing related results as required.
Requirements – Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities – for the Staff Accountant Position
Below are certain knowledge, skills, and requirements that employers usually look for in hiring staff accountants.
These skills and special traits have been found to contribute to the individual’s effectiveness on the job.
Staff accountants desiring to excel in the career should work towards acquiring the following:
- High level of accounting training, such as Bachelors or higher degrees in accounting or finance
- Two to three years accounting or finance experience
- Strong ability to use MS Office packages, including MS Word and Excel
- Strong ability to communicate in writing and speaking, as well as good organizational skills
- Detailed oriented with excellent ability to analyze data and circumstances
- Ability to perform multiple tasks simultaneously, work effectively in a team environment and meet deadline
- Good at working independently, thinking critically and proffering quality ideas to improving organization’s processes
- Pre-employment test: To finalize the hiring process for this job, some employers may require applicants to take a test, such as the Microsoft office assessment test. See details on Job Assessment Tests and how to easily pass it.