Accountant Job Description, Key Duties and Responsibilities

By | September 3, 2023
Accountant job description, tasks, duties, and responsibilities
Accountants help investors, tax authorities, managers, and individuals make financial decisions.

The job description of an accountant can be better stated from first knowing who an accountant is.

This post provides detailed information on the job description of an accountant, to boost your knowledge about what they do.

What Does an Accountant Do?

An accountant is anyone who practices accountancy or accounting, which is the disclosure, measurement or provision of assurance about financial information, which helps investors, tax authorities, managers and others make decisions about allocating their financial resources.

The accountant job description entails performing accounting tasks for companies and/or individuals.

The exact material that they handle depends on their specialization and the size of the company, but generally includes taxes, financial records and the responsibility of issuing financial reports.

An accountant is one of the most important figures in a business organization that he or she works for, be it a small family owned business or a multinational corporation.

Requirements to become an accountant vary depending on specialization, but it generally includes a basic college degree in accounting and finance and certification via a professional agency.

Part of the job description of an accountant in a small firm may include the responsibility for keeping all financial records.

These records include accounts payable and receivable, retail sales and any other information relating to investments held by the company.

These accounts are arranged in ledgers which are used to measure the financial stability of a company.

Ledgers are always updated and may be consulted by high ranking members of a company or managers when they are making important business decisions.

Accountants in larger firms also perform internal audits so as to ensure that the financial records of the company are correct.

In order to avoid bias and subjectivity, an internal audit cannot be handled by an in-house accountant, therefore, many companies would rather hire outside accounting firms to perform their audits.

Most times, an accountant would rather specialize in a particular field, such as bookkeeping, audits, or taxes.
In other cases, an accountant may upgrade his/her skills so as to serve his/her clients better.

This is very popular with certified public accountants who handle the account of several small businesses at the same time.

Generally, the accountant is expected to have deep knowledge of accounting and strong mathematical skills to effectively perform his/her role in an organization.

For an accountant to be fully legal, obtaining certification by the state may be required though this also depends on the type of accounting being performed.

The state certification is usually required for accountants who perform sensitive accounting tasks such as audits, while it is not really necessary for accounting clerks who work under certified accountants.

It is popular for an accountant to be a member of a professional body of accountants, which would enable him or her take advantage of seminars and meetings to keep up with advancement in the field.

Accountant Job Description Example/Sample/Template

Here is an example of the list of duties, tasks, and responsibilities that make up the accountant’s job description.

The accountant may be required to perform all or some of these tasks, depending on the focus and specific needs of the organization they work for.

  • Document financial transactions of various types by entering account information data
  • Analyze accounting options and suggest financial actions
  • Summarize financial status by collecting information and preparing balance sheet, profit and loss , account statement, and other reports
  • Ensure accounting controls by suggesting procedures and policies
  • Guide accounting clerical staff by answering relevant questions and coordinating activities
  • Secure sensitive financial information by completing database backups
  • Prepare payments by requesting disbursements and verifying documentation
  • Answer accounting related questions by interpreting as well as researching accounting regulations and policy
  • Study new and existing legislation and comply all legal requirements
  • Ensure that legal financial requirements are adhered to and advice management on relevant actions
  • Maintain customer confidence.

Accountant Job Description for Resume

A resume will be needed by employers if you are applying for a job as an accountant.

The sample job description above provides useful information you can use in writing the job history section of the resume.

This part of the resume is an important section that assures the employer of your competence as he/she can see that you have previously been performing the duties and responsibilities of the position.

Accountant Requirements: Knowledge, Abilities, and Skills for Career Success

The following are important attributes most employers will require of applicants who desire to work as accountants in their organizations:

  • Possess advanced skills in the use of Excel package
  • Strong ability in managing and processing large quantity of data
  • High proficiency in data organization, filtering, as well as combining functions
  • Proactive and customer focused
  • Strong ability to organize work schedules and to warm up to people from diverse culture
  • Efficient in communicating both orally and in writing with all levels of staff
  • Self-motivated with strong ability to prioritize tasks and perform multiple duties simultaneously
  • Graduate of a four-year college or university with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or in other related field
  • Two years or more experience working as accountant
  • Proficiency in the use of accounting software, including Microsoft Dynamic GP
  • Ability to analyze accounting options and perform mathematical computation.