Accountant Job Description, Salary, Duties & More

Accountant Job Description, Salary, Duties (2000)

Do numbers fascinate you? Has it been your life-long dream to compute the numbers and decipher the financial statement or tally the balance sheet? Well, here’s one opportunity for all Account lovers out there. We will discuss Accountant Job Description here.

Accountant Job Description

If your answer to the above questions is yes, then a job as an account would be the apt role for you. Now, what does the job entail, you may ask? The answer is simple, well rhetorical, to say the least. For starters, an accountant’s job includes preparing the financial statements of the company you are working in. You will be a part of the ‘Accounts’ department of the company. You are in charge of all the company’s financial transactions and its reporting to internal and external stakeholders of the company. You also control the budgetary plans of the company. You have to ascertain the financial position of the company in a given year. You have to ensure that the company abides by the tax regulations prevalent in the company’s state.

There are many levels available in an accountant’s role ranging from a junior accountant role to a senior accountant role. Some of the most popular jobs available as an accountant are as follows:

  • Budget Analyst (prepare budget reports and strategize ways to reduce expenditure)
  • Forensic Accountant (investigate fraudulent activities related to finance and produce this testimony in court when required)
  • Internal Auditors (reviews the businesses’ management process and assess the risk management processes enforced) 
  • Certified Public Accountant (prepare and sign tax returns along with preparing and analyzing financial statements)
  • Finance Manager (manages financial reports of the company and provides financial advice to the company’s executives)
  • Public Accountant (provide financial advice to company executives and perform basic accounting tasks like bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing)
  • Tax Accountant (advise members of a company how to fill tax forms, minimize tax payments and prepare tax strategies)
  • Accounts Payable Specialist (ensure that the vendors and outsiders get their due payments and also asses the invoice)
  • Government Accountant (work at the federal, state, and local levels. They also manage the public funds)
  • Bookkeeper (maintain accounts in the company’s ledger and record all the debit and credit transactions of a company)
  • Certified Management Accountant (handle tax filing, payroll account, and make financial decisions)
  • Certified Financial Planner (advice clients on retirement planning, investment management, insurance, etc.)
  • Certified Fraud Examiner (acts as an audit consultant, financial analyst, risk manager, compliance officer, etc.)

Of course, years of experience play a substantial role in hiring an accountant and the accountant’s payment. The role ranges from experience, seniority, and expectations as you go up the ladder in an accountant world. Accounting is a vast field with many areas to focus on. Hence, as mentioned above, there are many roles available to focus on a certain aspect of accounting. The main objective of any role you are in is to analyze and interpret the company’s financial records. The education and eligibility requirements vary depending on the role you choose and the area you wish to build a career in. 

Now, you may think, since all the roles are quite similar to each other as they come under one branch, that it is possible to change lanes, in this case, the role. However, you need to keep in mind that it is almost improbable, to say the least, if not impossible, to do so. Accountants can work across any sector of the organization, depending on the role they have chosen. In the United States itself, a budget analyst can analyze and interpret a Coastal California town’s finances. A tax auditor can be assigned to work for the federal agency in Washington D.C. And if a company wants to probe any irregularities popping up in their financial systems, a forensic accountant can be hired for this job. An account payable can collaborate with large media conglomerates. It can be rightly said that an accountant’s job is available across any industry, be it big or small, and for whichever service sector the company is working for. The working hours and benefits depend on the company you are working for. If you possess more seniority and experience, the more you have the chance of getting flexible and convenient working hours and enjoyable and relaxing benefits.

Duties Of An Accountant

The responsibilities mentioned in the job description above in this article are just a gist. Following is a more elaborate breakdown of what responsibilities an accountant must undertake.

  • The first and foremost duty to top this list is to record all the accounting transactions in a company.
  • A prime duty that follows is to plan and prepare the budget forecast. This is an important role that an accountant must undertake as a properly planned budget will help the company earn more revenues at a subsidized cost.
  • You will be responsible for the monthly, quarterly, and yearly closing estimates of the company.
  • You are responsible for ensuring that all bank payments are made in time in the manner prescribed to you.
  • You have to estimate the tax figures and prepare to file tax returns accordingly.
  • Another essential duty is to prepare the income statement (popularly known as the profit and loss statement) and the company’s balance sheet (Liabilities and Assets). You have to manage these statements and maintain all records of them.
  • You have to audit the financial statements and the documents attached thereunder of the company on the company’s closing period.
  • You have to ensure that the confidentiality of the financial data of the company is maintained.
  • You need to conduct system checks and database backups as and when it is deemed necessary.
  • You will have to adhere to the financial policies and regulations prevailing in the state your company is situated in.
  • You have to relay all the company’s financial information by preparing, analyzing, computing, and compiling all the accounting information that you have gathered during the year.
  • Coordinate with staff from other accounting departments to collect and information and verify that the information obtained is in alignment with the financial guidelines of the state the company is situated in.
  • You have to resolve any financial discrepancies that may come up when you are in charge of the company’s accounting department.
  • You need to possess up-to-date knowledge of all the financial legislations by studying the precious financial legislations and the current ones.
  • You need to maintain your customer’s financial confidentiality and safeguard any financial information they may give you in that regard. 

Requirements To Be An Accountant

To qualify or to be eligible to apply for the post of accountant, you must possess the requirements mentioned below.

  • You need to have prior working experience in accounting.
  • You should possess an enriched knowledge of all the accounting policies and regulations prevailing in the United States of America, including the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
  • You must be proficient in the use of accounting software such as QuickBooks and FreshBooks.
  • It is also mandatory and desirable that you have Advance Excel skills along with Vlookups and pivot tables.
  • You should have sound knowledge on how to operate general ledgers and work out their functions.
  • It would be best to have an excellent eye for detail combined with good analytical, thinking, and decision-making skills.
  • You need to possess a Bachelor of Science Accounting degree, Finance degree, or any other degree in that domain.
  • A Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, or Masters in Accounting is a bonus that will guarantee you a good salary.
  • You should have a strong knowledge of the corporate finance world.
  • You should possess good reporting skills and a proven track record of past successful financial reporting.
  • You must possess the ability to meet deadlines and be comfortable working in tight schedules.
  • You should be familiar with the Statements of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS).
  • It would be best if you manage your schedule in time.
  • You should know the basics of data entry management which plays a pivotal role in an accountant’s job.
  • Basic knowledge of general math is significantly important for this role.
  • You should possess a minimum of five to ten years of experience working as an accountant.
  • You should have prior knowledge of all the financial reporting requirements.
  • It would be best if you had experience working under multiple firms under different legal groups.

Education Required To Become An Accountant

The above requirements mentioned might give you a gist of what education qualifications you should possess. However, if you want detailed knowledge of the educational requirements, you can go through the list below:

MAJORCHANCES OF BECOMING AN ACCOUNTANT
Accounting55.6%
Business 23.4%
Finance8.3%
Management1.9%
Economics1.5%
Accounting & Computer Science0.9%
Business or Commerce0.8%

Salary Of An Accountant In The United States

The average median salary of an accountant in the United States is $54,411, with the top 10 percent earning $68,000 per year and the bottom 10 percent earning under $43,000 per year.

CITYSTATEAVERAGE SALARYSALARY RANGE
New YorkNew York$64,000$54,000 – $76,000
WashingtonDistrict of Columbia$63,000$53,000 – $74,000
Fort LeeNew Jersey$62,000$52,000 – $73,000
San FranciscoCalifornia$59,000$50,000 – $70,000
Boston Massachusetts$58,000$49,000 – $68,000
ArlingtonVirginia$57,000$47,000 – $67,000
SeattleWashington$57,000$47,000 – $68,000
BaltimoreMaryland$55,000$46,000 – $65,000
PhiladelphiaPennsylvania$52,000$43,000 – $61,000
Austin Texas$52,000$43,000 – $60,000
DenverColorado$52,000$43,000 – $61,000
ChicagoIllinois$51,000$42,000 – $60,000
DuluthMinnesota$49,000$40,000 – $58,000
CommerceMichigan$48,000$40,000 – $57,000
Las VegasNevada$47,000$39,000 – $55,000
DuluthGeorgia$47,000$39,000 – $56,000
PhoenixArizona$47,000$39,000 – $55,000
IndianapolisIndiana$46,000$38,000 – $54,000
ColumbusOhio$45,000$38,000 – $54,000
MiamiFlorida$44,000$36,000 – $52,000

The average standard salary of an Accountant across various locations of the United States ranges from $36,000 to $76,000.

Companies That Pay Accountants The Most

Companies hire concession workers depending mostly on their experience and knowledge in the said field. Before narrowing down on the one company, below listed are the names of the top companies hiring concession workers with the average salary they provide and the salary range.

COMPANIESAVERAGE SALARYSALARY RANGE
McKinsey & Company Inc$122,000$113,000 to $131,000
PricewaterhouseCoopers$108,000$95,000 to $121,000
First Republic Bank$107,000$91,000 to $125,000
Lockheed Martin$105,000$91,000 to $119,000
Turner Construction$105,000$90,000 to $120,000
HP$103,000$89,000 to $117,000
Ernst & Young$102,000$88,000 to $116,000
Gilbane$101,00088,000 to $116,000
Northern Trust$99,000$87,000 to $113,000
Palo Alto Networks$99,000$83,000 to $117,000
Advanced Micro Devices$99,000$89,000 to $109,000
Interior Architects$99,000$88,000 to $110,000
Harris$99,000$85,000 to $114,000
Microsoft$98,000$84,000 to $113,000
Broadcom$97,000$87,000 to $107,000
Google$96,000$78,000 to $116,000.
LyondellBasell$95,000$84,000 to $107,000
JP MORGAN FINANCIAL INVESTMENTS$94,000$81,000 to $108,000
Deutsche Bank$93,000$79,000 to $107,000
IBM$92,00078,000 to $107,000

The standard average salary that a company offers for an Accountant in the United States can range anywhere from $78,000 to $131,000.

Salary Available In Different Sectors For An Accountant

SECTORAVERAGE SALARYSALARY RANGE
Technology$64,000$52,000 – $78,000
Finance$62,000$52,000 – $71,000
Professional$59,000$48,000 – $73,000
Health Care$58,000$51,000 – $65,000
Manufacturing$58,000$49,000 – $66,000
Hospitality$56,000$49,000 – $64,000
Retail$55,000$47,000 – $62,000
Government$40,000$33,000 – $49,000

The standard average salary that is available across different sectors for an Accountant in the United States can range anywhere from $33,000 to $78,000.

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