Accounting Director Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does an Accounting Director Do?

An accounting director directs an organization’s establishment and implementation of accounting policies and procedures. They are responsible for accounting operations and systems, analysis and report preparation, and leading accounting professionals and staff. Accounting directors will need a bachelor’s degree, and CPA certification is expected.

They will likely report to the CFO of their organization and have a team in the department that they will manage. Accounting directors create specific objectives to support their functional strategies and will have a solid knowledge of the overall departmental function. In most cases, a company will expect the accounting director to also have some prior managerial experience.

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National Average Salary

Accounting director salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site

The average U.S. salary for an Accounting Director is:


Accounting Director Job Descriptions

The key to attracting the ideal accounting director often lies in the job description. To make this task easier, we have curated a selection of examples that can be used as templates, ensuring you set the right foundation for your talent search.

Example 1

The Department of Business Services is seeking a hands-on leader with “big picture” vision and proven ability to identify solutions for business problems to fill the position of Accounting Director. The Department of Business Services is a central unit comprised of Procurement Services, Strategic Sourcing, Supplier Diversity Services, Expense Reimbursements, Accounts Payable, Business Operations, and Procurement Systems. These departments are responsible for purchasing and paying goods and services on behalf of the University in accordance with the policies set forth by the University, Sponsored Projects, Internal Revenue Service, and State Board of Equalization.

Under general direction of the Associate Vice President, the Accounting Director will assume full responsibility for Business Operations & Payment Services consisting of six full-time direct reports and be responsible for Supplier Data Management, Accounts Payable, Expense Reimbursements, Corporate Card & Travel Programs, Audits, and Business Communications & Training Guides. He or she will direct the day-to-day operations of these functions to ensure efficient use of resources, accurate & timely financial reporting, and effective delivery of services to academic schools, administrative departments, and university suppliers. The Accounting Director will be a self-starter who possesses excellent communication, organizational, and problem-solving skills.

Position responsibilities

  • Directs the daily operations for multiple Business Services central functions (supplier onboarding, accounts payable, expense reimbursements, corporate card administration, travel programs, communications & training and post audit). Ensures transactions comply with university policy as well as federal, state, and local guidelines
  • Determines staffing needs based on short and long-term business goals. Establishes an ethical and collegial work environment, promoting a collaborative, accountable and inclusive team aligned with the university’s vision, values and priorities
  • Provides inputs for budget planning and goal setting, and monitors fiscal performance to plan
  • Directs internal and external audit engagements. Reviews and approve financial transactions and ensures compliance with monthly and fiscal year end close requirements
  • Resolves problems referred by staff and provides policy and regulatory interpretations as needed. Responds to requests from senior financial and Business administrators and other university officials for guidance and technical expertise
  • Implements a system of appropriate controls to manage business risks and maintains responsibility for the fiscal integrity of all financial reporting and operations.
  • Establishes business requirements for system implementations and or enhancements. Proactively engage with key stakeholders on system and procedure enhancements, ensuring overall communication across the university through campus forums, school/department focus specific meetings and written communications
  • Assist in the evaluation, development, and documentation of procure-to-pay central policies and procedures. Monitors best practices in higher education to identify new approaches, service providers, and other resources that can improve administrative practices and streamline procedures to provide cost effective and excellent service to students, faculty, staff and suppliers
  • Manages special projects of significant complexity or financial impact. Performs research, data gathering, and analysis. Develops conclusions and recommendations and guides the formatting of results
  • Serves as a member of Business Services leadership team and maintains professional currency through active participation in associations and higher education committees

Required qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, finance or related field. Master’s degree in business administration, public administration or other relevant field, preferred.
  • 7-10 years of progressive financial operations responsibility in higher education or similarly complex organization with at least five of those years in a finance leadership role.
  • Demonstrated competence in financial reporting and internal controls, development of financial and budget planning models, and benchmarking tools.
  • Proficiency with reporting tools, ERP systems and Microsoft Office suite.
  • Ability to effectively supervise and build a high performance culture
  • Strong written and oral communication skills. Demonstrated analytical skills and the ability to synthesize complex data for a variety of audiences.
  • Excellent interpersonal, organizational, and collaboration skills with a proven track record of building effective relationships across functional areas and with external and community partners
  • Ability to work with sensitive information and maintain confidentially
  • Transparent and open working style and high level of professional integrity
  • Excellent problem solving, and ability to respond to a changing array of opportunities
  • Ability to support ongoing improvement through courageous, resilient, and catalytic leadership
  • Demonstrated commitment to employee development, recognition, and accountability to further operational goals

Example 2

Our client in Deerfield Beach is looking for an experienced Director of Accounting for a newly created position. This is a large well established company that is looking for someone who will bring 10+ years of proven GL accounting experience and excellent management ability.


  • Lead an effective and comprehensive process for all accounting functions, reconciliations and month end close.
  • Manage financial reporting process including monthly management reporting, quarterly and annual reporting.
  • Identify opportunities to improve systems and processes, working with operations, corporate accounting, IT and others to consistently improve accuracy and efficiency of processing transactions while improving internal controls.
  • Manage and support regional accounting and reporting team through coaching and a collaborative management style.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Finance or Accounting; MBA and/or CPA highly preferred.
  • 10+ years of accounting experience with evidence of assuming roles of greater complexity, responsibility and accountability during their career.
  • Manufacturing/Heavy Industry experience preferred.
  • Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of Internal Accounting Controls
  • Strong Oral, Written and interpersonal communication skills
  • Proactive attitude with team oriented, collaborative working style
  • Advanced Excel ability required.
  • SAP and Hyperion experience preferred.
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills.

Example 3


Join the hundreds of innovators, advocates and team members who are making an impact every day at one of the most iconic media brands in the nation. Whether you love to tell compelling stories or want to drive our award-winning powerhouse in new directions, the ABC Company team is the place to be.

The Accounting Director directs the establishment and implementation of an organization’s accounting policies and procedures. Has overall responsibility for assigned accounting operations and systems as well as associated analysis and report preparation. Additionally, this individual will manage a team of 4 accountants and 7 staff members who perform the period-end financial close and subsequent balance sheet account reconciliations.


  • Will be responsible for the day-to-day supervision of the accounting team, including general ledger, accounts payable and accounts receivable departments. Responsible for the monthly close process, account reconciliations and department KPIs.
  • Work closely with the Chief Accounting Officer to assume leadership of projects. Will work on highly complex problems in which analysis of situations or data requires working with other departments and coming up with innovative solutions.
  • Will be the technical GAAP subject matter expert on most complex/critical areas. Will act as the General Accounting department head in the absence of the Chief Accounting Officer.
  • Ensure compliance with internal controls and take a lead role in enhancing current control procedures.
  • Responsible for staff development, performance evaluations and finance department structure with the Chief Accounting Officer.


  • 4 year college degree in Accounting or equivalent experience.


  • 3+ years of public accounting experience required.
  • 8+ years of total accounting experience.
  • CPA highly desirable.
  • Solid knowledge of U.S. GAAP.
  • Self-starter who can oversee projects and drive for results.
  • Proven ability to lead and develop a team of professionals.
  • Ability to partner with other departments.
  • Detailed and service oriented.
  • Ability to meet strict time deadlines and multitask.
  • Well-developed Excel, Word and general ledger skills.
  • Be a business-minded leader and team player; interested in taking ownership and helping to grow our organization together

Sample Interview Questions

  • Which part of accounting do you enjoy the most? The least?
  • Which accounting certifications do you hold?
  • Why is it important to maintain records?
  • Which financial statement can you use to review the overall health of a company quickly?
  • Tell me about your managerial philosophy.
  • How do you stay up-to-date on tax laws and industry changes?
  • Tell me about a policy or system you helped to create. What was the impact?
  • What would you do if you noticed suspicious activity in one of your employee’s accounts?
  • How often should employees’ financial reports be updated?
  • Do you have any suggestions on how we could improve our financial procedures or policies?

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