Staff AccountantJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends
Staff accountants are critical parts of their organizations, and essential in tracking and analyzing budgets, costs, taxes, and cash flow — some of the most vital functions of any business.
They need to have an eye for every detail and a head for numbers in everything they do. They’ll often review aspects as small as single receipts or as large as annual business audits, checking details and making sure everything is running smoothly for the business, as well as preparing relevant reports for management when needed.
Staff accountants need to think on their feet and find creative solutions for problems they detect. If you have a passion for details, strong verbal and written communication skills, and are great at managing tasks and solving problems, the staff accountant position may be an ideal fit.
Sample job description #1
The Staff Accountant is responsible for maintaining general ledger transactions in accordance with GAAP. This position provides support in creating and maintaining integrity in the company’s financial statements
Close and maintain financials for subsidiary companies/divisions as assigned. (Responsibilities include but are not limited to: journalizing accounting entries, estimating accruals, reconciling accounts, preparing schedules, reconciling bank accounts, preparing divisional allocations, and preparing reports for Executives)
Reconcile and certify journals, accounts, and tasks in the Blackline Accounting system
Perform financial analysis and research at the account, entity, division, department, and customer level
Provide written and verbal communication of financial results to Executive Management
Analyze budget and forecast information in the IBM Planning Analytics (TM1) system
Assist with internal and external audit samples
Other duties and special projects as assigned
Demonstrated proficiency of skills as an accountant
Must be able to effectively communicate verbally and in writing with staff at all levels of the organization
Preferred experience in an area requiring confidentiality
Organized, detail-oriented, and ability to handle multiple projects required
Demonstrated initiative and ability to foster continuous process improvement
Ability to work under pressure
Ability to work outside normal business hours when required
Minimum Bachelor’s degree in Accounting
Minimum 0–3 years of related and progressive experience
Must be able to demonstrate a high level of proficiency in Microsoft Office products, particularly Excel
Trucking industry, Great Plains Dynamics, and IBM Planning Analytics knowledge preferred, but not required
Sample job description #2
The Staff Accountant position provides timely and accurate preparation, calculation, and reconciliation of various business and departmental processes for our accounting and financial reporting department. The role will perform technical, accounting, and administrative activities required in order to ensure effective reporting for internal management and external users. This person will be assisting in day-to-day accounting processes as well as the month end financial close, interim audits, and ad hoc projects.
Essential experience, duties & responsibilities:
Assist in all phases of corporate accounting including but not limited to AP, AR, accruals, fixed assets, depreciation, prepaids, cash planning, and the closing process
Aggregate, analyze and convert data sources on a daily and monthly basis for internal/external reporting, accounting journal entries, and tax related items
Reconcile and prepare journal entries daily for cash and bank statement activity
Review and prepare journal entries for corporate expense reports and credit card spend
Timely processing of accounts payable and working with vendors on any billing discrepancies
Reconcile and prepare journal entries for prepaid and accrual expense amortization
Prepare daily P&L and balance sheet account reconciliations for critical accounts
Collaborate with management to ensure a complete and accurate month-end close
Answer accounting and financial questions by researching and interpreting data
Maintain accurate process and procedures for all reports and tasks
Assist with vendor relationships
Help with gathering information for audits and tax preparation
Any other duties as assigned
BS in Accounting (preferred)
2-3 years of public or private accounting experience
Advanced proficiency with Microsoft Excel
Must have knowledge of accounting systems (Sage Intacct preferred) and be able to quickly learn other financial systems
Must possess strong written and verbal skills to communicate technical subject matter
Strong balance sheet skills and understanding of GAAP rules
Excellent problem solving and analysis skills
Must be precise and detail oriented
Ability to multi-task and balance priorities to meet deadlines
Sample job description #3
Are results-oriented and not afraid to jump into the deep end
Thrive working in a collaborative environment and enjoy helping others
Enjoy thinking outside the box to drive changes that will impact our industry
You love what you do, and it shows every day
We’re leading our industry into the future by creating and shaping the future of Service Contracts and Claims Administration. We’re developing systems from the ground up and will give you the opportunity to be a part of our quest for greatness
We offer the ability to pursue your fullest potential and never settle for second place in your quest to grow your career
You’ll join an incredible team filled with smart, fun, passionate people who love making an impact
We believe in creative environments, progressive ideas and excellence in operational effectiveness
We love what we do
What will you do in this role?
Complete cash reconciliations for multiple entities
Enter and maintain journal entries in QuickBooks
Directly contribute to month end close process
Prepare detailed general ledger account reconciliations
Maintain various schedules and subledgers
Develop clear standard operating procedures and supporting work papers
Adhere to required timelines
Provide accurate reporting and data verification for both internal and external parties
Support periodic (monthly and quarterly) balance sheets and income statement analyses
Assist with special accounting projects or analyses
Assist with Accounts Payable overflow as needed
Record cash receipts from contract holders and prepare bank deposits
Support the tracking and cash application functions of accounts receivable
Complete sales and use tax filings
What will you need to bring to the table in order to be successful in this role?
Four-year degree in accounting preferred or substituted with suitable years of experience
Two years of accounting experience
Strong interpersonal and communication skills
Communicates in a helpful and supportive manner based on job knowledge and expertise
Proficient with Microsoft Office, including advanced Excel skills
Analytical and problem-solving skills, especially with the AR, AP, and Claims Payment cycles
Attention to detail: Work at a steady pace to promote accuracy and quality of work. Completes set procedures or tasks before new ones are begun
Experience with Quick Books and Bill.Com is a plus
Attention to Detail
Average salary and compensation
The average salary for a staff accountant is $68,500 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.
Los Angeles, California
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
New York City, New York
Sample interview questions
What skills and qualities do you have that make you a good staff accountant?
Where do you see your career heading in the next five years?
What responsibilities did you have in your prior job?
What accounting platforms do you have experience with?
How do you streamline your work on the software you use?
How do you juggle multiple projects and tight deadlines?
How well do you work on a team?
How do you communicate with clients who don’t have an accounting background?
Tell me about your process for double-checking your work to ensure accuracy.
How do you monitor journals and ledgers for fraudulent entries?
Tell me about a time you helped a company use their money more efficiently.
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