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Staff Accountant Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does a Staff Accountant Do?

Staff accountants are critical to their organizations and essential in tracking and analyzing budgets, costs, taxes, and cash flow — some of the most vital functions of any business. Responsibilities include preparing financial statements, reconciling accounts, monitoring and reviewing internal controls, and tax preparation.

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 ensuring everything is running smoothly for the business, as well as preparing relevant reports for management when needed.

Successful staff accountants have a strong understanding of accounting and finance principles, as well as experience using accounting software and tools. The role requires strong analytical and problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and the ability to communicate effectively and concisely with management, stakeholders, and other team members.

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National Average Salary

Staff accountant 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 a Staff Accountant is:


Staff Accountant Job Descriptions

It’s important to include the right content in your job description when hiring a staff accountant. The following examples can serve as templates for attracting the best available talent for your team.

Example 1

Staff accountants do the important work of keeping financial records for a business. They reconcile bank statements, balance financial records, make sure the company is complying with IRS rules, and present financial information in a clear, organized way to assess the fiscal health of a company. They often work as a team, reporting to a senior accountant or the chief financial officer. If you have excellent mathematical and analytical skills, a bachelor’s in accounting, and the ability to handle multiple projects at once, [Your Company Name] might be the perfect fit for you. 

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Perform monthly, quarterly and annual accounting activities including reconciliations of bank and credit card accounts
  • Coordinate and complete annual audits
  • Review financial reports
  • Develop, maintain, and analyze budgets; prepare periodic reports that compare budgeted costs to actual costs
  • Improve systems and procedures and initiate corrective actions
  • Adjust journal entries when necessary
  • Oversee taxes and abide by federal regulations

Education and experience

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field, as well as CPA certification.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Extensive knowledge of S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
  • Proficient skills in Microsoft Office Suite, accounting software, and databases
  • Excellent organizational, problem-solving, and project management skills
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills

Preferred qualifications

  • Master’s degree in accounting, finance, or related field
  • 2+ years working as a bookkeeper
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills

Example 2

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

Example 3

Job purpose:

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

Example 4


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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

Candidate Certifications to Look For

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Before getting certified as a CPA, candidates will need a bachelor’s degree in accounting and one or two years of work experience. The CPA exam has four sections, all of which must be passed within an 18-month time frame. Although the exam is challenging, earning a CPA will help further a candidate’s career. 
  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA). In order to get certified as a CMA, candidates must first have a bachelor’s degree as well as two years of work experience. The certification exam is taken in two parts, the first of which centers around financial planning and reporting, and the second of which is focused on financial decision-making. The exam is difficult, with a pass rate of less than 50%, but the applicant has a window of three years to pass each portion. Getting the CMA credential can help candidates advance their careers and earn a higher wage.

Sample Interview Questions

  • What is your experience preparing financial statements, including balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements?
  • Describe your experience processing invoices and payments, as well as reconciling and balancing accounts.
  • 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?
  • How and where have you used accounting software and tools, such as QuickBooks and Excel?
  • What specific accounting responsibilities did you have in your prior job?
  • Have you ever successfully resolved a complex accounting or finance issue, and if so, what was your approach?
  • How do you streamline your work on the software you use?
  • How do you juggle multiple projects and tight deadlines?
  • Do you have experience preparing and filing corporate and individual tax returns? If so, please describe.
  • 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?
  • What is your process for keeping up with advancements in accounting and finance, including tax laws and regulations?

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