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3 Accountant Job Description Samples & Guide for 2022

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Stephen Greet, Co-founder

January 5, 2022

Accounting is often thought of as boring, but practicing accountants know better. Accountancy is far more complicated and rewarding than the general public assumes. They must be excellent at math, writing, and public speaking—they must also be strong critical thinkers and problem-solvers. 

Some accountants don’t even calculate numbers; instead, they might focus on solving financial crises, implementing new procedures, and researching new financial laws. The best accountants help companies plan, avoid financial pitfalls, and make solid financial decisions. They must have the analytical mindset and common sense to make good decisions and explain complicated financial concepts to laymen. 

Accounting also requires a strong moral compass. According to an article from the 2019 edition of the European Journal of Accounting, Auditing, and Finance Research, ethics are crucial in accounting, stating, “Moral codes are the elemental principles that accounting professionals favor to abide by to boost their profession, maintain trust, and demonstrate honesty and fairness” (KaoDui 28). 

When dealing with million-dollar transactions, it’s up to the accountant to make sure both companies receive the proper amount of payment, which means holding companies accountable for their actions—easier said than done. But having such high-caliber accountants can push companies to become more successful than ever. Organizations with high-performing accountants rest easy about their finances and their financial future, something not many can boast. 

An accountant job description should keep these traits in mind and deliver a realistic look at what accountancy looks like for a particular company. Finding and hiring a stellar accountant is not easy, but BeamJobs can help. We give examples and advice for writing the best job descriptions, so companies can feel confident in hiring the right people. 

Accountant Job Description Example

Job details: At Slavic Mountain, we like going downhill on the slopes but not when it comes to our finances! We’re looking for an accountant to ensure accounting quality and efficiency. The new hire will be actively involved in every step of the accounting process, so it’s a great way to gain experience. This position is a hybrid job with only two required days per week on-site at our new Slavic Mountain location in Ouray. May be asked to visit the original Breckenridge location as needed.

What you’ll be doing

  • Record financial transactions
  • Prepare forms and financial documentation, including balance sheets
  • Prepare journal entries for month-end close
  • Research state laws, and update procedures/documentation as needed
  • Create budgets and financial plans as needed
  • Reconcile general ledger accounts 
  • Identify potential discrepancies, and reconcile them by collecting and analyzing data
  • Compile comprehensive reports with accounting team
  • Perform other tasks as assigned

Qualifications: You don’t need to be a skier, but you do need to have the following.

  • Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Finance, or Economics
  • Intermediate experience with Excel, Microsoft Word, and other Office 365 tech
  • Expert usage of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and FASB standards
  • Strong verbal/written communication skills
  • Self-motivated, organized, and detail-driven
  • Knowledge of accounting applications like Concur, Quickbooks, or ERP preferred
  • Reliable transportation to get from Breckenridge to Ouray as needed
  • Passion for outdoor winter sports preferred but not required

Benefits: In addition to potential promotions as our company grows, check out the following benefits.

  • Competitive salary starting at $58k–79k
  • Health insurance
  • 401(k)
  • Up to two weeks paid time off
  • Discounts on gear and local ski resort season passes

About the company: Slavic Mountain started by doing what we love—skiing. Two hardcore skiers, Aaron Bradford and Damien Langbroek, were sick of paying for low-quality equipment that didn’t last or expensive gear that cost an arm and a leg. So in 2010, they put their heads together and created Slavic Mountain to provide quality ski equipment at half the cost. Slavic Mountain has everything any skier needs for the best skiing experience, from coats and helmets to skis and boots. We also have our own collection of books, written by skiers across the country, about every place to ski in the U.S. Browse our collection of gear and books at Slavic Mountain in Breckenridge, CO, or our new location in Ouray, CO. There’s snow better place to get ski gear!

Senior Accountant Job Description Example

Job details: Lion & Leopard is seeking a senior accountant to join our accounting team. L & L hires experienced accountants to fulfill every client’s financial needs. The senior accountant will be responsible for all junior accountants and will answer to the financial director. Responsibilities will include the preparation of financial statements, monthly reconciliations, and conducting audits. More responsibilities are listed below.

What you’ll be doing:

  • Prepare financial documents, including budgets, balance sheets, and reports
  • Reconcile and update general ledger entries
  • Reconcile balance sheets monthly
  • Complete monthly-close processes, and train junior accountants in monthly-close work
  • Review all junior accountant entries for discrepancies
  • Collaborate with accounting team and businesses to meet department and company objectives
  • Assistant financial director by providing documentation, solving errors, and answering questions as needed
  • Conduct bi-annual audits for internal control
  • Support external audits by providing proper documentation and assistance as needed
  • Research, implement, and develop new accounting processes
  • Mentor and train new accounting staff as needed

Qualifications:

  • B.S. in Accounting, Finance, Economics, or Business Administration
  • 4–7 years of accounting-related experience
  • Extensive knowledge of GAAP, FASB standards, ERP
  • Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Highly organized and excellent at time management
  • Expertise with Quickbooks, Xero, or FreshBooks
  • Multi-tasker who can work on independent projects and team projects concurrently
  • CPA preferred

Benefits: Salary range $68–108k. 

  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • 401(k) matching

About the company: At Lion & Leopard, we provide the best financial consulting with top accountants and financial staff across the state. Our goal is to help your business with all your financial needs, whether you need help with taxes or reconciling accounts. Founded in 1998, we’re a family-built organization that prides itself in recognizing what each client needs and finding the perfect consultant to deliver the highest quality service. Find us online or visit our location in Leavenworth, WA.

Accounts Payable Specialist Job Description Example

Job details: Belle Elle Couture strives to be the global leader of fresh fashion and the icon for humanitarian efforts in the fashion industry. We are looking for a senior accountant with several years of experience in accounts payable. Must be willing to work in a fast-paced, dynamic environment that is rapidly expanding. Must also be flexible, highly organized, and accustomed to working with a large team. 

What you’ll be doing:

  • Collaborate with suppliers to process invoices
  • Organize and verify invoices against the purchases made
  • Update accounts payable and vendor records as needed
  • Prepare invoices/reports for clients
  • Resolve any invoice discrepancies
  • Review accounts payable weekly to ensure payments are on time
  • Pay expenses using ACH before the due date set by vendor
  • Notify all vendors of payment
  • File payment records
  • Respond to vendor questions in a timely manner
  • Review ACH operating rules monthly to ensure payments transfer on time
  • Assist with annual audits as needed
  • Complete specialized reports as required
  • Complete other accounting tasks as required 

Qualifications

  • B.S. in Accounting, Finance, or Economics
  • CPA, CFA, or CMA required
  • Minimum 3 years accounting experience with thorough understanding of accounts payable
  • Thorough understanding of GAAP, ERP, and FASB standards
  • Experienced using QuickBooks
  • Intermediate experience with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Highly organized and excellent at time management
  • Multi-tasker who can work with a high volume of transactions for different accounts

Benefits

  • $50–70k salary with opportunities for promotion
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • 401(k) 
  • Paid time off
  • Travel reimbursement

About the company: Belle Elle Couture is leading the way in modern fashion that does good for the world. We are a fashion house founded in 2015 that specializes in sustainable, fair trade clothing in partnership with Cedar House Fabrics, Riri, Mood, and more. We exclusively hire recent graduates from design schools across the country to give young artists a chance to share their art with the world, which ensures our band is never outdated. Our team is dedicated, creative, and passionate about fashion, the environment, and the community. Belle Elle creates better fashion that creates a better world.

Your Guide to Writing an Accountant Job Description

Job descriptions are the first interaction between a business and its future employees, so they should be personal, understandable, and detailed. Instead, most job descriptions are generic, confusing, and vague. It’s easy to write something quickly, but it’s much harder to write something applicants will actually read. It’s even harder to write something that persuades applicants to apply. 

An excellent accountant job description explains who the company is, the problems they solve, the team who works there, and how their future employee will help the company. It’s more than a list of requirements—it’s a true reflection of what the job looks like. Accountants are driven people who can analyze data and solve problems. So, an accountant job description should cut straight to the point and highlight how the future hire will assist the company. 

The description should also be enticing and inspiring as much as possible. Accountants are useful in a variety of sectors, so why should an applicant apply to work at your company over the twenty others looking to hire? Organizations that go the extra mile with their job descriptions have a higher chance of finding and hiring their ideal employee.

Improving any kind of writing, including job descriptions, means making it more clear and concise. The book titled Clear Writing and Literacy from the Ontario Literacy Coalition argues that clear writing focuses on what the reader needs to know, respects the reader's background and intelligence, avoids dense text, and makes it easy for readers to find what's important. 

An article by the Nielsen Norman group explains that when writers stick to plain language, readers understand the meaning faster, it is more easily searchable, it makes the writer look smarter, and whatever was written can benefit everyone, from experts to English language learners. Research on the results of clear writing is nowhere near limited to these sources, but these sources should offer some insight into why clear writing is crucial.

Overall, when writing an accountant job description, keep it concise without being confusing, descriptive without being flowery, and engaging without being sentimental. Easier said than done, which is why we’re here to kindly nudge you in the right direction.

Outlining your accountant job description 

Here’s a reliable outline that covers the bases for all accountant job descriptions: 

Job details: This functions as the introduction. Who is your company, and what kind of accountant are they seeking? Why is it necessary or important that you add an accountant to your team? This is an excellent place to include more of your company’s personality, but remember to keep it brief. This tells readers who your company is looking for and why you’re hiring.

What you’ll be doing/Requirements/Roles/Responsibilities: This section goes by many names and lists the daily tasks of applicants after they’re hired. Most applicants view this section first, so make it easy to read. Accountants accomplish different tasks depending on each company and its financial team, so be specific about this new hire’s roles. Some accounting tasks seem obvious, such as reconciling accounts, but include these points anyway for transparency. Use active verbs, be choosy with what words you use, and avoid too much jargon.

Qualifications: This section is one of the most important. Applicants need to know what’s required of them before they apply. Many won’t read this section word-by-word, though, so make sure this section is easy to read at a glance. Also make sure this section highlights the special qualifications your company requires—some only ask for a college degree and some experience, but is there anything else your company needs? Include any certifications, technology requirements, or specific tasks here.

Benefits: This section is the most flexible of all. It can go earlier or later, so long as it’s easily readable at a glance. Applicants want to know what they would gain from working with your company besides just getting a paycheck. Avoid generic terms like “great company culture” and include things like insurance, 401(k), etc. 

About the company: This section is often placed early, but more often than not, applicants want to know the requirements and qualifications before they hear about the company itself. However, this section is still important. Accountants will need to know what kind of company they’ll work for to get the gist of the financial context. Are you a big organization with a big financial team or a small start-up? Make it clear who your company is and what you do.

Attracting the right attention with your accounting job description 

Accountant job descriptions often fail to keep in mind their purpose—hiring the best accountant. Most job descriptions are too generic, and the accounting candidate comes away having no concrete idea of the problems they’ll work on, who they’ll work with, or what kind of financial assistance the company needs. 

Specialization is also key; if you need an accountant who specializes in accounts payable, make that clear, as shown in the last job description sample. Make sure to devote one to two sentences on how this new hire will alleviate your company’s burdens.

Now, it’s time for the substance. Keep it brief, and think of this as more of an outline. Start with a description: who is your company, and what type of accounting role needs to be filled? Then, add the position’s duties and responsibilities, required experience, company benefits, and a short bio about your company, per the outline above.

Once the basics are complete, you can add details, but keep in mind your audience. If you’re hiring an experienced accountant, using acronyms like TB or PV is expected, but if the job is entry-level, stick to more generic accounting terms like GAAP and CPA, something that all entry-level accountants would know. Use plain language, and keep it simple.

Most companies seem to stop after the previous step, but this is the most crucial time to make your post stand out. Revision is key to making your job description appealing. As stated previously, job applicants can read dozens of job descriptions; who’s to say they should work for you unless you can wow them with your post. 

This is the time to really sell your company and your accounting team. Accountants work closely with their peers to fact-check and compile reports, so it’s important to highlight whom the future hire will be working with. What you choose to include is crucial. Emotive language and active verbs are great additions here, but take care to not go overboard. Subtle touches go a long way.

The next step is usually considered the hardest: revision. Mostly this means cutting out all filler and making everything easy to read. Accountants are analytical and appreciate organization, details, and clear communication. So, your job description should be organized, thorough, and understandable even when applicants are skimming the text. 

Accountants shouldn’t have to read between the lines just to figure out what you’re trying to say. Make sure to use bullet points and keep excess wordage to a minimum. If you end up cutting so much that it sounds dry, focus on specifying word choice instead of keeping excess. 

After all this, it’s a good idea to step away for at least a day. When you proofread for the final time, you’ll need fresh eyes to see mistakes you missed the previous day. Having someone else give it a once-over is a good idea at this stage, too. Fix any grammar or syntax errors and misspelled/misused words (affect vs. effect, for example). 

Remember, accountants are experts at finding mistakes, so you want to make sure your job description is neat and tidy. Then, all that’s left is to post your job ad and wait for the perfect hire to apply.

The many hats of an accountant 

As you know well, accountants perform a variety of tasks that vary even more if they’re specialized. Every company has different financial needs, and every accountant has different roles. Listed below are some examples of different roles to include for an accountant job description. One accountant may not complete all these tasks, but they’re a good example of what the basics of accounting look like on a job description.

Administration/Bookkeeper

  • The primary role of an accountant is to gather, analyze, and interpret financial documents. This includes creating forms, preparing journal entries, and compiling reports. Keeping organized, up-to-date, and accurate reports is the heart and soul of accounting. While it’s not the most exciting job, this is an essential part of any company’s financial health. 
    • Prepare journal and general ledger entries, develop departmental reports, and reconcile accounts. 
    • This role will require intermediate experience with Microsoft Office Suite, strong organizational and analytical skills, and a keen eye for detail. Must also have experience with data collection, entry, and reporting.
    • Accountants should have experience with accounting software like QuickBooks, Xero, or FreshBooks 

Proofreader/Fact-checker

  • One of the most crucial parts of an accountant’s job is ensuring all financial documents are updated and error-free. Every document must be accurate, coherent, and free of mathematical and grammatical errors. This role blends into the roles of administrator and researcher, but this role stands on its own because of the enormity of the task.
    • Review and reconcile general ledger entries, journal entries, monthly balance sheets, and other financial documents for error. 
    • This role will require attention to detail and excellent mathematical and written communication skills.

Researcher

  • Accountants must be ready to explain each financial decision made by the company and suggest future decisions based on current literature. Accountants conduct research frequently to stay on top of state laws, company procedures, tax laws, and more. If they do not comply with such laws, the company will face legal trouble, so this role is of major importance.
    • Research local, state, and federal laws, review financial documents in accordance with such laws, and recommend modern practices for cost reduction, revenue enhancement, and profit maximization.
    • This role will require keen attention to detail and strong time management and critical thinking skills. Pre-existing knowledge of state laws, GAAP, and FASB standards also required. 

Troubleshooter 

  • The best accountants are visionaries who can predict problems, suggest new financial practices, and craft solutions. They can see trouble long before it gets there and can answer questions about any issues that arise.
    • Reconcile accounts, solve errors, and identify potential financial pitfalls. 
    • This role will require strong attention to detail, excellent problem-solving skills, and knowledge of GAAP and FASB standards.

Public Communicator

  • Surprisingly to the general public, accountants have to be excellent communicators. The best accountants know how to communicate their findings to management, associated departments, and clients in a professional manner, especially in times of financial distress. This role requires a leader who can advocate for better practices and steer the company or client in a new direction.
    • Collaborate with the financial department in a professional manner, gather financial information from relevant departments, and communicate findings to managers and clients as needed.
    • This role will require excellent written and verbal communication skills and strict adherence to ethical guidelines. 

Adviser 

  • Many accountants work as consultants, aka advisers, to clients and companies, whether they are part of a firm or working independently. They must know how to offer financial advice to a variety of clients and for whatever circumstance. Specialized accountants become advisers for niche areas, such as taxes, but all accountants must be able to suggest good financial practices to clients.
    • Analyze financial documents, forecast potential risks, and advise upper management in best practices to reduce costs and build savings.
    • This role will require strong verbal communication and critical thinking skills. Knowledge of state laws, GAAP, and FASB standards also required. 

Technical Process Analyst

  • Modern technology has made the accounting process much easier, and accountants are expected to know how to use current accounting systems. Many are also expected to change processes that are outdated or inefficient, which requires knowledge of current technology and current accounting practices. 
    • Identify, recommend, and/or develop different accounting processes, and collaborate with associated staff in charge of platform operations, engineering, and architecture.
    • Must have several years of experience as an accountant and extensive experience with Microsoft Office Suite, Intuit Pro Series, NetSuite, and familiarity with other revenue recognition software.