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Key Roles And Responsibilities In Accounting

Key Roles and Responsibilities in Accounting

Accounting roles entail many responsibilities that must be carried out with absolute accuracy to ensure your business remains compliant with financial regulations, taxes, and reporting. Conducting critical functions within your organisation or providing them to clients, it is vital to stipulate the role’s responsibilities, especially when creating accounting job descriptions and job ads.

What does an Accounting person do?

Your job descriptions should detail the accounting team functions and how they fit in your organisational culture. Your business or accounting firm needs to hire the right candidates that will create an experienced, professional, and effective team. They will need to handle various accounting tasks and meet strict deadlines, while simultaneously providing excellent customer service and maintaining the reputation of your company and brand.

Depending on how the business functions, your company’s financial department may oversee:

  • Producing financial statements and other financial documents
  • Conducting risk analysis
  • Maintaining and updating financial records
  • Preparing accounts and submitting tax returns
  • Determining the financial strategy
  • Managing budgets
  • Identifying investment opportunities
  • Consulting and providing financial advice to individual clients

Accounting skills

Accountant’s Skill Set Including Soft Skills

To ensure your company leverages best practices, meets any legal obligation, and hits its targets and deadlines, you need to hire individuals with the right skills and professional qualifications.

To complete their accounting role, you need candidates with a professional qualification, hard skills, and soft skills that include:

  • Analytical skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Time management
  • Accounting software proficiency
  • An accounting degree
  • A CPA exam pass
  • Specialisation in particular areas, such as forensic accounting or corporate finance

How to hire an Accounting person

Job advertising for accounting will differ based on the role and company. It will help to leverage a recruitment strategy that encompasses advertising on general and specialist finance and accounting job boards, social media, and for word of mouth referrals. Your hiring strategy might also include having a presence at leadership or industry conferences, universities (if you are hiring university graduates or interns) and online with accounting organisations and professional bodies.

Crucial elements that will affect hiring success include writing an effective job description and selecting the proper job title. Your job description should define the accounting job and the job advert should highlight your company culture and values. You should provide an indication of salary and benefits and state if you are recruiting for a full time or part time accounting position.

Flat fee recruitment solutions continue to deliver the best results when recruiting accounting professionals.

What are the Accounting roles?

Forensic Accounting And Management Accounting Roles

The duties of accounting professionals are completed by individuals in roles titled as:

  • Management Accountants
  • Chartered Certified Accountants
  • Qualified Accountant
  • Certified Public Accountants
  • Auditor
  • Accounting Officer
  • Credit Controller
  • Tax Specialist

Accountancy roles and responsibilities

Next, we look at accounting jobs and the roles and responsibilities of those who undertake them.

Roles of an Auditor

An Auditor plays a risk aversion role by improving controls and monitoring their effectiveness. A job for the analytically-minded, Auditors use their skills to oversee your company’s policies and procedures.

Auditor roles and responsibilities:

  • Introducing strategies to eliminate or minimise errors and non-compliance
  • Researching errors and irregularities to determine operational problems
  • Implementing and evaluating the effectiveness of new controls
  • Generating reports for senior management or external bodies
  • Raising awareness of industry changes and liaising with external auditors
  • Ensuring the company’s legal obligations are met

View a complete Auditor Job Description here.

Roles of an Accountant

The duties of an Accountant or Certified Public Accountant include working with your business’s financial data to ensure legal compliance and reporting on taxes, budgets, projections, profits, and losses.

Most Accountants are responsible for:

  • Compiling financial data and conducting analysis
  • Creating balance sheets and profit and loss statements
  • Assisting management with financial forecasting and budget setting
  • Crunching numbers, calculating taxes, and maintaining accurate records
  • Presenting figures and financial performance metrics to stakeholders and investors
  • Conducting audits and investigating discrepancies, errors, and omissions 

View a complete Accountant Job Description here.

Roles of a Bookkeeper

Bookkeeper duties include managing daily financial tasks and overseeing payroll, bank account management, and accounts receivable. They also work with accountants to ensure legal compliance and accuracy.

Bookkeeper roles and responsibilities:

  • Processing accounts payable and receivable
  • Recording daily financial transactions
  • Reconciling banking, payroll taxes, and sales taxes
  • Maintaining the company’s ledger (record keeping)
  • Processing checks to ensure accuracy
  • Assisting the accountant in preparing reports and any tasks as directed

View a complete Bookkeeper Job Description here.

Roles of a Management Accountant

A Management Accountant is responsible for forecasting budgets, recommending where the business should invest, and introducing financial and risk management strategies. They conduct research and advise management on accounting processes.

Management Accountant roles and responsibilities:

  • Conducting financial analysis of inventory, partnerships, and investments
  • Interpreting and presenting cost-to-benefit data to senior managers
  • Recommending cost-effective solutions for ongoing and future projects
  • Auditing projects and accounting procedures 
  • Carrying out extensive research and proposing budgets
  • Implementing plans to low financial costs and risks

View a complete Management Accountant Job Description here.

Roles of a Tax Specialist

A Tax Specialist is responsible for preparing accounts, submitting tax returns, ensuring tax compliance, and assisting with audits. They require excellent soft skills and technical skills and most larger businesses employ such as individual.

Tax Specialist responsibilities:

  • Researching tax law
  • Preparing quarterly and annual taxes
  • Gathering information and data for updating financial records
  • Providing advice on taxation and record keeping best practices

View a complete Tax Specialist Job Description here.

Roles of a Credit Controller

A Credit Controller performs an important role, managing a company’s debtors. Most employers use the skills of a Credit Controller to perform actions such as approving new credit requests and conducting debt payment problem solving.

Credit Controller roles and responsibilities:

  • Managing the collection of payments and debts
  • Preparing account books and records
  • Responding to inquiries from clients
  • Managing the sales ledger
  • Processing invoices and financial information
  • Liaising with the sales team and customers

View a complete Credit Controller Job Description here.

Roles of a General Ledger Accountant

General Ledger Accountants have a vital role handling the company’s bookkeeping. A General Ledger Accountant also uses their skills and accountant degree to track daily transactions and investigate those that aren’t compliant or in-line with the company’s goals.

General Ledger Account responsibilities:

  • Producing statements and collecting financial information
  • Tracking transactions and ensuring accuracy
  • Reconciling balance sheets and invoices
  • Overseeing the business’s financial status

View a complete General Ledger Accountant Job Description here.

Roles of a Property Accountant

Property Accountants use their skills to review and manage property taxes and liabilities. A Property Accountant also collects deposit and creates and delivers reports on profit and losses.

Property Accountant roles and responsibilities:

  • Processing daily, weekly, and monthly transactions
  • Updating leadership with regular accountant reports
  • Preparing bank reconciliations
  • Reviewing property payments and taxes
  • Maintaining cash books and financial information

View a complete Property Accountant Job Description here.

Financial Accounting FAQs

Here we answer your accountant and accountancy career frequently asked questions:

What are the duties and responsibilities of an Accountant?

Chartered Accountants specialise in complex business engagements and usually work from outside the corporation, preparing financial statements and financial reports, helping clients lessen their tax burdens, and providing financial advice. 

Management Accountants have a wider scope and role, working within an organisation, advising management on financial implications and consequences. They perform internal audits and financial data analysis, requiring excellent analytical skills.

Are Accounting jobs in demand?

According to research conducted by the University of Bolton, within the next three decades there will be an additional 80,000 accountancy jobs in UK.

What counts as CPD?

CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development and defines the learning activities undertaken by accounting professionals to ensure their skills remain relevant and up to date.

A CPD portfolio is an important aspect of accounting career paths and can include different learning activities such as training workshops, CPD seminars, and CPD online courses as well as reflective learning and self-directed learning.

Accounting roles – The responsibilities of all Accountancy roles

If your business is creating a job description for accounting staff recruitment, you can discover the daily duties and responsibilities for each accounting position by viewing the resources below:

View all accounting job descriptions responsibilities here.

The responsibilities of all professions

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