It may seem easy enough to post a job opening online. It seems like you just need to write a little something that talks about what the position will entail and what you want to see in an applicant. However, it is a bit more in-depth than that. You want your description to contain the most relevant information so that someone reading it will be excited to send you his or her resume. You do not want people to be apathetic toward your description, so make sure you follow the best practices for writing a job description. To help you out, here is a staff accountant job description sample to give you a gentle push in the right direction.
Staff Accountant Job Summary
The staff accountant will be responsible for helping prepare financial documents needed by management. You will also need to analyze and research accounts and offer management suggestions on changes that could be made.
Staff Accountant Job Responsibilities and Duties
- Input data into the company’s automated consolidation system and verify all data in the system routinely to ensure accuracy
- Prepare financial statements by gathering information from the ledgers within each department
- Accrue expenses and prepare payments in order to reconcile various accounts
- Develop spreadsheet reports by analyzing information
- Project the company’s value and keep all financial material confidential
- Review financial information prior to the company going into an acquisition or merger
- Answer questions by researching data
Staff Accountant Skills and Qualifications
- Bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting
- One to three years of experience as an accountant
- Comprehensive knowledge of tax laws and SFAS rules
- Excellent time management skills
- Basic math proficiencies
- Willing to work weekends and overtime if needed
McMillan & Associates, Inc. is looking for a qualified staff accountant to join our firm located in Costa Mesa, CA. We have been helping individuals in the community since 1994, and we are only getting started. We have big plans to expand our firm so that we will be able to take on a wider variety of cases, and we are looking for passionate employees to join us in this endeavor.
Writing a Job Description Best Practices
- Your own staff accountant job description may require different material than what was offered in this sample. You may need to change quite a bit, which is perfectly normal. However, you should make sure that the following rules are implemented no matter what the actual content is.
- Do carefully consider what skills you want to mention. It is acceptable to include qualifications that are mandatory out of a candidate, but you should figure out which ones are not necessarily essential. You should mention a few skills that would be nice to see but that you would be willing to compromise on.
- Do try to mention some perks to working with your organization. This can include items like salary or health benefits. It can also include items like a fun company culture or a flexible schedule.
- Do not write using vague prose. You do not want to have a job description that looks like it could have come from any company within your industry. Use specifics so that your description does not blur together with everyone else’s.
- Do not write a description that is too long or too short. Generally speaking, you should aim for between 200 and 700 words. Less than 200 words are not going to give the reader a good enough sense of what you have to offer. More than 700 words are going to come across as overwhelming.
- Do use lists with bullet points. Every point within your responsibilities and skills lists should be given its own bullet point. This will make the material easier to go through and look more attractive on the page. Having a bunch of long paragraphs is going to look pretty intimidating.
- Do proofread. You do not want to cast your business in a bad light by posting material online that is riddled with misspelled words and grammatical errors. Read it through once or twice yourself just to make sure everything is right. It can also help to have someone else read through it to see if they catch something you did not.
This staff accountant job description sample should get you going in the right direction, but it is up to you to make sure it accurately represents the work you are offering.
Staff Accountant Job Responsibilities
You should be prepared to invest some time in creating a staff accountant job description, especially in the job responsibilities section, which is often the lengthiest. Using clear and concise language to convey the day-to-day tasks an applicant will be responsible for is critical to presenting a clear picture of what the job entails. A well-written job responsibilities section will help filter out both unqualified and overqualified jobseekers while helping you attract the best applicants for the job.
As discussed earlier, bullet points will make it easier for candidates to quickly read through your posting. It also helps to start each bullet point with a strong action verb so that potential applicants can more easily imagine themselves fulfilling the job requirements. While it can be tempting to list every single facet of the job you can think of, you don’t want to intimidate applicants with something that contains too many details to absorb. It’s a good practice to aim for between six and eight bullet points in this portion of your staff accountant job description.
Here are a few examples of staff accountant job responsibilities:
- Maintain detailed and accurate reconciliations of balance sheet accounts
- Collaborate with managers and team members to research and propose tax planning strategies for clients
- Prioritize tasks in a fast-paced work environment
- Communicate findings and make recommendations to senior accountants and management
Staff Accountant Job Specifications
The qualifications and skills section of your staff accountant job description is just as important as the section outlining key responsibilities, even though it’s usually shorter. Just as you took time to list the essential duties of the job, you want to clearly identify the essential specifications as well.
However, you should also take pains to avoid confusing the ideal with the realistic. Does every applicant for a staff accountant position really need to be a CPA to fulfill the requirements of the job? If you’d like to signal that you prefer some qualifications or skills but that these are not minimum requirements for consideration, then be forthcoming and clear about the distinction.
When creating your staff accountant job description, it’s a good idea to sit down with managers or others who work with staff accountants in your organization so you can draw up a realistic list of skills and qualifications. That way you can avoid scaring away perfectly qualified candidates with a list of expectations that might not be realistic for the job level, while also avoiding a glut of applications from candidates who don’t meet the essential requirements of the job.
Here are a few sample staff accountant job specifications to help you write your own:
- Ability to multitask and manage multiple simultaneous projects
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting or Finance plus at least 2 years of accounting experience
- Strong analytical skills with excellent attention to detail