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What Is an Accounting Manager and How to Become One

Accounting Manager

What Is an Accounting Manager?

An accounting manager is the lead team member of a company’s accounting department. Accounting managers are experts in their field, and they work with other departments to ensure the company's financial matters are in order. They prepare financial reports, forecast financial needs of the company, prepare documentation for tax purposes, and manage account files. They also supervise the other accountants, junior accountants, and assistants in the department. In large corporations, the accounting manager works under the financial manager; in smaller businesses, they may serve a dual role as both financial and accounting manager.

How to Become an Accounting Manager

To become an accounting manager, earn a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, or a related field. Many accounting managers pursue a master’s degree in business administration or accounting to further their career opportunities. All accountants need to be certified; acquire the nationally recognized Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential through the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Seek an entry-level accounting position to gain experience in the finance industry. Keep accurate records, learn from senior accountants, and earn promotions to become qualified for an accounting manager position.

How to Be a Good Accounting Manager

As an expert CPA, a good accounting manager will catch financial mistakes, advise company department heads on financial choices, and evaluate a company’s business transactions and profits. Accounting managers are also responsible for the work of their department or team. Proper training and oversight of the junior accountants are necessary for a successful staff. Set a good example by being prompt for appointments, keeping accurate records, and organizing the goals for each member of your team. Provide support and solve problems when issues arise. A good accounting manager is open to new ideas, like advanced software that will speed up the accounting process, but is also aware of the department’s budget and needs to avoid unnecessary expenditures.

Accounting Manager Job Description Sample

With this Accounting Manager job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Accounting Manager role.

Job Summary

The accounting manager will be responsible for supervising and managing the accounting department and all areas of financial reporting. We are looking for someone to develop and maintain accounting principles, best practices, and systems for collecting, analyzing and reporting information. Must have a strong understanding of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles(GAAP). The accounting manager will advise on budgets, financial strategy, financial reporting, and forecasting. He or she will also be responsible for managing the accounting team, helping audit and ledger preparation, and supporting managers across teams with financial procedures.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Prepare financial statements and analysis for the whole of the company
  • Manage and supervise accounting department employees; responsible for day-to-day supervision and leadership
  • Maintain and oversee all accounting procedures and processes
  • Follow and comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles(GAAP) for financial statements
  • Record and research all financial information for analysis
  • Oversee budget reports, preparation of budgets, and analysis of budgets
  • Document and interpret complicated financial information for managers, executives, and C-Suite executives
  • Advise on the procedures and financial management as well as developing policies
  • Oversee financial reports for stockholders, taxes, regulatory agencies, and other financial groups relating to company finance
  • Audit accounting and finance departments
  • Forecast and plans according to fiscal needs

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in Accounting, Finance, Business with an emphasis in Accounting, or a related field
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license required
  • Previous experience as an accountant, accounting supervisor, or manager
  • Excellent computer skills; experience in accounting software, Microsoft Office Suite
  • Proficiency with accounting software and experience with a software system implementation a plus
  • Exceptional knowledge of finance, accounting, budgeting, cost accounting and cost control principles and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Advanced knowledge of bookkeeping and accounting best practices, laws, standards, and state/national regulations
  • Pays strict attention to detail
  • Ability to manage employees, while multi-tasking large projects