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What Is a Senior Accountant and How to Become One

Senior Accountant

What Is a Senior Accountant?

A senior accountant oversees the accounting department for a company or organization. As a senior accountant, your responsibilities and duties include managing all incoming and outgoing payments and ensuring all ledgers are kept accurate and updated. You also conduct regular audits and supervise the other accountants, bookkeepers, and clerks in your department. To ensure the department runs smoothly, you train your staff thoroughly and monitor all transactions.

How to Become a Senior Accountant

Though some senior accountant positions require a master’s degree in accounting or a related field, some senior accountant jobs only need a bachelor’s degree or Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credentials, in addition to significant job experience. To become a CPA, you must meet your state’s requirements and pass the Uniform CPA Exam. Acquire an entry-level accountant position and complete all your work accurately and on-time. Build your level of expertise in accounting by taking continuing education courses to earn promotions to become eligible for a senior accountant position.

Senior Accountant Job Description Sample

With this Senior Accountant 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 Senior Accountant role.

Job Summary

We are seeking an experienced and detail-oriented Senior Accountant to join our finance team. You will prepare financial statements, verify financial records and transactions, analyze cash flow, review budgets and forecasts, oversee audits, and develop paperwork for regulatory reporting. When we hire junior accountants, you will also be responsible for training new staff and monitoring their work for accuracy. Our ideal candidate has at least two years of professional accounting experience with a track record for providing accurate and efficient work.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Oversee accounts payable and receivable
  • Prepare financial statements and regulatory reporting documents
  • Analyze financial reports
  • Maintain account balances and bank statements
  • Assist with audits and taxes
  • Prepare financial reports for taxes, regulatory agencies, and stockholders
  • Manage general ledger and assist month-end and year-end close processes
  • Supervise accounting department, junior employees, and accounting assistants
  • Assist the accounting manager in preparing documents and interpreting complicated financial information for managers, executives, and C-Suite executives

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, business, or related field
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license required
  • 2+ years of experience as an accountant
  • Proficient with Mircosoft Office Suite and accounting software
  • Exceptional knowledge of finance, accounting, budgeting, cost accounting and cost control principles and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
  • Advanced knowledge of bookkeeping and accounting best practices, laws, standards, and state/national regulations
  • Excellent communication skills