Who is the Senior Accountant?
A Senior Accountant is a person who is responsible for reporting of costs, expenditure, profitability, margins, etc and performs the lead accounting role in the organization. Their duties are more than a junior accountant like gathering of data, preparation of journal entries, populating balance sheet and less than the administrative person like decision making, new product launch, changes in the management.
Roles and Responsibilities
The senior accountant plays a very critical role in the financial department of the company with a sound knowledge of accounting and finance. The most important role is to keep the organization financially organized. He is responsible to keep the finance and accounts department of the company in a well-sorted manner so that there should be a better financial picture of the company.
Below are some of key roles and responsibilities:
- Maintenance of the proper books of accounts and the records of the company like balance sheetBalance SheetA balance sheet is one of the financial statements of a company that presents the shareholders' equity, liabilities, and assets of the company at a specific point in time. It is based on the accounting equation that states that the sum of the total liabilities and the owner's capital equals the total assets of the company., profit and loss account, tax liability and maintenance of all other financial activities of the organization.
- Preparation of budgets and investigation of errors along with variance analysisVariance AnalysisVariance analysis is the process of identifying and analyzing the difference between the standard numbers that a company expects to accomplish and the actual numbers that they achieve, in order to help the firm analyze positive or negative consequences. and reasoning of the same.
- Maintenance of the general ledgersGeneral LedgersA general ledger is a book of accounts that records the everyday business transactions in separate ledger accounts. The entries made in a ledger can be verified by getting a NIL balance on summing up all the ledger account amounts in the trial balance. as required by the organization
- Generate and analyze financial records and data to the organization
- Interpret the financial records and suggests if any error is occurring there and should provide ways of improvement of the same.
Skills and Qualifications
- Senior Accountant requires the sound knowledge of mathematics along with sound accounting knowledge. He should be capable to understand any missing data or incorrect data in the records.
- Generally, the person with master’s degree is eligible to become the senior accountant, however, the person who has a good number of experience in the field of finance and posses only bachelors degree can also become the senior accountant on the basis of a number of years of experience.
- It is expected from the senior accountant to possess the leadership qualities in order to guide the junior team members along with the sound knowledge of finance and accounting. The reporting of the senior accountant is generally with the executive of the company or the Vice President or general manager of the company.
- Senior Accountants are expected to possess good practical as well as the theoretical knowledge of various accounting and financial software.
Job Description of Senior Accountant
- Verification, allocation posting and reconciliationReconciliationReconciliation is the process of comparing account balances to identify any financial inconsistencies, discrepancies, omissions, or even fraud. At the end of any accounting period, reconciliation involves matching balances and ensuring that debits (credits) from one account for one transaction is same as the credit (debits) to another account for the same transaction. of the accounts payableAccounts PayableAccounts payable is the amount due by a business to its suppliers or vendors for the purchase of products or services. It is categorized as current liabilities on the balance sheet and must be satisfied within an accounting period. and accounts receivableAccounts ReceivableAccounts receivables refer to the amount due on the customers for the credit sales of the products or services made by the company to them. It appears as a current asset in the corporate balance sheet..
- Production of error-free accounting records and presentation of their results
- Analysis of financial data for the purpose of preparation of financial records and forecasting of budgets.
- Maintenance of general ledgers as required by the organization.
- Interpretation of the financial records as per the requirement and purpose of the management.
- Analysis of financial information and summarization of financial status.
- Spotting of errors and suggestions on ways on the improvement of efficiency and spending.
- Should be able to provide technical support and advice on Management accounting.
- Should be able to review and suggest modifications to the existing accounting systemAccounting SystemAccounting systems are used by organizations to record financial information such as income, expenses, and other accounting activities. They serve as a key tool for monitoring and tracking the company's performance and ensuring the smooth operation of the firm. and the procedures already in place for the improvement of the financial sector of the company.
- Should be able to manage the accounting assistants and the bookkeepers.
- Should be able to participate in the budget preparation and the forecasting of the future income and expenditure and should be able to advise for the improvement of the same.
- Should be able to undergo variance analysis of the financial data of the company and should provide reasoning and suggestions for the same.
Senior Accountant’s Salary
As per the payscale, the average salary of a senior accountant is $68,556. However, salary may differ from company to company depending upon the skills, qualifications and the experience. Many organizations provide additional benefits also along with the salary to senior accountant. Those additional benefits may be fixed or they are linked to performance like performance bonus, incentives, overtime allowance, etc.
This has been a guide to senior accountant and their roles and responsibilities. Here we also discuss their job description, skills and salary. You may learn more about financing from the following articles –