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Staff Accountant Job Description: Everything You Need to Know

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staff accountant job description

No matter how long you’ve been in accounting, you might find yourself wanting to explore fresh and exciting roles in your field. Among the many roles in accounting, you’ve probably come across billing analysts, accounts payable clerks, and general accountants. Yet, there’s another category that’s worth exploring, and that is staff accountants.

If you want to learn more about staff accountants, then we have just the list for everything you need to know about the role. Learn about staff accountant duties, responsibilities, qualifications, soft and hard skills, and more here.

What is a Staff Accountant?

A staff accountant is a specialist who works either in accounting firms or in a company’s accounting department. Typically entry-level or mid-level accountants, they are tasked to reconcile accounts, manage transactional data in the general ledger, and generally focus on accrual accounting instead of cash basis accounting.

Staff accountants generally concentrate on accrual accounting since most of them work for large, publicly traded companies, while other types of accountants who work for smaller businesses use cash basis accounting.

Know the Difference: General Accountant vs Staff Accountant

Especially for accounting firms that are scaling up, accountants are an essential addition to the team. However, not all of them are created equally. Compared to other types of accountants, staff accountants have specific duties and responsibilities that aren’t covered by other accounting roles.

To have a better understanding of the role, let’s briefly compare staff accountants with general accountants.  

General accountants deal with a broader range of accounting tasks, while staff accountants have more specific roles. General accountants are typically in charge of the company’s overall financial health – analyzing financial data, filing taxes, and preparing financial statements. Meanwhile, staff accountants are generally in charge of managing payroll, accounts payable (AP), and accounts receivable (AR).

Staff Accountant vs Billing Analyst vs Accounts Payable Clerk

Some common positions in accounting include the billing analyst role, the accounts payable clerk, and the staff accountant role. Accounts payable clerks mainly deal with the validation, categorization, and recording of accounts payable data. They also prepare bank deposits, invoices, and bills.

Meanwhile, billing analysts are in charge of the issuance and distribution of invoices, handling client concerns, and updating the accounts receivable. Staff accountants, on the other hand, handle period-end adjustments or the recording of unrecognized transactions for a certain period. To understand this more, below are the responsibilities of staff accountants.

Staff Accountant Responsibilities

As mentioned, the duties and responsibilities of staff accountants are more role-specific compared to other types of accountants. Below are the duties and responsibilities that most firms will require their staff accountants to fulfill:

  • Managing payroll, accounts payable (AP), and accounts receivable (AR)
  • Posting transactions and categorizing records in the general ledger
  • Reconciling accounts and bank statements
  • Preparing documents for audits
  • Performing monthly bank settlements
  • Conducting billing processes for revenue or tax
  • Examining tax policies and handling tax payments and returns
 

Meanwhile, there are also the general responsibilities of staff accountants. It’s always good to conduct a comprehensive redundancy review to prevent overlaps with the duties and responsibilities of other accountant types.

  • Managing financial records, accounts, and reports
  • Creating expense reports and analyzing budgets
  • Discussing issues on expenses, assets, and liabilities with clients
  • Analyzing transactions with internal and external stakeholders
  • Conducting month-end and year-end closures
  • Advising clients on financial issues via email or phone
  • Ensuring compliance with rules and regulations
  • Reporting to the accounting manager to improve financial processes

Staff Accountant Qualifications

To be a staff accountant, you would need to satisfy a few requirements. Below are the staff accountant qualifications that your target accounting firm will most likely look for:

  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting or any related field; master’s degree is a plus
  • Expertise in accrual accounting
  • Knowledge of accounting functions and other internal controls such as payroll, accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR)
  • Previous experience in a small to medium scale company or accounting firm
  • Track record of adherence to ethical financial practices, especially client confidentiality
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Staff Accountant Job Description Templates

If you need templates for staff accountant job descriptions, we’ve got you covered. Here’s an example of a staff accountant job description template for accounting firms:

Position Overview:

We are looking for a Staff Accountant that specializes in accrual accounting. The Staff Accountant will manage the general ledger and take charge of payroll, accounts payable, and accounts receivable.

The Staff Accountant is also responsible for the preparation of tax documents, conducting billing processes, and keeping track of financial accounts, records, and reports, and making sure that the expense files are updated.

Role Qualifications:

  • Graduate of Accounting or any related course
  • Experience in Accounting (preferably North American Accounting)
  • Similar experience as a Staff Accountant or other relevant accounting roles
  • Proficiency in accounting software (Quickbooks, Xero)
  • Strong computer skills including MS Office products – Teams, Outlook, and Excel
  • Sound understanding of accounting principles (GAAP and IFRS)
  • Multi-tasking skills
  • Time management and organizational skills
  • Accuracy and attention to details
 

Job Type: Full Time

Schedule: Monday to Friday, 8 AM to 5PM

Salary: $32 per hour

Meanwhile, here’s an example of a staff accountant job description template for a non-accounting firm:

[REAL ESTATE] [HIRING] [STAFF ACCOUNTANT] [FULL TIME] 

Our firm is growing and we’re looking to expand our Finance and Accounting department. We’re looking for a Staff Accountant to join our team. This role will give you the opportunity to develop your accounting skills and work with a dynamic team in the heart of the city.

Job Type: Full-time or Contract

Pay: $29.00 – $37.00 per hour

Schedule: Monday to Friday

Supplemental Pay: Bonus pay

Educational Attainment: Bachelor’s or higher (preferably in Accounting, Finance, or other related fields)

Language: English

Qualifications:

  • 2 to 3 years of accounting experience in the real estate industry
  • Specialization in accrual accounting
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Excel (Pivot tables and VLOOKUP)
  • Proficient in accounting software like Xero, QuickBooks, and Karbon
  • Good understanding of accounting principles
  • Excellent analytical and critical thinking 
  • Excellent in time management
  • Detail oriented and organized
  • Team player who can work under pressure
  • Can work in a fast-paced environment

Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Managing the GL (recording and posting on the ledger)
  • Reconciling bank statements
  • Monitoring company expenses
  • Practicing cost-saving habits and rules
  • Assisting with accruals and payroll entries 
  • Preparing forecasts and financial projections 
  • Helping with financial statement preparation
  • Assisting with quarterly sales tax returns
  • Identifying trends and seizing opportunities to improve team performance
  • Assisting in the overall financial management of the company

Note that staff accountant job descriptions vary from firm to firm, but there will always be consistent requirements like specialization in accrual accounting, management of the general ledger, and handling payroll, accounts payable, and accounts receivable.

Access Elite Offshore Staff Accountants with TOA Global

TOA Global is your partner when it comes to hiring top-quality offshore talent. If you’re looking for a competitive global team to help with specified roles like managing payroll or maintaining general ledger accounts, TOA Global’s roster of seasoned staff accountants can do just that – and then some.

By hiring our offshore staff accountants, your firm can benefit from significantly reduced costs and increased capacity – without sacrificing work quality. Our team of professionals are trained and skilled in staff accountant duties like estimating accruals, reconciling bank accounts, and troubleshooting issues regarding AP, AR, and claims cycles.

With a strong and diligent work ethic to boot, our staff accountants will free up your plate from role-specific tasks and allow you to focus on growing your firm. Start offshoring your staff accountants with TOA Global by booking a free, no-obligation strategy call with us today.