A senior accountant is responsible for organizing financial reports, analyzing cost estimates, reviewing budget goals regularly, and making adjustments with the company's account statements as necessary. Senior accountants' duties also include managing account reconciliations, preparing tax documents, maintaining audit records and balance sheets, generating invoices, and providing recommendations to minimize possible financial loss. A senior accountant must have excellent analytical and critical-thinking skills and extensive knowledge of accounting and financial principles.

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Senior Accountant Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real senior accountant resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage complex pricing structure and maintain SalesForce CRM funnel for forecasting accuracy.
  • Prepare internal financial reports for treasury manage accounts include in external compliance reports.
  • Manage the review, enhancement, and creation of department policy and procedure documentation require for Sarbanes-Oxley auditing and compliance.
  • Compile and analyze financial information to prepare monthly accruals, payroll journal, general journal and bank reconciliations.
  • Research and develop policies around Medicaid and Medicare billings and prepare Medicaid cost reports.
  • Coordinate submissions of financial data from regional divisions and prepare the consolidated company financial statement using Hyperion program.
  • Perform SOX testing and receive final approval for system reports require for management, financial reporting and general ledger reconciliations.
  • Administer all grant-relate accounting functions including budgeting, payroll allocations, analysis and review accruals, and financial database system.
  • Perform assigned account reconciliations of asset and liability accounts associate with accounts receivable, variance analysis, and month-end close responsibilities.
  • Improve compliance with IRS rules for booking of assets.
  • Reconcile securities, cash, valuations, and earnings.
  • Obtain Medicare certification to better assist members with health insurance needs.
  • Prepare responses to IRS and state / local taxing authority audits; gather supporting documentation.
  • Export data from SQL database to create invoicing reports, expense forecasts, and ad-hoc projects.
  • Reconcile numerous discrepancies with an intercompany A/R account and are able to set up a new procedure going forward.

Senior Accountant Job Description

When it comes to understanding what a senior accountant does, you may be wondering, "should I become a senior accountant?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, senior accountants have a growth rate described as "as fast as average" at 6% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of senior accountant opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 90,700.

On average, the senior accountant annual salary is $71,967 per year, which translates to $34.6 an hour. Generally speaking, senior accountants earn anywhere from $55,000 to $92,000 a year, which means that the top-earning senior accountants make $38,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

Once you've become a senior accountant, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include an accounting supervisor, account leader, accountant/consultant, and accounting consultant.

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Senior Accountant Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 13% of Senior Accountants are proficient in Reconciliations, CPA, and GAAP. They’re also known for soft skills such as Analytical skills, Communication skills, and Detail oriented.

We break down the percentage of Senior Accountants that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Reconciliations, 13%

    Facilitated and completed monthly close procedures, preparation and review of journal entries, account reconciliations and preparation of financial statements.

  • CPA, 8%

    Switched to Intuit payroll service from CPA firm payroll service, which decrease 50% of expense spent on payroll preparation.

  • GAAP, 7%

    Reviewed various financial activities for reasonableness, accuracy, compliance to internal controls/policies and determination of correct US GAAP accounting treatment.

  • External Auditors, 4%

    Prepared audit schedules and provided internal and external auditors with information to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley and quarterly and annual audit requirements.

  • Internal Controls, 4%

    Implemented and documented effective internal controls for capital expenditure reconciliation to streamline operations and ensure compliance with guidelines such as Sarbanes-Oxley.

  • Payroll, 4%

    Ensured accurate payroll of the organization by verifying deductions from wages to provide accurate information for insurance audits.

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"reconciliations," "cpa," and "gaap" aren't the only skills we found senior accountants list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of senior accountant responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Analytical skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a senior accountant to have. According to a senior accountant resume, "accountants and auditors must be able to identify issues in documentation and suggest solutions" senior accountants are able to use analytical skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "helped analyze gross margin and manufacturing efficiency and assisted production planning and purchasing with erp system inventory issues. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling senior accountant duties is communication skills. According to a senior accountant resume, "accountants and auditors must be able to listen carefully to facts and concerns from clients, managers, and others." Here's an example of how senior accountants are able to utilize communication skills: "process weekly payroll for data communication division and submit daily reports of field personal to management. "
  • Senior accountants are also known for detail oriented, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a senior accountant resume: "accountants and auditors must pay attention to detail when compiling and examining documentation." We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "worked closely with erp 3rd party programmers for modifications to erp including detailing the general ledger for more detailed reporting. "
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "math skills" is important to completing senior accountant responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way senior accountants use this skill: "accountants and auditors must be able to analyze, compare, and interpret facts and figures, although complex math skills are not necessary." Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical senior accountant tasks: "reviewed all clearing account reconciliations, and maintain account kpi statistics. "
  • Another common skill for a senior accountant to be able to utilize is "organizational skills." Strong organizational skills are important for accountants and auditors, who often work with a range of financial documents for a variety of clients. A senior accountant demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "conducted financial analysis, reported findings, developed organizational-wide financial goals, and assisted in developing strategic plans. "
  • See the full list of senior accountant skills.

    Before becoming a senior accountant, 77.6% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 13.9% senior accountants went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be impossible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most senior accountants have a college degree. But about one out of every nine senior accountants didn't attend college at all.

    The senior accountants who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied accounting and business, while a small population of senior accountants studied finance and economics.

    Once you're ready to become a senior accountant, you should explore the companies that typically hire senior accountants. According to senior accountant resumes that we searched through, senior accountants are hired the most by Robert Half, Northpoint, and Automation Anywhere. Currently, Robert Half has 985 senior accountant job openings, while there are 154 at Northpoint and 103 at Automation Anywhere.

    Since salary is important to some senior accountants, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at Google, PayPal, and Apple. If you were to take a closer look at Google, you'd find that the average senior accountant salary is $109,092. Then at PayPal, senior accountants receive an average salary of $106,996, while the salary at Apple is $105,839.

    View more details on senior accountant salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire senior accountants from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include Deloitte, Ernst & Young, and Robert Half.

    For the most part, senior accountants make their living in the professional and finance industries. Senior accountants tend to make the most in the finance industry with an average salary of $74,982. The senior accountant annual salary in the technology and manufacturing industries generally make $72,503 and $72,151 respectively. Additionally, senior accountants who work in the finance industry make 14.7% more than senior accountants in the government Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious senior accountants are:

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    What Accounting Supervisors Do

    Account supervisors are in charge of the accounting and financial operations within an organization's accounting department. They supervise the account team and provide feedback about their performance and recommend improvements when necessary. It is their responsibility to review the company's financial statements for accuracy. They even reconcile the enterprise's general ledger accounts and oversee the communications and marketing plans of the clients. Also, they maintain profitable and long-term customer relationships to keep the trust of the clients.

    We looked at the average senior accountant annual salary and compared it with the average of an accounting supervisor. Generally speaking, accounting supervisors receive $3,044 lower pay than senior accountants per year.

    Even though senior accountants and accounting supervisors have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require reconciliations, cpa, and gaap in the day-to-day roles.

    These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A senior accountant responsibility is more likely to require skills like "payroll," "strong time management," "excellent organizational," and "work ethic." Whereas a accounting supervisor requires skills like "account reconciliations," "customer service," "payroll taxes," and "direct reports." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

    Accounting supervisors really shine in the finance industry with an average salary of $86,930. Whereas senior accountants tend to make the most money in the finance industry with an average salary of $74,982.

    On average, accounting supervisors reach similar levels of education than senior accountants. Accounting supervisors are 3.0% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.1% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of an Account Leader?

    Account leaders are assigned to work on specific client accounts and assist these clients with their needs. They should treat their clients as partners. This would help them forge a better working relationship with clients. Account leaders should have high business acumen and a strong grasp of the current industry landscape. They should be familiar with the company's products and services and which product or service best fits the clients' needs. Account leaders should also know how to retain clients and maintain the client base. They may do this by regularly checking up on clients, making clients feel valued, and mitigating any challenges that may arise.

    The next role we're going to look at is the account leader profession. Typically, this position earns a higher pay. In fact, they earn a $36,876 higher salary than senior accountants per year.

    A similarity between the two careers of senior accountants and account leaders are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "reconciliations," "cpa," and "gaap. "

    But both careers also use different skills, according to real senior accountant resumes. While senior accountant responsibilities can utilize skills like "erp," "strong time management," "cash flow," and "excellent organizational," some account leaders use skills like "account management," "customer service," "client facing," and "business development."

    It's been discovered that account leaders earn higher salaries compared to senior accountants, but we wanted to find out where account leaders earned the most pay. The answer? The professional industry. The average salary in the industry is $124,638. Additionally, senior accountants earn the highest paychecks in the finance with an average salary of $74,982.

    In general, account leaders study at similar levels of education than senior accountants. They're 2.2% less likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 0.1% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Technology Do You Think Will Become More Important And Prevalent For Senior Accountants In The Next 3-5 Years?

    Gene Kovacs Ph.D.

    Visiting Professor of Accounting Department, Bryant University

    Any technology that helps leverage critical thinking. Technology that assists data analytics will become increasingly important in the next few years, but critical thinking should guide analyses to maximize value-added to clients and internal teams.

    How an Accountant/Consultant Compares

    Accountants/consultants perform accounting tasks for organizations or companies. The accountants improve accounting practices and prepare financial statements at the end of every year. They analyze financial data and offer advice on regulatory compliance issues to the finance department. It is their job to make sure that the online system is secure. Most of the day, they organize invoices, prepare statements, and supervising systems. They should be equipped with analytical skills, industry knowledge, critical thinking, and interpersonal communication.

    The third profession we take a look at is accountant/consultant. On an average scale, these workers bring in lower salaries than senior accountants. In fact, they make a $7,669 lower salary per year.

    By looking over several senior accountants and accountant/consultants resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "reconciliations," "cpa," and "gaap." But beyond that the careers look very different.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from senior accountant resumes include skills like "external auditors," "sox," "accruals," and "erp," whereas an accountant/consultant might be skilled in "account management," "product knowledge," "leveraged," and "customer service. "

    Additionally, accountant/consultants earn a higher salary in the finance industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $68,479. Additionally, senior accountants earn an average salary of $74,982 in the finance industry.

    Accountant/consultants typically study at similar levels compared with senior accountants. For example, they're 3.0% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.2% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of an Accounting Consultant

    An Accounting Consultant is a person tasked to assist the accounting department of a company. The consultant advises businesses concerning the accounting system used by the organization. It is also through the accounting consultant's help that improvements in the accounting process are proposed, the determination of problematic areas in the workflow, possible issues in the future, and everything that needs upgrading. The accounting consultant also helps businesses conform to legal policies set about by State and Federal legislation.

    The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than senior accountants. On average, accounting consultants earn a difference of $9,137 lower per year.

    While their salaries may vary, senior accountants and accounting consultants both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "reconciliations," "cpa," and "gaap. "

    Each job requires different skills like "payroll," "strong analytical," "strong time management," and "cash flow," which might show up on a senior accountant resume. Whereas accounting consultant might include skills like "shared services," "payroll processing," "gap analysis," and "internal audit."

    Accounting consultants earn a higher salary in the manufacturing industry with an average of $68,965. Whereas, senior accountants earn the highest salary in the finance industry.

    In general, accounting consultants reach similar levels of education when compared to senior accountants resumes. Accounting consultants are 1.8% more likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.0% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.