Senior Accountant Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Senior Accountant, or Chief Accountant, is responsible for ensuring that accounts and financial records meet established standards and criteria. Their duties include analyzing financial documents, recording and verifying transactions, as well as producing payroll. 

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Senior Accountant duties and responsibilities

Successful Senior Accountants are analytical and procedural in their day-to-day activities. They are dependable, and the company trusts their ability to prepare and analyze all financial documents. Duties and responsibilities of a Senior Accountant may include:

  • Using the highest standards and practices to ensure financial documents comply with the law
  • Collecting and verifying financial information
  • Maintaining a general ledger by inputting daily financial transactions
  • Directing other employees and Junior Accountants
  • Putting together payroll for their company or clients
  • Resolving financial problems, performing audits, and analyzing profit loss
  • Preparing financial statements, producing accounting reports, and checking them for accuracy
  • Increasing company revenues and boosting profits
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Senior Accountant Job Description Examples:


Example 1

*Senior Accountant - **Regional Recycling* Join our *Regional Recycling* team and help us contribute to making our environment a cleaner, better place. We are currently accepting applications for a *Senior Accountant* to join our *Surrey Office*. Working closely with the Accounting Manager, the Sr. Accountant takes a key, hands-on role to ensure accuracy and integrity in processing and reporting a wide-range of accounting functions for Regional Recycling’s inventory, inter-company transactions, general operations and overall financial statements. *Core Responsibilities: * · Full accounting functions including journal entry preparation and review, account analysis, monthly financial reporting, year end transactions and closings · Conduct audit file preparation and prepare consolidated financial statements · Prepare and present month-end results and variance analysis to management · Analysis, application and understanding of ASPE requirements · Preparation and documentation for internal, external and regulatory audits · Assist with budget preparation and forecasts as required · Work with managers to provide guidance, explain processes, and resolve accounting matters · Review and update documents and policies and identify and develop process improvements · Hire, train, develop and manage accounting staff · Manage office operations including mail, technology, interaction with landlord, etc. · Act as back-up to Accounting Manager as required · Collaborate with other teams and departments to meet organizational needs * · A business degree in accounting or finance · A CPA designation or within 1 year of attaining · 5+ years’ related accounting experience · Strong understanding of inventory analysis and reconciliation, and the ability to provide information and feedback to managers · MS Office skills, strong Excel skills and technical savvy working with multiple platforms, exports, etc. · Ability to multi-task, meet tight timelines and adapt to shifting priorities · Excellent written and verbal communication skills · Polished interpersonal skills and the ability to interact with individuals at all levels · Supervisory skills and the ability to mentor and develop staff · Known for thinking out of the box and making recommendations for process improvements Qualified applicants are invited to submit a resume and cover letter, indicating salary expectations *by December 17, [phone number]*. We thank all those interested however, only those shortlisted will be contacted. Reference ID: Sr. Accountant Expected start date: [phone number]12-01 Job Types: Full-time, Permanent Benefits: * Casual dress * Dental care * Extended health care * Life insurance * Vision care Schedule: * 8 hour shift * Monday to Friday COVID-19 considerations: Due to the smaller office space, employees working in our Surrey office are required to be double vaccinated against COVID-19 and wear masks when required. Work remotely: * No

Example 2

A fast growing accounting firm located at Richmond Hill Ontario is looking for a bilingual CPA or CPA student (Mandarin/English) to join our firm. Our firm provides accounting, tax, assurance and related services to corporations and individuals. Our client base is diverse from various industries across GTA and surrounding areas. *Overview of Position: * The primary will include: -Working under partners -Planning and execution of Audit and Review engagements. -Experience in the preparation of Notice to Readers and corporation T2 tax returns; -Managing multiple project assignments -Strong technical knowledge in ASPE and Canadian auditing standards; *Requirements of Position: * -Accounting degree required -2+ years' experience at a Canadian public accounting firm -Development of audit and review engagement schedule for all audit and review files. Prepare audit/review plan for each file, responsible for completing complex engagements -Proficiency in Caseware, QuickBooks and tax software (Profile or Taxprep) -Great written and verbal communication skills -Excellent attention to detail with accuracy -Quick learner and able to adapt to changes well *Application Information: * Salary will be based on the qualifications and experience at favorable market rates. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. Job Types: Full-time, Permanent Job Types: Full-time, Permanent Salary: per year Schedule: * Monday to Friday Experience: * accounting: 1 year (preferred) Work remotely: * Temporarily due to COVID-19

What does a Senior Accountant do?

A Senior Accountant ensures the financial accounts of an organization meet the highest standards of integrity. They resolve financial discrepancies and locate areas of revenue loss within a company, while also identifying new opportunities for growth. 

This individual is typically the head of the finance department and covers all aspects of financial activity. Top executives rely heavily on the advice and expertise of their Senior Accountant in order to forecast trends in the economy and how best to navigate them. People with this job title may train articling students and provide guidance to Junior Accountants. 

Senior Accountant skills and qualifications

Senior Accountants are knowledgeable about tax laws and are able to train and manage staff. Some of their top skills include:

  • Strong understanding of mathematics
  • Excellent time management and ability to meet constant deadlines
  • Knowledgeable in financial computer software
  • Good delegation skills
  • Accounting knowledge
  • Detail orientation
  • Proficiency in Excel
  • Accreditation through CPA Canada

Senior Accountant experience requirements

In many cases, Senior Accountants should have three years’ or more experience to be considered for a position. Depending on the province, Senior Accountants are expected to have a minimum of two years to 30 months of on-the-job training before they may practice. 

Prospective Senior Accountants may also have had internships and volunteer opportunities. They may have done stints with non-profit organizations, such as charities, as a volunteer to help sort out the organization’s finances. 

Senior Accountant education and training requirements

Basic educational requirements for a Senior Accountant generally include a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, business administration, economics, or a related field.

Top-level Accountants should hold a CPA designation which stands for Chartered Professional Accountant. CPA certification varies between provinces, but must be obtained from a regulatory authority. Practicing Accountants must be registered with the appropriate provincial Association.

The ideal candidate stays abreast of current trends and technology developments through workshops, online courses, and enrolling in continuing education every few years. They also stay current by mentoring interns and teaching Junior Accountants. 

Senior Accountant salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average annual salary for a Senior Accountant is $66,836 per year.  Salary can be dependent on location, experience, industry and employer.

Job description samples for similar positions

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Senior Accountant job description FAQs

What is the difference between a Senior Accountant and a Staff Accountant?

The difference between a Senior Accountant and a Staff Accountant is the level of experience. With more education, experience, and certifications, a Staff Accountant can become a Senior Accountant.

Typically, when there are a number of Accountants working within a company, these titles distinguish their levels of experience and responsibility. Therefore, while they may have some overlap in their duties, Senior Accountants help their company’s management team and may or may not have supervisory responsibilities. 

It’s also worth noting that Staff Accountants often have their bachelor’s degrees, but they don’t necessarily have to be CPAs. In comparison, Senior Accountants almost always have a bachelor’s or master’s degree and may even have their CPA or be a CPA candidate.

What should you look for in a Senior Accountant resume?

A Senior Accountant’s resume demonstrates a commitment to the ethical and professional handling of financial information. The ideal resume highlights the candidate’s hard skills such as proficiency in accounting software and data analysis, as well as mathematical expertise, with 3-5 years of experience in the field performing such tasks as tax preparation, maintaining general ledger accounts, and monitoring budgets. The resume should showcase responsibilities that reflect the candidate’s ability to think critically, solve difficult problems, and uphold the highest standards of accounting practices.  

Who does a Senior Accountant report to?

A Senior Accountant usually maintains a high position within the company and therefore will often report to the employer or business owner directly. The employer is often interacting with the Senior Accountant, and having meetings with them. 

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