General Accountant Salary
Job Description for General Accountant
General accountants gather and analyze financial records and documentation for a variety of purposes, including writing financial reports, compiling profit statements, filling out tax returns, and making budgets. General accountants are typically either self-employed or work for accounting firms with which businesses contract.Read More...
General accountants who have ongoing relationships with companies and individuals typically provide a range of services. At the close of every month, general accountants make sure that their clients’ financial documentation for the preceding month are complete. They then produce a variety of documentation, including balance sheets, profit statements, cash-flow statements, and summaries of equity. During tax season, they also typically prepare business and personal income tax returns and file them. General accountants also provide specialized, ad hoc services, such as general financial audits and predictive financial analyses.
General accountants typically work full time during regular business hours in an office environment. However, accountants often put in overtime as budgets or other statements are due, and during tax season. Most general accountants work in accounting firms, which may either be large or small. General accountants who work for themselves generally hold certified public accountant (CPA) certification. A certain number of general accountants work as staff accountants within larger non-accounting businesses. However, large companies often populate their accounting departments with specialized accountants, rather than general accountants.
General accountants must have a strong knowledge of accounting practices and ethical standards. Good communication skills are also necessary, as general accountants must be able to discuss financial matters with clients and build lasting relationships. The ability to work under stress to meet a deadline is also needed. General accountants usually hold bachelor’s degrees in accounting or finance. Larger firms might require postgraduate education in accounting or that accountants be CPAs.
General Accountant Tasks
- Prepare and post entries to the general ledger and manage the monthly close process.
- Prepare and implement audit schedules and process re-engineering to reduce financial errors.
- Reconcile balance sheets, accounts, and invoices.
- Prepare monthly, quarterly, and ad hoc reports with variance explanations.
Common Career Paths for General Accountant
General Accountants' salaries may rise greatly for those who assume a higher-end position such as a Financial Controller. The average Financial Controller brings home $77K per year. General Accountants most often move into positions as Senior Accountants or Financial Analysts; those groups report median salaries that are $11K higher and $6K higher, respectively.
Staff Accountant Job Listings
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Popular Skills for General Accountant
Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in ADP Payroll System, Financial Analysis, Financial Reporting, and General Ledger Accounting are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 8 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Payroll Administration, Microsoft Dynamics GP, and Accounting. Most people who know Accounts Payable also know Accounts Receivable and Financial Reporting. Most people experienced in Microsoft Excel also know Financial Reporting and Accounts Receivable.
Pay by Experience Level for General Accountant
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $47K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $54K on average — a distinctly larger sum. For General Accountants, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $50K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make about the same as folks in the 10-to-20 year range.