Senior staff accountants are responsible for overseeing all aspects of a company’s accounting. Some specialization may occur in larger organizations, but senior staff accountants generally verify payroll information, review billing details on a monthly basis, prepare and post journal entries, and maintain the balance sheet. In the short term, they track cash and credit payments and rectify banking information on a daily basis. In some firms, senior staff accountants may also track sales tax or other specialized tax information. Longer-term projects include analyzing yearly performance data for presentation to management, which involves comparing prior projections to actual performance, adjusting and creating a new forecast, and investigating any anomalies in the accounting data. Senior staff accountants also assist with auditing as needed.
Senior staff accountants generally work in an office environment during regular business hours, with some overtime required as reporting deadlines approach. A typical day for senior staff accountants involves analyzing and reviewing vast quantities of accounting data using Excel and other accounting tools, preparing reports for other accountants and financial officers, and maintaining accurate accounting records.
Senior staff accountants are required to hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, or a related field. To reach the senior level, these accountants must have several years’ experience in the accounting field, with as many as seven years required by larger firms. A number of software proficiencies are required for senior staff accountants, including Microsoft Excel, Word, and Access. In addition to these requirements, many firms use specialized accounting software and prefer candidates with experience using this software.
Senior Staff Accountant Tasks
- Assist with annual and quarterly budgets, forecasts, and reports, including profits/losses by business unit.
- Track data and compile internal reports on assets, liabilities, and expenses.
- Lead month end reporting and analysis of fixed costs and balance sheet analysis.
- Create and file tax documents, and implement processes to ensure financial integrity.