A staff accountant usually has a large amount of responsibility, as he or she is frequently the accountant for all of the departments of an office building. The staff accountant's role is vital to the finances of a business, as there can be far-reaching financial problems without a competent accountant.
Staff accountants must be very proficient in their mathematical skills and organization. An error of just one digit in records can make a huge difference in the finances of a company. Staff accountants generally work typical office hours from Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They work in an office and may have either their own office or a cubicle. They generally work with typical office materials, including a pen and paper, calculator, computer, and telephone. Staff accountants generally work on their own, but sometimes they work on a team of accountants when the office is big enough. They generally report to an accounting or office manager. The staff accountant is the number cruncher for an office. Every operation of a business relies on them getting their numbers right. Requirements for becoming a staff accountant are a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related business degree. Depending on the office or the position needed to be filled, some accountants are hired at entry level out of college, while others must have acquired several years of experience.
While some staff accountants start this position right out of college, they still hold a high degree of responsibility. The whole office as well as the business in general rely on accounting being done properly. If not, decisions may be made based on money a company thinks it has when it may not, or vice versa. Jobs may even be lost if the numbers are not figured out correctly.
Staff Accountant Tasks
- Maintain records of assets, liabilities, profit and loss, tax liability, or other financial activities within an organization.
- Maintain general ledger as needed.
- Analyze financial data in order to prepare financial reports.
- Generate and interpret financial records and statements for management.