What Does a Senior Staff Accountant Do?

People who have the potential to become excellent accountants have the interest and skill to analyze financial records. For those who are ambitious, obtaining a high-level and well-paying position might be the ultimate career goal. One such position is that of senior staff accountant. With high earning potential and a good deal of professional experience and expertise, this accounting position is well worth the considerable amount of time and work it takes to move up the corporate ladder and obtain the job title.

Senior Staff Accountant Job Description

As the job title implies, a senior staff accountant is a high-level position. No one starts out as a senior staff accountant. To reach this high-level position, candidates must have years of professional work experience. Often, they begin in a position called staff accountant or junior staff accountant, and they must work their way up from there.

A staff accountant or junior staff accountant does all of the work that accountants in other positions do, but as an entry-level employee of an accounting firm or a business or organization. Staff accountants find employment in public accounting and corporate accounting as well as within the government, the healthcare industry and nonprofit organizations, according to The Huston Chronicle. Work may include analyzing financial statements to ensure accuracy, organizing records, preparing tax documents and creating reports. In an accounting firm, these entry-level employees have the opportunity for advancement as they exhibit skills such as project management and leadership abilities. In businesses and organizations, staff accountants may handle employee payroll and bookkeeping.

The Benefits of Experience

Senior staff accountants are among the highest paying accounting jobs, earning annual salaries as high as $65,000 to $95,000. In addition to the lucrative salary they earn, senior staff accountants often have the respect, and even the listening ear, of accounting firm managers and even owners. Senior staff accountants at businesses and organizations may have the opportunity to advise management on cost-cutting methods. For example, some senior staff accountants may be able to evaluate the efficiency of the company’s financial procedures, like accounting systems used. Senior staff accountants earned promotion to their high-level positions through demonstrating expertise in accounting, so their managers and the owners of the businesses or firms for which they work may seek their recommendations.

To reach the level of senior staff accountant, a professional must possess strong skills in accounting. Ambition alone won’t be enough to obtain the senior level position. Proficiency in several different facets of accounting is required. For aspiring accountants who truly enjoy working in the field, though, becoming a senior staff accountant is an excellent goal. Such a position would result in a rewarding salary, recognition for the accounting professional’s expertise and achievements and quite possibly influence on the direction of the company, government agency, nonprofit organization or accounting firm. Senior staff accountants can potentially move into even higher positions, such as accounting manager or partner of an accounting firm or chief financial officer (CFO).

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