The chief Accountant is in-charge of all accounting activities of both financial and management accounting. They are responsible for preparing financial and performance reports, assisting departments with annual budgets and reviews, internal control and tax studies.
As part of the management team, the chief accountant handles his/her team in resolving conflicts, delegating and organizing tasks, as well as motivating and leading teams during project developments. A chief accountant also ensures that the company abides with the set of laws implemented by the state related to taxes and handing financial transactions. Other tasks of chief accountants include monitoring financial position, financial performance and cash flows of the company; revising any discrepancies of reports; and checking the company’s assets and liabilities that could affect its equity in the future.
Education and Training Requirements
To become a chief accountant, one should obtain a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, economics, finance or a similar field and possess several years of accounting with managerial experience. Some employers would require candidates to possess a master’s degree in accounting. To be able to practice as an accountant, one should pass accounting certification and renew this certification every few years to continue with his/her practice.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements
A chief accountant must be able to meet the demands of an ever-changing business environment. One must have a critical mind in identifying and defining clearly the problem, evaluating different ideas or ways of solving the problem from the data gathered, and making a choice on which one is the best among the different ideas evaluated. Chief accounts should also have extensive knowledge in fast-paced technologies and accounting programs and possess excellent mathematical skills, strong written and verbal communication skills, time management and organizational skills, problem-solving and analytical skills, as well as leadership and administrative skills.
Chief accountants work in a fully equipped, comfortable office. They work 8 hours per day or 40-hour week, but usually work longer hours particularly during tax season. Chief accountants usually travel to visit clients locally and internationally. If a chief accountant has his/her own firm, these self-employed individuals may work longer than the standard hours.
A chief accountant has an annual income of $88,000. This can still vary greatly to the company, location, industry, experience and benefits. Those who own their accounting firms are likely to earn bigger salaries with comprehensive benefits.