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How to write an accounting manager job description

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An accounting manager keeps your company’s financial information accurate and compliant with the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

A well-written job description of an accounting manager ensures you find the right candidate to keep your finances organized and meet reporting deadlines.

Finding the ideal candidate can be tricky, though, because they require a special mix of soft and hard skills like team building, financial proficiency, decision-making prowess, and accounting knowledge.

In this article, we look at accounting manager duties and responsibilities and how you can craft a great accounting manager job description to attract top accounting professionals.

What is an accounting manager?

Accounting managers oversee and manage the accounting department, implement financial best practices, and deliver timely financial reports and statements. Accounting manager duties include auditing budgets, creating reports, and ensuring that their accounting team operates with correct financial procedures.

So, what does an accounting manager do daily?

They analyze and write practices that enable the company to follow legal requirements. They also recommend improvements to the company’s processes to enhance financial efficiency.

To ensure companies fulfill their obligations, these managers prepare accounts according to accounting regulations and within established deadlines. They also analyze, audit, track, record, and implement systems for financial reporting in addition to managing their direct reports.

Their work is extremely important for the company’s ability to manage its annual budget and comply with accounting standards and regulations.

Key skills to look for in a finance and accounting manager

To write a fantastic accounting manager job description, you should understand a few key skills to look for.

Accounting manager hard skills

Robert Half's research shows that accounting managers are in the top 10% of the most in-demand finance and accounting professionals in the US. 

Hard skills for this position include keeping up with regulatory change, which is a major issue according to 51% of accounting professionals

To come out ahead of the competition, it’s critical to hire managers with the right hard skills. These skills also form the backbone of a compelling management accounting manager job description.

Hard skills

Description

Advanced accounting expertise 

Candidates should have an in-depth understanding of accounting functions like financial reporting, budgeting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and auditing

Regulatory compliance

Would-be accounting managers should have a mastery of accounting standards and regulations like GAAP for verifying compliance and accuracy in accounting procedures

Strategic financial planning

Applicants should be able to show their risk management and resource allocation skills and use analytical thinking to interpret data and predict economic trends

Advanced accounting software proficiency

Accounting manager job seekers should be proficient in accounting software, ERP systems, and data analytics tools and automation to facilitate financial management

Accounting manager soft skills

According to a recent survey, 97% of employers recognize soft skills as important or more important than hard skills.

These soft skills can make your accounting manager’s duties easier overall and more impactful in your organization.

Soft skills

Description

Leadership and team building

Candidates for an accounting manager role should be able to mentor and develop staff, use delegation as needed, and manage team dynamics to set goals, provide feedback, and promote continuous development

Communication

Applicants should have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, enabling them to build relationships, negotiate with vendors, and collaborate across departments

Time management skills

Accounting managers should be able to prioritize tasks and keep a high level of organization to lead their team and make time for their own duties

Attention to detail and problem solving

Accounting professionals must be highly detail-oriented and possess good problem-solving skills to to conduct accurate financial analysis, identify variances, and make insightful forecasting

Explore and assess accounting manager soft skills with a free forever account.

How to write an effective accounting manager job description

To hire the best candidate, you need a job description that clearly states your accounting duties and responsibilities.

Let’s look at some tips to make your accounting manager job specification stand out.

Clearly describe the role and identify core responsibilities in your accounting manager job description and duties

Your accounting manager has a broad range of responsibilities, from overseeing the work of an entire department to broad financial initiatives like investment planning. 

Describe the role clearly, including how many staff your accounting manager is responsible for and the departments they are expected to help with things like goal setting, strategy creation, and decision making.

They also need to understand the importance of expanding the technology literacy of their subordinates – 57% of financial businesses find it the leading skill accountants need. This number is only likely to grow in the future as more businesses expand their use of technology.

Emphasize your company culture

Because accounting managers supervise the work of the accounting department, alignment with your culture is a must. They need to lead from the top and act as role models for their direct reports.

Prioritize the aspects of your culture you want your new accounting manager to nurture, including ethical standards, inclusion, continuous learning and development, and work-life balance.

Discuss compensation and benefits

You should always be upfront about compensation and benefits. Tell your candidates about your accounting manager salary range, benefits, and bonus structure. 

Bear in mind that the median salary for an accounting manager is $122,929 as of 2024. This position commands higher salaries than most accounting positions, but it’s well worth it to steer your company toward financial efficiency and compliance.

Candidates appreciate clarity in all aspects of the hiring process, including salaries and benefits, so being upfront in this aspect gives you an edge in securing top accounting talent.

Accounting manager job description template

To build your job description, you need a template that clearly shows the skills, qualifications, day-to-day responsibilities, and any years of experience accounting managers need

Below, we’re looking at a standard accounting manager job description template.

Company introduction

Introduce your company. Share its name, industry, vision, and mission, and describe your products or services. Also, mention any accounting achievements, milestones, and other information relevant to the candidates.

Benefits of working with [Your Company]

Outline your benefits package, including health benefits, training and development opportunities, retirement plans, and unlimited paid time off. Include specific perks you offer, like a flexible time-off policy or gym memberships. 

Don’t forget to include any benefits that may be particularly important to accounting managers, such as professional memberships.

Accounting manager job brief

[Company name]

Job Title: [Finance and accounting manager]

Reports to: [For example, chief financial officer or controller]

Position Type: [Full-time, part-time, or contract]

Location: [On-site, remote, or hybrid]

[Compensation and benefits information]

Accounting manager responsibilities and duties

  • Check financial statements for compliance with corporate and country laws and requirements

  • Provide the company’s external auditors with accounting and financial reports and data

  • Verify that the company’s financial operations adhere to GAAP

  • Prepare and submit corporate tax reports to revenue authorities

  • Examine financial accounts to look for fraud or mistakes in expenditures

  • Maintain and analyze general ledger entries

  • Keep thorough and accurate financial records

  • Participate in reconciliations and audits as necessary

  • Keep abreast of recent financial industry trends and developments

  • Recruit, educate, and inspire team members in the accounting department

  • Assess, create, and enhance departmental controls, systems, and practices to improve accuracy and productivity

  • Ensure proper and timely completion of month-end and year-end reports

Accounting manager qualifications and skills

A successful candidate has the following skills and accounting experience:

Required skills and experience

  • An understanding of US GAAP, as well as other accounting concepts, procedures, standards, rules, and regulations

  • Strong command of management, finance, and accounting fundamentals

  • Comfortable with business administration

  • Outstanding math abilities

  • Work experience as a finance manager

  • Advanced skills in Microsoft Office, databases, bookkeeping/accounting software, and other financial systems

  • Willingness to abide by all business, national, state, and municipal rules

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Preferred skills and experience

  • A strong commitment to driving and attaining outcomes and strong leadership abilities

  • The ability to mentor young employees and deliver performance management strategies

  • Accuracy, precision, and the capacity to evaluate large volumes of financial data

  • Expert advice for investments and asset allocation

  • Ability to analyze market trends and opportunities

  • MBA or Bachelor’s Degree/Master’s Degree in Finance or Accounting

  • Public accountant certification

Next steps: Attract and assess accounting managers

Hiring finance professionals is a competitive realm, so you need a sure-proof, fast way to assess your accounting manager candidates.

Begin by uploading your job description to popular job websites like Glassdoor or LinkedIn. Alternatively, you can ask for referrals or use a specialist accounting recruiter like the Mason Group, which specializes in finance and accounting candidates.

However, you should be mindful of using recruiters. As Ocean Outdoor UK was quick to discover, recruiters often supply finance and accounting candidates who have the wrong profile or skills.

Once Ocean Outdoor UK turned to our assessments to test skills, it aligned assessments with the position’s requirements much better. The company’s finance team decreased its rate of unsuccessful hires by almost 45%.

Talent assessments let you evaluate candidates beyond the self-declared skills in their resumes. Besides showing you if candidates are as skilled as they claim, they also help you gauge their cultural add, which is especially important in management positions.

Some tests that come in handy for your accounting manager candidates’ assessments include:

An example question from TestGorilla's Leadership & People Management test
  • The Accounting Terminology test to assess your prospective accounting manager’s understanding of accounting terms related to financial statements, transactions, and books of accounts

  • The Advanced Accounting test (IFRS) to understand your candidate’s knowledge of managing financial records and posting and calculating accounting figures according to the IFRS

An example question from TestGorilla's Advanced Accounting test (IFRS)

You can create a custom assessment that combines hard and soft skill assessments, customize individual questions, and add your own questions. For your accounting manager’s soft skills, you can use the following assessments:

  • Our Communication Skills test assesses your job seeker’s ability to communicate clearly and effectively, which is an important asset for a leadership position dealing with figures and finances

  • Finally, our Culture Add test assesses how a candidate’s values and behaviors align with your organization's values, which is crucial for the head of the accounting department

Once you’ve short-listed successful candidates, you can proceed to the structured interview stage and ask them senior accountant questions to further refine your understanding of their skills and personalities.

Try our free 30-minute live demo to find out how you can tailor skill tests to your company’s particular needs.

Use skill tests to find out the best skills for an effective financial accounting manager job description

The job description of an accounting manager includes their duties, responsibilities, and qualifications.

When you write your financial accounting manager job description, you should use a template that ensures you cover all the details you and your candidates need to know.

Once your job description has attracted candidates, use pre-employment test assessments to select the ones with the right skill set to succeed in fulfilling a finance and accounting manager’s duties.

Now, take a product tour to get an overview of all the skills you can assess in an accounting manager.

If you’re interested in our product and want to experiment first-hand with it, then register for a free forever plan today! 

Accounting manager job description FAQs

Let’s finish this guide with frequently asked questions about an accounting manager job description.

What are the duties of an accounting manager? 

An accounting manager manages and supervises an accounting department, including overseeing their subordinates’ work, reviewing financial statements, and preparing reports for other stakeholders. Accounting managers also develop and implement policies and procedures to guide the work of the company and their departments.

What skills do you need to be an accounting manager?

  • Financial skills

  • Technical accounting skills

  • Leadership

  • Communication

  • Team building

  • Deductive reasoning

What is the difference between an accountant and an accounting manager?

Accounting managers are more senior than accountants and play more of a supervisory role. They oversee the work of accountants and provide direction and support. They manage the accounting department and ensure accountants comply with all relevant laws and regulations. Accountants record financial information like budgets and tax returns and work under the supervision of accounting managers. 

Both roles have a strong accounting basis and understand the main accounting tasks.

What is the difference between an accounting supervisor and an accounting manager?

An accounting supervisor usually oversees accountants and is subordinate to the accounting manager. However, they may also report directly to the chief financial officer or the controller. An accounting manager is a mid-to-upper-level manager who oversees accounting staff such as accounting supervisors, certified public accountants (CPAs), and junior accountants. Accounting managers typically report directly to executives.

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