When you read various job descriptions for accounting managers, you’ll notice a common theme: accounting managers are tasked with direct management of all accounting operations of a company. They typically head the accounting department and supervise daily accounting operations in the department.
Evidently, the role of accounting manager comes with a ton of responsibility. You are required to establish and enforce proven accounting policies across the company’s accounting department. You’re also required to work closely with the financial management team. Overall, you’re going to be dealing with finances one way or the other.
It takes hard work and experience to qualify as an account manager. Thankfully, this job offers excellent wages and long-term job security.
Not all job descriptions for accounting manager read the same. Most are customized to meet specific company demands. That being said, the core functions of an accounting manager remain the same regardless of where you work.
The primary role of an accounting manager is to supervise and audit all the daily accounting tasks. The accounting manager provides oversight for functions including cash accounts, fixed assets, accounts payable, accounts receivable, budgets, and more.
A company’s accounting activities entail a lot of confidential aspects. An accounting manager ensures that these aspects remain confidential and also implements systems and policies to ensure proper financial confidentiality.
Critical thinking, high ethical conduct, and thoroughness are essential to this role. You also need to be detail oriented.
Specific accounting manager roles:
Data from the U.S Bureau of Labor and Statistics shows that the 2016 median wage for accountants and auditors was $68,150 per year. According to Salary.com, the median wage for accounting managers is much higher at $97,017 as of March 2018. Note that this figure is computed from data collected through surveys on sample HR departments across several industries in the U.S.
As with many jobs, your actual compensation is determined by various factors, notably the industry you work in, qualifications, and experience.
Accounting managers work full-time and typically work more than 40 hours a week.
Accounting managers are usually accounting professionals at the prime of their careers. Unlike other junior accounting roles, this position requires at least an advanced degree as well as an industry certification.
The first step in your quest to becoming an accounting manager is to acquire a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, business management, or any finance related discipline with an accounting component. Having the discipline and commitment to complete a bachelor’s degree is the first sign that shows you are up to the job.
The next step is to gain industry certification. Many people acquire certifications whilst at their entry-level accounting jobs. A certification is typically a prerequisite to advancing to more managerial accounting roles. The most common accounting certifications include CPA, CGA, CIA, CFE, CISA, CA, and CMA.
In addition to a degree and a certification, you need at least 5 years accounting experience as well as good knowledge of departmental processes.
Finally, you may acquire a master’s degree to gain an edge when applying for a top accounting manager position. It is not a must but if you want to greatly boost your earning potential and work for top companies, a master’s degree goes a long way.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates that the employment rate for accounting professionals will grow steadily at 10% in the ten years through 2026. While countrywide long term job growth projections may not accurately represent the current or short-term job outlook, there are many reasons suggesting that the demand for accounting professionals isn’t going to wane any time soon.
It’s not enough to read job descriptions for accounting manager and then start applying. You need to start from square one – earn a degree and back it up with an industry certification. Gain experience and you’ll start attracting better accounting opportunities. A master’s degree will even take you further.
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