Financial Accountant

Financial Accountant

Financial accountant is an individual who performs various financial accounting responsibilities depending on the nature and size of the business or organization it works with.

Financial accountant can choose to work as employee of private corporation or government agencies, employed to perform specific accounting job required by the entity, or it can be self-employed that provides professional accounting services to clients, like private corporation, government agencies and other non-profit organizations.

Financial accountant must have a college or bachelor’s degree in accountancy. They also hold the title of Certified Public Accountant (CPA). However, having a CPA title is not always required and necessary; it depends on the need and requirement of the entity or organization that hires. Although having a CPA title gives you an edge and better opportunity.

Nature of Work

Financial accountant commonly works in an office environment with own desk, personal computer or cubicle. Typically, they spend working hours doing paper works and reports.

Financial accountants are bound to follow various reporting deadlines which can occur daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly, depending on the need and requirement of the business entity or organization it serve.

Generally, financial accountant work responsibility includes, but not limited to, the following:

  • recording of business transactions
  • preparation of financial reports, called financial statements, for external purposes
  • computation and preparation of tax returns
  • computation and preparation of specific reports per account such as cash, receivables, payables, payroll, sales, expenses, etc.
  • analysis and interpretation of business transactions
  • assisting in internal and external audit
  • review and update financial recording system
  • ensure implementation and compliance to accounting standards and regulations

Career as Financial Accountant

Financial accountants can practice their profession and work in various business or organization. They may work in a private business, government agency or non-profit organization such as cooperatives. The scope and nature of work depends on the size and nature of the entity.

1. Private Company

Most financial accountants work in a private business, such as those Fortune 500 Company, as well as small-medium business enterprises.

Financial accountants working on private businesses are responsible in the financial recording and reporting aspect. The scope of the work depends on the size and nature in which the business operates.

Take for an instance, a financial accountant working on a small business is responsible to the whole financial recording and reporting since the transactions are lesser and easier to manage. On the other hand, in a medium or large size business, the company may hire and divide the financial accounting responsibilities to a number of financial accountants. Each will be handling a specific account, such as cash, receivable, sales, purchases, payables, payroll, etc. And then one, with more experienced and training, will overlook the whole recording and reporting process.

Additionally, the scope of financial accountant’s work depends on the nature of business operation, such as service, merchandising and manufacturing. You can expect easier and lesser work on service businesses while more difficult and complex on merchandising and manufacturing businesses.

2. Government Agency and Non-Profit Organization

Few financial accountants work in the government and non-profit organization. The nature and scope of work also varies depending on the need of the agency or organization. Generally, financial accountants perform recording of transactions and reporting of the financial result. However, the standard of recording and reporting may be different from the private business. Government and non-profit organization have its own different reporting standards. You may read books on government accounting and non-profit accounting to learn more about it.

Requirement and Qualifications

Financial accountants are evaluated based on educational background, working experience and other relevant skills. But it can also subjective to the requirement of a specific business or organization. Generally, it includes, but not limited to, the following:

  • Bachelor Degree in Accounting, Finance, Commerce, Business Management, or any related degree.
  • Passed the Certificate Public Accountant licensure examination.
  • No. of years of relevant and valuable experience.
  • Strong accounting, analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong verbal and written English skills.
  • Knowledgeable in accounting software or computing tools such as Excel, MYOB, Peachtree, QuickBooks, Sage, SAP, Oracle, etc.
  • Can work independently with less supervision.
  • Strong communication, presentation, and human relation skills.

Other Names and Job Title of Financial Accountant

  • Financial administrative assistant
  • Financial analyst
  • Financial assistant
  • Financial auditor
  • Financial controller
  • Financial consultant
  • Financial clerk
  • Financial director
  • Financial manager
  • Financial management analyst
  • Financial planner
  • Financial reporting manager
  • Financial specialist

Salary

As of this writing, Dec 2011, average annual salary of financial accountant is $65,000. The range is from $40,000 to $80,000.

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