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What does a senior staff accountant do?

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A senior staff accountant is a step up from a junior accountant as they don’t carry out administrative tasks such as: data gathering, updating journals, or balance sheet population.

They are much more likely to take ownership of reporting costs, productivity, margins and expenditures.

Main responsibilities

A senior staff accountants role is varied and presents lots of exposure to a company's financial inner workings. The main areas of responsibility are:

  • Analysing complex financial reports and records
  • Making recommendations based on analysis and status of reserves, assets and expenditures
  • Reviewing journal entries of junior accountants to make sure that they are accurate
  • Training and mentoring junior staff
  • Performing variance analyses and preparing account reconciliations
  • Assisting with financial and tax audits
  • Documenting and monitoring internal controls
  • Coordinating complex accounting projects and initiatives with other members of the accounting and finance team, or with other departments.

What skills do senior staff accountants need to have?

A senior staff accountant needs to be able to demonstrate that they have expert knowledge of accounting concepts and familiarity with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). They will also need to be able to grasp company financial policies and protocols.

If you want to excel as a senior staff accountant you will also need to be able to show that you are:

  • Highly detail-oriented
  • Incredibly organised
  • Able to meet a constant stream of deadlines
  • Able to prove that you can work both independently and collaboratively with different levels of employees
  • Skilled in analysing and problem-solving
  • Familiar with accounting software and programs

How can I qualify to become a senior staff accountant?

Completing the AAT qualifications (Foundation through to Professional) would certainly put you in a strong position to become qualified to work in this role - in the eyes of an employer. Also the ACCA, ACA and CIMA qualifications would more than give your cv a boost if you are looking to pursue this career.**

If you are coming to CIMA, ACCA or ACA with little prior qualifications you could begin with the ACCA or ACA foundation qualification, or the CIMA Certificate.

What can a senior staff accountant earn?

In the UK, a senior staff accountant earns, on average, £45,337 a year*, but that can easily go up to over £65,000 a year depending on experience and location.

Interested in becoming a senior staff accountant?

If you’re wanting to further your accounting career, you need to consider completing ACCA, ACA or CIMA to get to the next level. If you’re brand new to accountancy you may want to consider AAT.

We have plenty of flexible study methods to choose from so you can fit studying around your work. Who knows where it could take you?

* March 2020