Everything You Need to Know About Accounting Hiring
Published on January 8th, 2023
What is Accounting?
A common perception about accountants is that they are merely math nerds who spend their days tabulating unending streams of numbers in dimly lit offices. Although they certainly require strong math abilities, the job entails much more than number crunching.
Today's accounting requires a combination of analysis, problem-solving, and investigation. You need to be able to interact with people rather than simply numbers in order to accomplish your work well. As a result, the duties of the job are much more varied than most people think. Continue reading to learn more about the duties of the position and how to hire your superstar accounting team.
What do Accounting Jobs Entail?
Accountants make sure businesses function smoothly, records are kept accurately, and taxes are paid for businesses, private clients, or governments, whoever they work for. They can thus be used both within and externally as consultants. Additional responsibilities include budget analysis, financial planning, information technology consulting, and some legal services.
Although longer hours are frequent during hectic times, such as tax season or when businesses and governments must file financial reports for their fiscal year ends, accounting is a typical nine-to-five office job.
Employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow 6 percent from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics.
About 136,400 openings for accountants and auditors are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as retiring.
Types of Accountants
1. Financial Accountant
A financial accountant is a professional responsible for summarizing and reporting an organization's transactions through financial statements.
2. Forensic Accountant
Forensic accountants are investigators of any financial misconduct or fraud. They perform detailed research and analysis of financial records to find any discrepancies in them. They also analyze financial records to see if they comply with the government's financial rules and laws.
An auditor is an accountant who does audits of the financial statements, accounting books, and financial systems of an organization. They are also responsible for providing financial advice to their clients.
4. Management Accountant
Management accountants are professionals who help business owners and managers make sound financial decisions for their organizations.
5. Investment Accountant
An investment accountant works in the field of investing. They are usually highly analytical, detail-oriented, logical, and prudent, with an in-depth knowledge of rules and regulations. They typically work for brokerage and asset management firms.
Accounting Roles in an Organization
In a corporate setting, there are multiple levels of accounting roles that take care of a company’s financial statements. An accountant is a generic term that can refer to any of the below classifications.
- Controller: A controller oversees all other accounting employees in a company setting and typically answers to a chief financial officer or director of finance.
- Accounting Manager: A manager or accountant with mid- to upper-level responsibility who supervises staff accountants, accounting supervisors, or junior accountants.
- Accounting Supervisor: A senior accountant with direct responsibility for one or more accounting specialists. They typically report to the manager or directly to the controller or CFO, similar to an accounting manager. They will be in charge of overseeing and approving the department's financial procedures and reporting in addition to their supervisory duties.
- Senior Accountant: A senior accountant who typically answers directly to the controller or assistant controller assists the management of the company with financial analysis in addition to standard accounting tasks, typically by providing timely financial reports and advice.
- Staff Accountant: A mid-level accounting position between a junior accountant and a senior accountant. Typical duties of a staff accountant include preparing journal entries and reconciliations. Junior Accountant: A position in accounting at the entry-level that typically reports to one of the higher level positions or, in smaller businesses, the controller. Their primary duties will typically entail preparing preliminary reports and reconciling accounts.
- Bookkeeper: The person in an organization who is employed to perform bookkeeping functions is usually called the bookkeeper. They usually write the daybooks (which contain records of sales, purchases, receipts, and payments), and document each financial transaction, whether cash or credit, into the correct daybook—that is, petty cash book, suppliers ledger, customer ledger, etc.—and the general ledger. Thereafter, an accountant can create financial reports from the information recorded by the bookkeeper. The bookkeeper brings the books to the trial balance stage, from which an accountant may prepare financial reports for the organization, such as the income statement and balance sheet.
Skills Required in Accounting Jobs
Whether hiring for any of the above-listed accounting roles, look for these skills to hire top-notch talent for your organization.
Business Acumen: Their job responsibilities require them to ensure major stakeholders remain aligned with the organization’s financial strategy. Accountants should have the ability to see the big picture and understand how their role impacts the organization as a whole.
Technologically Savvy: The field of accounting is more technology-driven than many, and accountants need to stay up to date on their knowledge. Accountants should have advanced Excel ability, enterprise resource planning (ERP) experience, expertise in big-data analysis, knowledge of business intelligence software, aptitude, and a working knowledge of software such as Hyperion and QuickBooks.
Communication Skills: Companies hire accounting professionals who can collaborate with other departments, manage conflict and adapt to changing circumstances. They should have the ability to curate their communication style to that of each stakeholder.
Leadership: Accounting professionals must be ambitious self-starters with the ability to generate fresh ideas, oversee projects, and motivate their team members—all while exhibiting strong leadership qualities. Additionally, it may be expected of accountants to offer creative solutions and aid in enhancing business operations.
Critical Thinking: Critical thinking refers to the ability to implement knowledge to solve unforeseen problems. Accountants who have honed their ability to think critically can solve problems objectively.
What is the Effect on your Pocket?
According to Indeed, the average salary of an accountant is $60,786 per year in the United States.
How to Assess & Hire Accounting Professionals?
1. Use Skill Assessments
When hiring for the post of accounting professional, you need to vet your candidates effectively and efficiently.
Browse through HireQuotient’s assessment library to find assessment tests for all your recruiting needs. Check out some of them here.
- Accounting Assistant Test
- Bookkeeper Test
- Junior Accountant Test
- Accounting Clerk Test
- Accounting Manager Test
2. Ask the Right Questions
- What types of accounting software programs are you familiar with?
- How do you organize and prioritize your daily tasks?
- What is the difference between accounts payable and accounts receivable?
- What are some ways to reduce human error in the accounting department?
- Define EBITDA and how it relates to accounting.
- Do you know about the golden rules of accounting?
- Define TDS? And where is it shown on the balance sheet?
- Why do you think accounting standards are necessary?
3. Assign a Task
Don’t be shy while assessing your candidate for the accounting team. Go creative and assign some real-time tasks such as balancing a sheet, analyzing a financial statement or similar tasks to gain a deeper understanding of the candidate’s skills and capabilities.
This gives you an upper hand in making the final decision.
Accounting is an important sector of companies without which the whole business would shatter. Stick to this guide to hire the right people for your accounting team and never miss that superstar professional again.
Book your accounting assessment with us today!
Radhika Sarraf is a content specialist and a woman of many passions who currently works at HireQuotient, a leading recruitment SaaS company. She is a versatile writer with experience in creating compelling articles, blogs, social media posts, and marketing collaterals.
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