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Corporate Accountant Job Description – What Makes For A Great One?

If you're looking for a corporate accountant to add to you team, what skills and experiences are needed? What are you looking for in a corporate accountant? Are corporate accountants really just staff accountants, junior accountants, senior accountants, etc., under a different name? Or is there a particular distinction you see in the roles and experience? I am looking for professional opinions; not the opinions of companies that are hiring on Monster.com. After all, I can search there for myself and get something that may or may not make sense.

Answers

Len Green
Title: Performance Improvement Consultant and E..
Company: Haygarth Consulting LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Performance Improvement Consultant and ERP Strategist, Haygarth Consulting LLC) |

Chris
There is a lot of information on the technical skills side.
Spend some time on figuring out what you want in soft skills.

Denise Fina
Title: Owner
Company: Adroit
LinkedIn Profile
(Owner, Adroit) |

Chris,

List out the 10 most important skills a candidate must possess. You can build a good job description with this list. As Len stated, soft skills are important too. A candidate must fit in with your organization. This is the most important part of hiring someone.

Denise

Chris Shumate
Title: Accounting Manager
Company: Dominion Development Group, LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Accounting Manager, Dominion Development Group, LLC) |

Len and Denise, thanks for your replies. What I'm looking for though, is what your opinion is on what makes a good corporate accountant. Is there a particular distinction you see in the roles and experiences of a corporate accountant versus those of a staff accountant, junior accountant, senior accountant, etc.

I'm not looking to hire a corporate accountant. I am looking for opinions and thoughts as to what makes for a great one. Of course, a job description would help determine what skills and such are necessary.

If I were your corporate accountant, what would you want from me in your business may be a better way of asking the question.

Len Green
Title: Performance Improvement Consultant and E..
Company: Haygarth Consulting LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Performance Improvement Consultant and ERP Strategist, Haygarth Consulting LLC) |

Chris
I'd like to help further but I am not sure I can delineate between corporate, staff, junior, senior......

So, in short, if I was the controller and you are my (corporate) accountant, I'd want you to aspire to replace me by learning:
-what I do well to add value to the organization
-what I don't do well but should
-how I treat people
-how you can complement what I do.

I would expect you to have integrity, intelligence and energy (and as Warren Buffet is quoted as saying), with integrity above all others.

Chris Shumate
Title: Accounting Manager
Company: Dominion Development Group, LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Accounting Manager, Dominion Development Group, LLC) |

Thanks, Len, for replying back.

I think back to when I was hired in as a corporate accountant, my controller needed someone who had experience preparing financial statements and analyzing those statements. The job was to tackle an increasing number of legal entities for tax preparation, including coordinating with CPAs, tracking fixed asset additions and disposals, and reporting 1099 information.

I don't think there's much of a difference between the titles mentioned above except experience, pay, and responsibilities within a respective company. In my current company there's only my controller and me doing the accounting work. By default my title could be assistant controller because I do assist him with tasks in that capacity. I could also be called senior because of my pay and experience. However, since it's only the two of us corporate accountant continues to stick. Our AR and AP managers are under the controller's care and not mine so I wouldn't be considered an accounting manager.

I agree with the comment about integrity, intelligence and energy, however isn't intelligence relative? For instance, if my current controller thinks I'm a genius because of what I've added to the company and I take a position elsewhere someone else may think of me as a dunce even though I bring the same level intelligence.

Sara Voight
Title: Controller
Company: Critical Signal Technologies, Inc
(Controller, Critical Signal Technologies, Inc) |

I am looking for a strategic thinker able to take principals and apply them to the business in a way that brings value. Ultimately, someone who has the desire and ability to replace me. If someone doesn't have the technical experience, but understands the concepts, picks up fast, and is able to work with other people, I
am willing to give them a chance. The best person is the one who is an expert in their area and knows more than I do with a subject.

What I don't want is someone who sees things in black and white and doesn't care to understand the business and how our role fits within to assist with reporting and strategic planning (i.e. bookkeeper).

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