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Financial Accountant: Job Description, Info, & Job Openings

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Some people are just naturally good with numbers and can be more effective at numerical functions than others.

For those that have a knack for numbers and enjoy the world of finance, becoming a financial accountant may be a great career choice.

The field of accountancy can lead to many exciting careers in locations that range from banks to casinos to some of the most prestigious or famous individuals on the planet.

You’ll need some serious analytical abilities, and solid communications wouldn’t hurt either.

Here’s more about what becoming a financial accountant means.

Financial Accountant: The Basics

Financial accountants have incredibly diverse responsibilities, but many of their core functions will be the same.

They will organize, record, and file transactions and important financial statements for their client.

If they work for a company, this might be things like the balance sheets, cash flow statements, and more.

When working for an individual, it may be account balances, debit statements, tax deductions, and filing.

What is a Financial Accountant?

A financial accountant is someone tasked with keeping detailed records of financial transactions and preparing periodic financial statements.

The transactions that are recorded by the financial accountant include those dealing with sales, expenses, and auditing of both internal and external processes.

They are generally required to have at least a Bachelor’s degree.

What is a Financial Accountant Called?

A financial accountant may be called an account executive, certified public accountant, CPA, or simply an accountant.

Not all accountants will be CPAs, though many will be.

What Does a Financial Accountant Do?

One of the biggest responsibilities of the financial accountant is keeping current and legally mandated records of required transactions and other financial accounting records.

They will create the balance sheet, cash flow statement, income statement, records of financial planning, and other financial records and financial data.

They also prepare the monthly, quarterly, and yearly financial and performance reports, and make sure that reporting is retained for internal audits.

They may also handle the tax filing obligations of the company.

Work Opportunities in the Financial Accountant Industry

There are countless options for a financial accountant in the job marketplace.

They are needed at nearly every company from small to large as salaried employees, but self-employed workers can make incredible amounts of money each year before tax time.

They often work at banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions.

Financial Accountant Job Description

Depending on the capacity in which the financial accountant works, the job description can differ significantly.

In most cases, the job description of the financial accountant will be to help perform payroll services, and management, and retain legally required documents and records.

They may also act in some form of tax capacity for the company, investors, or other internal entities.

The job description will also vary significantly from one organization to another.

Top Financial Accountant Jobs and Careers

  • Internal Auditor
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Financial Accounting Specialist
  • Finance Manager
  • Financial Controller

Where Can a Financial Accountant Work?

A financial accountant can find work in nearly any corporate setting or specific company they want.

The jobs that they can do are often listed under other job titles, so being a financial accountant is a way of remaining versatile in the job market no matter what the current terminology is.

What It’s Like to be a Financial Accountant

It can take some significantly difficult work to become a financial accountant, and even then, it’s often considered an entry-level position.

For those that have the passion, it is a great position or career to use as a springboard to other more complex financial positions.

Is Being a Financial Accountant Hard?

Depending on the line of work the financial accountant goes into, the work itself may not be very difficult.

In some cases, just becoming a financial accountant and obtaining the needed degree can be challenging enough.

Is a Financial Accountant’s Job Stressful?

Being a financial accountant is not high on everyday stress.

There is a cycle to the stress, however, and those who work as a financial accountants during tax time will experience a far more stressful work environment.

Common Financial Accountant Work Day

There isn’t going to be a standard financial accountant work day, and much of the daily routine is going to depend on where the individual works.

Some companies may have morning meetings that require everyone to be up and on-site early, other companies are more permissive to remote work and leave the time management to the accountants.

Financial Accountant Tasks & Duties

Depending on the organization they are employed by, the financial accountant may be responsible for:

  • Compiling sales reports
  • Recording expenses and costs
  • Ensure that proper financial statements and disclosures are created and filed on time
  • Ensure that taxes are filed on time
  • Verify that any information submitted to accounting is correct
  • Maintain records as required by law
  • Comply with legal requirements for storing and retaining records
  • Reporting to the financial accounting standards board when needed
  • Upholding accounting principles
  • Handling any other tasks assigned to the financial accountant role

Financial Accountant Work Hours & Schedule

In most cases, the financial accountant will work relatively normal business hours.

With a strong percentage of the workforce working remotely, the hours are slightly more unconventional, giving the field even more flexibility for the workers.

Financial Accountant Dress Code

For roles where the financial accountant has a physical presence in an office, the dress code is usually business casual, though that may vary considerably from one employer to another.

Does This Career Field Embrace Work/Life Balance?

In most cases, the financial accountant will be working conventional office hours, which means they will only be at work for 8-9 hours a day.

This leaves considerable room for personal life activities.

Financial Accountant Salary & Income

Many people get into accounting initially, because of the earning potential.

Here is more about how much the average financial accountant makes.

Do Financial Accountants Make Good Money?

Relative to a lot of “desk jobs”, a financial accountant makes very good money.

How Much Do Financial Accountants Make?

The median pay for a financial accountant is $77,250 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This is well above the national total for all occupations, of $45,760.

The top ten percent of accountants made more than $128,970, which is impressive.

The lowest ten percent still made around $47,970.

Overview of the Financial Accountant Industry

Many people may not understand where becoming a financial accountant can take them.

Here is more information about how the average financial accountant can expect to expand their career.

Financial Accountant Field: Career Progression

Once someone has become a financial accountant, they will usually use a financial account as a stepping stone to positions like a financial manager, controller, some form of financial analyst, and more.

Is a Financial Accountant a Good Career?

Becoming a financial accountant is considered a good career.

Even if one doesn’t want to advance into other branches of finance, the base median salary is often enough to be comfortable.

Financial Accountant Job Outlook

The outlook for financial accountant jobs remains good.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the outlook for accountants and auditors will remain aligned with the national average across all occupations.

Demand for Financial Accountants

The demand for a financial accountant is more than some people may realize.

Each year there are expected to be more than 130,000 openings in the financial accountant field.

This means that the chances are good for someone becoming a financial accountant to find a job right away.

Financial Accountant Facts

list some interesting facts about this career that back up your points from above.

Where is the industry going as a whole?

Ex: “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 75% of workers are now in favor of working remotely, whereas before, only 25% were in favor of this work situation.”

Jobs Related to Financial Accountants

Here are some common jobs that are related to the financial accountant field.

They may be in entry-level positions, or they may be further into their career progression.

Financial Accountant

Responsible for proper preparation and filing of financial statements.

Also, retain legal records for the required time.

Auditor

An auditor is a type of accountant that is tasked with going through financial statements to determine if they are fair and properly filed.

Financial Manager

Often the step above the financial accountant, the financial manager will be tasked with managing the financial operations and functionality of the entire organization or company.

Requirements, Skills, and Education Required for Financial Accountants

Becoming a financial accountant takes considerable skill and significant education.

In many cases getting a good position will also require already having had experience in the field, so an internship is often more or less required.

Who Should Consider a Financial Accountant Career Path?

Someone with a love of accounting that has a firm grasp of business financial processes.

Who Should NOT Consider a Financial Accountant Career Path?

You’ll be balancing some of the largest checkbooks you’ve ever seen, so if that doesn’t sound like fun, you may not be cut out to be a superstar financial accountant.

Is it Hard to Become a Financial Accountant?

Becoming a financial accountant takes a special skill set.

Not only is there a significant amount of schooling needed after high school, but there are also other professional accreditations that the financial accountant can get.

What Do I Need to Become a Financial Accountant?

The first thing you’ll need is a bachelor’s degree in an accounting field, such as accounting, finance, economics, statistical math, business, or management.

You’ll also need an internship, some practical experience, advanced degrees, and professional licensure.

Requirements for Becoming a Financial Accountant

To officially become a financial accountant, you will need to obtain an advanced degree, as well as get licensed by a professional accounting body.

The CPA exam is a common credentialing exam that financial accountants will take to increase their ability to be hired.

What Skills Does a Financial Accountant Need?

  • Knowledge of accounting practices
  • Familiarity with accounting software
  • Ability to prepare and file accurate financial statements
  • Analyzing data
  • Time management skills
  • Critical thinking

What Education Does a Financial Accountant Need?

Generally speaking, a financial accountant will need a bachelor’s degree in some accounting-adjacent field.

In many cases, working as an accountant requires additional accreditation as a CPA or other credentialled status.

Can You Become a Financial Accountant Without a Degree?

You will not be able to become a financial accountant without a degree.

What Experience Does a Financial Accountant Need?

Many companies will look favorably on someone that has completed or current is holding an internship position in the industry.

Financial Accountant Education & Schooling

College degrees are needed for most accounting fields.

Financial Accountant Education & Schooling

In addition to college-level accounting education, many positions require a CMA or CPA credentialing.

What is Taught in a Financial Accountant Course?

Much of the content taught in accounting is bookkeeping, ethics, taxes, preparation of financial statements, and similar tasks.

Then competency is measured as pass/fail.

How Long Does a Financial Accountant Course Take?

Depending on the internship or apprenticeship requirements, getting a CPA could take just a few years.

Financial Accountant Education Options and Degree Programs

The most basic levels of financial accountant positions require bachelor’s degrees.

Advanced degrees will add to your attractiveness as a candidate, but may begin to make you overqualified for basic financial accountant positions.

Become a Financial Accountant

If you are interested in becoming a financial accountant, there are a few ways to do it.

Steps to Become a Financial Accountant

The two most common paths to becoming a financial accountant are:

  1. Get a bachelor’s in an accounting field
  2. Finish an internship
  3. Get 3 years of field experience
  4. Pursue your master’s & CPA

Or,

  1. Earn a bachelor’s, or if you have one, sit for the CMA exam
  2. Get experience, you need 3 years to sit for the CPA
  3. Clear up any remaining coursework needed
  4. Take the CPA

Current Career Job Openings

Take a look at some of the open financial accountant positions near you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the highest position in accounting?

One of the highest positions in accounting is the financial manager.

They are frequently the ones who run the accounting departments for large companies.

What is the easiest accounting job?

Some of the easiest jobs in the accounting field include budget analyst and public accountant.

They tend to be repetitive and tedious.

Wrapping Up

For those who can meet the educational and experience requirements for becoming a financial accountant, it can be a very fulfilling and lucrative career.

You’ll have the opportunity to work in some fascinating situations, but you’ll need to be able to handle the stress

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