accounting manager

accounting manager

The Role of an Accounting Manager in an Organization

1. Responsibilities of an Accounting Manager

Important responsibilities of the accounting manager include: supervising the entire accounting team, ensuring the workflow is completed in a timely and accurate manner, maintaining and strengthening internal control procedures, assisting in developing procedures and policies, ensuring accurate and timely monthly, quarterly, and year-end close functions, ensuring all financial reporting deadlines are met, and providing accurate and timely monthly, quarterly, and year-end financial statements. In addition, the accounting manager will manage the yearly external audit, maintain the fixed assets, assist in budgeting and forecasting, provide strategic financial advice and analysis to the leadership, maintain AR, AP, and the general ledger, and provide oversight of the tax planning and filing. The accounting manager will drive the year-end review and is the liaison with the external CPAs for the final review of all financial materials. In addition, the accounting manager will assist in the analysis of financial data unique to the company and assist in managerial and board requests unique to the company and its management.

The accounting manager is responsible for all areas relating to financial reporting. This position will be responsible for developing and maintaining accounting principles, practices, and procedures to ensure accurate and timely financial statements. The accounting manager supervises five staff accountants and is responsible for managing the team to ensure that work is properly allocated and completed in a timely and accurate manner. This position addresses tight deadlines and a multitude of accounting activities including general ledger preparation, financial reporting, year-end audit preparation, and the support of budget and forecast activities. The accounting manager will have contact with senior-level management, which requires strong interpersonal communication skills both written and verbal.

2. Skills and Qualifications Required for the Role

Corporate governance, regulations, and accounting shifts are also complex parts of the role of the Accounting Managers. They have particularly important and specialized knowledge which applies directly to the major stakeholders such as regulators and auditors in public businesses. At the end of the calendar year accounting or when an audit is arranged, the account manager’s part is crucial. They have to gather information from a number of sources and legal entities within their sector that support the transactions reported for audit. They also write and maintain the internal consequences of modifications to financial reporting criteria. The cost of resources increases as more time is spent on important observations in respect of these duties.

They often find themselves preparing financial reports and statements to display and analyze, as well as completing analysis focusing on complex transactions, such as business combinations or divestitures. At a higher level, financial analysis duties are performed, e.g. building models to illustrate the anticipated impact of strategic decisions taken by the manager. Account managers break complex transactions and reports down to the smallest amount possible, which they then draw from to build simple messages to be assessed and discussed with the management of the business.

3. Importance of Effective Financial Management

For the purpose of this paper, the finance function of any organization (start-up, small or large) is defined as including primarily financial plan, investment decision-making, finance (banking and non-banking), financial accounting, cost accounting, tax planning, treasury, financial risk management, investor relation, and auditable statements. Studies by McKinsey suggest that the vast majority of joint ventures globally, for instance, fail to deliver targeted value creation in part due to financial management myopia often evident in the first months or years of its existence. Also, it is stated that companies which know the importance of deploying financial management function, in establishing a discipline around the investment perspective not only are successful in generating good returns on the investments but also create value for the shareholders. It is also suggested that the financial management discipline needs to be established early in the establishment phase of the start-up company. By instituting the discipline of financial management at the start of a critical effort, you may be able to avoid a lot of the problems we see with the finance function. Akin to the role of a ‘corporate doctor’ who takes up the responsibility of delivering value at the backdrop of the benign flow of resources and technical expertise that an organization commands, the finance function of an organization acts as a value generating pool of resources effectively; thereby standing as the backbone, as value delivered, supported by business level value delivery structures.

In any organization, financial management is crucial as it serves as the backbone for all other non-core activities in business. It is necessary for an organization to maintain a financial management function with the right level of competency, as a direct impact of this function can be witnessed in the bottom-line performance. This role becomes even more important in case of a start-up or small businesses where the financial implications are higher. As an organization matures, roles in this function could change mainly due to increase in the complexity in the business operations. At this stage, the organization will need expertise in the areas of financial planning, accounting, governance, investment decision-making, etc. While these are the primary building blocks for the finance function, it becomes a responsibility of the accounting manager to manage the finance function effectively which in turn will help in creating the frameworks for other financial activities to attain, safeguard and optimize value of the business.

4. Strategies for Successful Accounting Management

Assign certain tasks to team members. You need to review financial transaction accuracy once you receive finalized financial reports. Information that is complete and timely is the foundation of company-wide success. Once you verify the transaction accuracy, proceed to do a higher-level review of data for accuracy and trends. This allows you to scrutinize the information, investigate discrepancies, and check it against the larger business and economic picture. This excellent standard process forces your executive and management team members to concentrate on their responsibilities.

Decide with the team on objectives detailing staffing, training, growth, costs, and responsibilities. This will help in managing your team more effectively and efficiently. Lay the structure for a complete accounting policy and process handbook. It should outline your department’s processes and policies and provide a training guide and reference for your accounting team members. When faced with potential risk, this manual can serve as a useful reference tool and should keep everyone accountable.

Before you can come up with a sound budget and strategic plan, you need to understand your company’s functions as well as your department’s financial goals and objectives. Communicating with other departments like marketing, sales, and production can help in knowing the services and products that may be offered by the company in the near future. Setting realistic and achievable financial goals and objectives is a requirement in any corporation. Your goals and strategies should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.

5. Conclusion: The Value of an Accounting Manager in Business

In this regard, the study intended to achieve three objectives. Firstly, it wanted to examine the multiple roles that accounting managers have to be engaged in most organizations within their accounting departments. The second objective was to understand the critical activities accounting managers engage in. And the third objective was to understand the most crucial skills a good accounting manager should possess if he/she wants to be successful in this critical position. In addition, the study tried to provide a general understanding about what accounting managers do in most organizations by interviewing varied accounting managers in their organizations. Implying that the study attempted to critically understand what accounting managers do in their daily tasks that make them critically important within their organizations.

In most organizations, accounting is one of the oldest and critical disciplines that has existed for many years. In businesses and other organizations, accountancy has been described both as an art and a science. Although professionals thoroughly understand both the science and art of this critical area within organizations, the type of job roles that accounting managers mostly pursue in their daily tasks might differ when working in small businesses, in larger ones or when working in government organizations. Planning jobs, monitoring accounting activities, or evaluating accounting professionals are just some of the crucial roles that accounting managers have to engage in within their companies for maintaining the successful functioning of their accounting departments. It is for this reason that this study was intended to critically study what accounting managers do and in this regard to interview several of them so as to understand their jobs intimately.

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