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Accountant Job Descriptions - Accountant Duties and Responsibilities

Accountants are employed by organisations or private clients to audit accounts, provide financial advice and undertake accounts administration. Accountants go through a rigorous recruitment and qualification process, and this is reflected in their high professional status.

Who is an Accountant?

An accountant is a practitioner of accounting or accountancy. Accountants who have demonstrated competency through their professional associations' certification exams are certified to use titles such as Chartered Accountant, Chartered Certified Accountant or Certified Public Accountant. Such professionals are granted certain responsibilities by statute, such as the ability to certify an organization's financial statements, and may be held liable for professional misconduct. Non-qualified accountants may be employed by a qualified accountant, or may work independently without statutory privileges and obligations.

What does Accountant do?

Accountants provide financial advice to clients that range from multinational organisations and governmental bodies to small independent businesses and individuals. Accountants often specialise areas of practice, including audit, management consultancy, recovery, forensic accountancy, taxation, assurance and corporate finance.

Key Areas of Responsibilities

These are outlined in the following main categories

A) Book Keeping and Accounting
  • Prepare, examine, and analyze accounting records, financial statements, and other financial reports to assess accuracy, completeness, and conformance to reporting and procedural standards and policies.

  • Compute and account for taxes owed, prepare and file tax returns, ensuring compliance with tax laws, deadlines and statutory legislation.

  • Fixed Assets management and control including preparation of the Fixed Assets Movement Schedule and accounting for the Depreciation thereon.

  • B) Cash and Treasury Management
  • Providing oversight on cash and cheque collections from customers and ensuring such receipts are recorded in the Accounting system and deposits made of the same within 24 hours

  • Manage all requisitions for payments.

  • Prepare all supplier payments after due reconciliation of all Supplier accounts and ensure the same are fully approved by the respective managers and Bank Signatories.

  • Collaborate effectively with the Sales and Operations departments and be the lead in Credit Control to ensure the customer accounts are well reconciled and discrepancies are resolved in a timely manner to avoid delay in customer payments.

  • Reviewing Monthly Statements sent to Customers and ensuring follow-up for the collections are done.

  • C) Financial Analyses, Control and Reporting
  • Analyze business operations, trends, costs, revenues, financial commitments, and obligations, to project future revenues and expenses or to provide advice.

  • Reviewing daily reports for Sales, Collections, and Bank Deposits; weekly Stock Reconciliations, aging of Receivables; and Monthly Sales Analyses.

  • Develop, maintain, and analyze budgets, preparing periodic reports that compare budgeted costs to actual costs.

  • Advise management about issues such as resource utilization, tax strategies, and the assumptions underlying budget forecasts. (Make best-practices recommendations to management)

  • Liaison with internal and external auditors for the smooth audits and implementation of the Management Letter items highlighted thereof.

  • D) Procurement and Suppliers Management
  • Supervise and Direct the management of requisitions from the user departments and reconcile the summary thereof to the Purchase Orders that need to be raised.

  • Ensure all Purchase Orders are appropriately approved and authorised.

  • Ensure that Supplier Reconciliations are done on a monthly basis and the same reconciliation forms the basis of payments.

  • Typical duties of an Accountant

    • Preparing accounts and tax returns

    • Administering payrolls and controlling income and expenditure

    • Auditing financial information

    • Compiling and presenting reports, budgets, business plans, commentaries and financial statements

    • Analysing accounts and business plans

    • Providing tax planning services with reference to current legislation

    • Financial forecasting and risk analysis

    • Dealing with insolvency cases

    • Negotiating the terms of business deals and moves with clients and associated organisations

    • Meeting and interviewing clients

    • Managing colleagues, workloads and deadlines.

    • Key Skills of an Accountant