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Job Descriptions For 12 Key Positions In Accounting And Financial



Job descriptions for these 12 key positions are essential and crucial to determining who is responsible for each task in accounting and financial department. Otherwise there is no way to control the flow of activities or know who should be contacted about fixing problems. The typical accounting and finance departmental structure typically includes one or more assistant controllers reporting to the controller, each of whom is responsible for a selected set of functional areas, such as accounts payable and accounts receivable, or cost accounting and the general ledger. Below these personnel are a number of accountants and clerks. Within these reporting relationships, it is necessary to define the exact job description of each position, which should be included in the general accounting manual.

Of course, job description sets should be depends on the accounting and department’s goal set by the company’s management (in the whole) which most likely adapted with the nature and dynamical of the company’s operations. But, in general, here are examples of job descriptions that should be included:



[1]. Controller

Reports to: Chief Financial Officer

Responsibilities                                                                 -Timing

Accounting Area

Assist in the annual audit as required                                                   -Annual
Develop accounting policies and procedures                                        -Ongoing
Ensure that accounts payable are paid on time                                     -Daily
Ensure that accounts receivable are collected promptly                       -Daily
Ensure that all economical payable discounts are taken                       -Daily
Ensure that billings are issued promptly                                               -Daily
Ensure that job costs are calculated                                                      -Ongoing
Ensure that bank reconciliations are completed                                    -Monthly
Issue financial statements                                                                     -Monthly
Maintain an orderly accounting filing system                                        -Ongoing
Maintain the chart of accounts                                                              -Ongoing
Manage outsourced functions                                                               -Ongoing
Manage the accounting staff                                                                 -Ongoing
Manage the budgeting process                                                             -Annual
Prepare the annual budget                                                                    -Annual
Process payroll in a timely manner                                                       -Bi-weekly
Provide financial analyses as needed                                                    -Ongoing
Review systems for control weaknesses                                               -Ongoing

Finance Area

Arrange for banking services                                                                -Ongoing
Arrange for debt financing                                                                    -Ongoing
Conduct public offerings                                                                      -As needed
Invest excess cash                                                                                -Daily
Invest pension funds                                                                            -Monthly
Issue credit to customers                                                                     -As needed
Maintain insurance coverage                                                                -Annual
Maintain lender relations                                                                     -Ongoing
Manage the finance staff                                                                      -Daily
Monitor cash balances                                                                         -Daily


[2]. Assistant Controller, Transactions

Reports to: Controller

Responsibilities                                                                           -Timing

Manage the accounts payable process                                                -Ongoing
Manage the accounts receivable process                                             -Ongoing
Manage the payroll process                                                                  -Ongoing
Use best practices to increase transactional efficiency                        -Ongoing
Take all viable supplier discounts                                                        -Weekly
Ensure that payments are authorized and accompanying                     -Daily
deliveries are received prior to payment

Issue invoices to customers in a timely manner                                   -Daily
Obtain payment from customers in a timely manner                            -Daily
Create an efficient time keeping system                                               -Ongoing
Issue payments to employees in a timely manner                                 -Bi-weekly
Make payroll tax payments in a timely manner                                     -Monthly


[3]. Assistant Controller, Financial Reporting

Reports to: Controller

Responsibilities                                                                            -Timing

Create financial statements                                                                 -Monthly
Create footnotes to financial statements                                             -Monthly
Create SEC reports                                                                                -Quarterly
Monitor changes in generally accepted accounting principles             -Ongoing
Present financial results to the management team                               -Monthly
Create systems for efficient reporting process                                     -Ongoing
Create the annual budget                                                                      -Annual
Create internal management reports                                                     -Ongoing


[4]. Assistant Controller, Cost and Tax Accounting

Reports to: Controller

Responsibilities                                                                              -Timing

Manage the cost and taxation staff                                                       -Ongoing
Devise tax strategies                                                                             -Ongoing
Create tax data collection systems                                                       -As needed
Complete required tax forms in a timely manner                                  -As needed
Update the company sales tax database as tax rates change                -As needed
Negotiate with tax authorities over tax payment issues                       -As needed
Review adequacy of costing systems                                                    -Quarterly
Report on costing variances                                                                  -Monthly
Report on overhead allocation variances                                               -Monthly
Report on margins and break-even points                                            -Monthly
Report on capital budgeting requests                                                    -Ongoing
Assist in development of the budget                                                     -Annual
Analyze new product margins                                                                -Ongoing


[5]. Accounts Payable Clerk

Reports to: Assistant Controller, Transactions

Responsibilities                                                                               -Timing
Match supplier invoices to purchase orders and receiving documents   -Daily
Take all viable supplier discounts                                                          -Daily
Obtain approvals for supplier invoices                                                   -Daily
Pay supplier invoices when due                                                              -Weekly
Research supplier requests for payment                                                 -As needed


[6]. Billings Clerk

Reports to: Assistant Controller, Transactions

Responsibilities                                                                              -Timing

Issue invoices to customers                                                                  -Daily
Contact customers about overdue invoices                                           -Daily
Issue monthly customer statements                                                     -Monthly
Resolve billing discrepancies with customers                                       -As needed
Process cash receipts                                                                            -Daily
Recommend bad debt write-offs                                                           -As needed


[7]. Payroll Clerk

Reports to: Assistant Controller, Transactions

Responsibilities                                                                                   -Timing

Collect time cards from employees                                                      -Weekly
Obtain supervisory approval of time card discrepancies                      -Weekly
Obtain overtime approvals                                                                   -Weekly
Process garnishment requests                                                             -As needed
Process employee advances and paybacks                                          -As needed
Print and issue paychecks                                                                   -Bi-weekly
Issue direct deposit tapes to the bank                                                -Bi-weekly
Deposit payroll taxes                                                                          -Monthly


[8]. General Ledger Accountant

Reports to: Assistant Controller, Financial Reporting

Responsibilities                                                                            -Timing

Create a system of recurring journal entries                                    -Annual
Calculate and enter all adjusting journal entries                              -Monthly
Provide detailed analysis of accounts to auditors                            -Annual
Create financial statements                                                             -Monthly
Assist in writing footnotes to financial statements                         -Monthly
Assist in completing Securities Exchange reports                           -Quarterly


[9]. Financial Analyst

Reports to: Assistant Controller, Financial Reporting

Responsibilities                                                                          -Timing

Provide analysis of investment vehicles                                         -Ongoing
Review financing options                                                               -Ongoing
Review capital expenditure proposals                                            -Ongoing
Review acquisition candidates                                                       -Ongoing
Provide ratio analysis of company results                                     -Monthly


[10]. Tax Accountant

Reports to: Assistant Controller, Cost and Tax Accounting

Responsibilities                                                                         -Timing

Devise tax strategies for management approval                          -Ongoing
Create tax data collection systems                                              -As needed
Complete required tax forms in a timely manner                         -As needed
Update the company sales tax database as tax rates change       -As needed
Manage audits by taxation authorities                                         -As needed
Negotiate with tax authorities over tax payment issues              -As needed


[11]. Cost Accountant

Reports to: Assistant Controller, Cost and Tax Accounting

Responsibilities                                                                       -Timing

System Tasks
Review adequacy of activity-based costing system                   -Quarterly
Review adequacy of data collection systems                             -Quarterly
Review system costs and benefits                                             -Quarterly
Audit costing systems                                                              -Monthly
Analysis and Reporting                                                             -Tasks
Report on product target costing variances                              -Monthly
Report on activity-based costing overhead allocations            -Monthly
Report on break-even points by product and division             -Monthly
Report on margins by product and division                              -Monthly
Report on periodic variance analyses                                       -Monthly
Report on special topics as assigned                                       -Ongoing
Report on capital budgeting requests                                      -Ongoing
Assist in development of the budget                                       -Annual

Pricing Tasks
Work with marketing staff to update product pricing             -Ongoing


[12]. Bookkeeper

Reports to: Controller/Company Owner [for SME]

Responsibilities                                                                      -Timing

Calculate attendance bonus                                                    -Bi-weekly
Close software modules following the monthly close            -Monthly
Compile 401 (k) census information                                      -Annual
Complete bank reconciliation                                                -Monthly
Conduct job costing                                                              -Ongoing
Create financial statements                                                   -Monthly
Cut manual checks and enter them into the computer          -Ongoing
Enter accounts payable into compute and cut checks           -Weekly
Enter time cards and pay rate changes into computer           -Weekly
Issue paychecks                                                                    -Bi-weekly
Match accounts payable documents                                      -Daily
Post accounts receivable payments                                       -Daily
Process employee expenses                                                  -Ongoing
Reconcile petty cash                                                             -Monthly
Store backup information on fixed assets                            -Ongoing
Track warranty expense detail                                              -Ongoing


Note that the last job description presented, the bookkeeper, was semi-independent of the hierarchical structure assumed for all of the preceding positions. Rather than reporting to someone else below the controller, this person usually reports directly to the controller or business owner [in a small medium enterprise], a bookkeeper is usually much used in very small businesses which only need one or two accounting positions.

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