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Staff Accountant Job Description

Scholasticus K
An accountant is an essential person in any department, and his job goes beyond just handling account books and financial matters in an organization. Read more to know the job description of a staff accountant.
A staff accountant maintains the accounts and ledger books of a company. This post usually comes under jurisdiction of the Finance and Accounts department. However, accountants may work along with Human Resource department.
Handling this post is by no means a simple task and the person must be aware of accounting, accounting standards, federal and local labor laws, human resource norms, etc. Staff accountant job description mentions the primary duties and responsibilities of an accountant and the scope of his/her involvement in any organization.

Staff Accountant Job Description

As mentioned, a staff accountant maintains all accounts and ledger books related to a company but there is much more to the story. Here are the issues a staff accountant deals with during his/her time in the office.

Salary and Wages

A primary requirement is the knowledge of salary and wage rates, the pay scale, designation wise allowances and changes in salary. This job usually demands command over accounting softwares and the formulas.

Deductions and Taxes

The Internal Revenue Service of the United States of America has set a doctrine for the deduction of taxes at source. A staff accountant must thus have a good understanding of payroll taxes and income taxes.

Labor Productivity and Turnover

A staff accountant maintains the labor and turnover documents. These documents basically record the productivity and the total hours spent by each individual employee on each individual job.
In some advanced levels of staff accounting, resources consumed by the workers are also computed by the accountant.

Labor Issues

The state and federal laws are extremely strict about the wage rate and salary paid by the company to the manpower. It is the job of the accountant to be aware of such laws and their amendments.
Not only this, the job duties also include solving all finance-related problems of employees and addressing their grievances due to errors in accounting. In short, a staff accountant acts as the 'HR representative of the accounts department'.

Educational Requirements of a Staff Accountant

Educational qualifications vary according to size and structure of organizations. In small and medium-sized organizations, a graduate degree in accountancy is sufficient. However, educational requirements in bigger companies may vary.
In the United States of America, the degree of Certified Public Accountants (CPA) is the best degree for an accountant. Mammoth-sized corporations usually hire, or in some cases consult a CPA, for this job. Any person with such a degree is proficient in taxation, auditing, litigation support, and advisory services.
The nature of this qualification differs from state to state and the certification is handed out by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. A similar qualification is that of the CIA or the Certified Internal Auditor. 
Such accountants are permitted to grant services to their employers and not to the public at large. The CIA is probably the ideal qualification for staff accountants. Another similar degree is that of Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation.
The salary range cited by employers, differs according to the size of the company. Staff accountants of smaller companies might earn about $48,877 a year, while those of larger companies can earn more than $60,000 a year.
If you are considering this position as a career option, then it is best to obtain a CPA or CMA, because these two qualifications are bound to propel you towards a promising career.