What Does An Accounting Manager Do? (With Duties And Skills)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 8 December 2022
Published 8 November 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Apart from tracking and recording income and expenditure, an accounting department also works on many crucial business tasks and decision-making processes. Accounting managers are an indispensable part of the accounting department and the organisation. If you are interested in this role, it may be beneficial for you to understand the duties and responsibilities associated with it. In this article, we examine what an accounting manager does, what duties and responsibilities they have and how to become one.
What Does An Accounting Manager Do?
An accounting manager is an administrative role in the accounting department of an organisation. These professionals oversee and supervise the work of one or a team of accountants. Accountants record every financial transaction made by a company. Transactions may relate to sales, purchases, payroll delivery, borrowing, marketing, lending, tax filing, capital expenses and petty expenses.
The major responsibility of the accounting department is to prepare accurate financial statements that help stakeholders understand the company's performance. Apart from assuming a supervisory role, accounting managers create goals and work processes for accounting divisions. They hire qualified accountants and other staff to work in the accounting department.
Responsibilities Of An Accounting Manager
An accounting manager supervises day-to-day tasks like recording financial transactions and is also part of the major decision-making processes of the company. They interact with the management to discuss key issues like monthly payroll preparation, budget allocation, expense limits, financial protocol compliance and financial discipline in the company. Some accounting managers also work with financial institutions, like banks to secure credit for business operations. An accounting manager may prescribe a process following which a salesperson can claim a travel allowance. They may help design forms and prescribe bills that employees need to submit to claim reimbursements.
Duties Of An Accounting Manager
An accounting manager works both in a supervisory capacity and as an individual contributor. They work with parties that make financial transactions with the company, including vendors, clients, customers, suppliers and other institutions like banks, credit agencies and state and central tax agencies. Here are some general duties of an accounting manager:
Monitoring day-to-day accounting operations
Managing accountants and other staff responsible for transactions related to billing, sales, collection, payroll and budget preparation
Recruiting qualified accountants and other staff members for the accounting team, and periodically training them in best practices in accounting
Ensuring that there is a backup process in place for all accounting and finance-related operations
Maintaining existing internal accounting policies and creating new policies as required
Determining ways to automate the accounting process without sacrificing accuracy
Generating periodic accounting reports like monthly, quarterly and annual financial reports for management
Maintaining updated and accurate accounting books for cash receipts, accounts payable and receivable, general ledger, payroll, utilities and other capital expenditure
Reconciling bank statements periodically
Raking short-term and long-term financial recommendations to the management based on the company's financial status and business goals
Submitting reports like income forecasts, and revenue and expenditure variance analysis periodically to avoid liquidity issues for the management
Monitoring tax expenditure and other statutory financial requirements to submit paperwork as required and ensure payment of corporate taxes on time
Conducting frequent audits within the organisation to eliminate discrepancies
Working with external agencies for the annual audits and ensuring proper documentation and reporting
Qualifications Required To Become An Accounting Manager
To become an accounting manager, complete a bachelor's degree course in commerce, accountancy or finance. Since an accounting manager's role requires a significant amount of expertise and skill, reputed companies may give preference to candidates with a post-graduate degree in accountancy, finance or any specialised branch of accounting. Smaller companies may consider candidates with a bachelor's degree and a few years of experience in accounting. Chartered accountants and cost accountants can also become accounting managers.
Skills Required To Become An Accounting Manager
An accounting manager's performance in their role impacts the company in many ways. Since accounting managers manage an organisation's sensitive and vital financial details, they may benefit from developing multiple skills additional to their educational qualifications:
Accounting managers set up policies and procedures for proper and accurate recording of a company's financial transactions. Accounting managers can practise integrity by refraining from using dishonest accounting practices. They can display values that inspire their team to work ethically as well.
Accounting managers play the role of a moderator whenever budgeting conflicts arise between departments. They apply their leadership skills and understanding of each department's organisational workflow and products to provide input and facilitate agreements. They lead a team of highly qualified accountants and leadership qualities are important to facilitate the collective success of their team.
Time management skills
Payroll, accounts payables and receivables, tax payments, rents, interests, bonuses and dividends are a few of the time-bound transactions that an accounting team has to monitor. Accounting managers may use proactive time management to meet priorities and deadlines. They schedule tasks on an organised calendar, delegate responsibilities and oversee execution. They are also responsible for addressing financial contingencies and creating mitigation strategies.
Overseeing the work of team members, interacting with department heads and managing staff requires exceptional communication skills. Accounting managers frequently resolve conflicts and engage in negotiations with clients and vendors. They also try to present views logically and persuasively to encourage stakeholders to adopt solutions that benefit the company.
Related: How To Improve Communication Skills
Accounting managers use flexibility to ensure compliance with changing standards and regulations in the field of finance and accounting. They often collaborate with a range of professionals in relation to multi-disciplinary work projects. They benefit greatly from developing the ability to adapt to changes and work in a variety of settings.
How To Become An Accounting Manager
Accountancy and financial services may be highly challenging career fields. Candidates face significant competition and often require highly specialised knowledge and competence in several aspects of accounting. Follow these steps to become an accounting manager:
1. Choose accountancy as a subject in 10+2
If you are interested in pursuing a degree in commerce, accounting or finance, choose the commerce stream in 10+2. Commerce subjects include accountancy, economics, business studies and mathematics. Studying these subjects improves your chances of performing well in an accountancy related degree in college.
2. Pursue a relevant bachelor's degree
After completing 10+2, you can pursue a bachelor's degree in majors relating to accounting or finance. Most arts and humanities colleges offer bachelor's degrees as they are in high demand. Some relevant under-graduate degree programs that are ideal for an accounting manager are:
B.Com in Accountancy
B.Com in Finance
B.Com in Banking and finance
B.Com in Financial accounting
B.Com in Taxation
BBA in Accounting and Finance
B.Com in Advanced Accountancy
B.Com in Corporate Accountancy
B.Com Principles and Practices of Accountancy
3. Pursue a master's degree, certification or diploma in a specialised domain of accounting
A master's degree in accounting and related fields is advantageous, as it can accelerate your career growth. Organisations may prefer candidates with a master's degree for senior roles like accounting manager. Choosing a specific accounting field can also be beneficial if you are keen on working with large companies that look for candidates with specialised skills and qualifications. Some of the master's degree and diploma programs that are ideal for becoming an accounting manager are:
Master of Business Administration
M.Com In Cost And Management Accounting
M.Com In Advanced Accounting
M.Com In Cost Control And Control Accounts
M.Com In Accountancy And Business Statistics
M.Com Accounting And Taxation
M.Com In Corporate Accountancy
Masters In Applied Finance And Accounts
Certified Financial Analyst
Post Graduate Diploma In Cost Accounting
Diploma In Accounting Management
Diploma In Accounting And Finance
4. Get work experience
While pursuing your bachelor's or master's degree, you can gain work experience by interning with accounting and auditing firms. Work closely with senior managers once you get a job and learn from them. A few years of work experience in different organisations at various levels in the field of accounting can give you a competitive edge. If companies find two candidates at par, they may choose one with more work experience.
5. Apply for open positions
Start by applying for the position of accountant. You can become an accounting manager after gaining the necessary industry and work experience. From an accountant, you can progress to becoming a senior accountant, an assistant manager and then to the role of accounting manager.
How Much Does An Accounting Manager Make?
Accounting managers are in high demand and theirs is typically a job role that pays well. The average base salary of an accounting manager is ₹7,64,518 per year. This figure can increase significantly with work experience, expertise and higher academic credentials.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
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