General Ledger Accountant Job Description
General ledger accountants prepare journal entries, reconcile financial statements and accounts, and ensure data accuracy. They typically report to a supervisor or manager and work with management in other departments including IT, sales operations, engineering, and legal. Most general ledger accountants work full time in an office setting; they may occasionally work overtime to accommodate the needs of their company. Since this position involves analyzing and ensuring accuracy of data, those who are well-suited to a career as a general ledger accountant are detail-oriented, organized, and accurate.
General Ledger Accountant Duties and Responsibilities
While a general ledger accountant’s day-to-day duties and responsibilities are determined by where they work, there are many core tasks associated with the role. Based on our analysis of job listings, these include:
Ensure Data Accuracy
General ledger accountants check that data is accurate. They conduct audits to maintain truthful and precise data in documents.
Analyze Financial Information
Analyzing and interpreting financial information, general ledger accountants provide assurance that information complies with professional and regulatory standards. They ensure that data supports budgeting and forecasting requirements, and they provide solutions to control issues.
Support Monthly and Annual Close Processes
At the end of the month or year, general ledger accountants record information such as accrual, deferral, reclass, and interdepartmental entries into the company’s accounting ledger. They perform account analysis to make sure that entries and balances are correct.
On a regular basis, general ledger accountants reconcile accounts with the general ledger. They ensure that all entries are accurate and that transactions are reported in accordance with accounting standards and government regulations. When they find errors, they make changes as necessary.
Prepare Journal Entries
With appropriate supporting documentation, general ledger accountants prepare journal entries relating to amortization, depreciation, accruals, and a variety of other information. They ensure that entries align with generally accepted accounting principles.
General Ledger Accountant Skills and Qualifications
General ledger accountants are highly organized and manage multiple priorities and assignments at the same time. Working with financial documents, they display a high degree of integrity and professionalism. In addition to one to five years of general ledger accounting experience, the following skills and qualifications are necessary to the job:
- Problem-solving skills – with strong problem-solving skills, general ledger accountants analyze data and search for inconsistencies, then reconcile inconsistencies and devise solutions to errors
- Accounting functions – general ledger accountants have knowledge of technical accounting functions and are experienced in financial record keeping and bookkeeping
- Math skills – since they work with financial documents, general ledger accountants frequently use math to calculate data and ensure that information is correct. They are experienced working with numbers and making calculations with minimal errors
- Auditing experience – auditing financial statements and documents requires a strong eye for errors and inconsistencies. General ledger accountants correct mistakes as necessary and are comfortable interpreting the accuracy of financial documents
- Communication skills – general ledger accountants use great verbal and written communication skills to interact effectively with workers of all levels throughout the company
Tools of the Trade
The following are tools and software that general ledger accountants may use in their work:
- Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint)
- Business intelligence software (SAP BusinessObjects)
- Enterprise resource planning software (Oracle Financial Applications)
General Ledger Accountant Education and Training
General ledger accountants typically have a bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, finance, or a similar area of study. In addition, most employers prefer candidates who have a certified public accountant (CPA) designation and one to five years of experience. General ledger accountants have working knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles.
General Ledger Accountant Salary and Outlook
The median annual salary for general ledger accountants, categorized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as accountants, is $68,000. The lowest 10 percent in this field earn less than $42,000; the highest 10 percent earn more than $120,000. General ledger accountants who work full time typically receive benefits such as vacation days, paid time off, health insurance, retirement plan options, and bonuses based on individual or company performance.
The projected growth for general ledger accountant positions is 10 percent for the next decade. This is faster than the average for all positions. As economies continue growing, there will be a stronger demand for accountants and auditors.
Are you interested in a career as a general ledger accountant? We’ve gathered some resources to help you learn more:
General Ledger Accountant – written by Red-Hot Careers, this guide aims to help readers land a position as a general ledger accountant. With over 2,000 interview questions on problem-solving, removing obstacles, salary and remuneration, and more, this book demystifies the job search process and gives readers the confidence to tackle job interviews
Accountants’ Guidebook – author Steven Bragg shares practical knowledge on completing accounting tasks. He aims to quicken the learning curve for accountants by offering information on topics such as accounting procedures, generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), financial statements and reports, payroll management, budgeting, and more
Bloomberg Accounting – Bloomberg’s accounting blog highlights news in accounting, covering industries such as tech and finance. Articles discuss a variety of topics and issues, such as the impact of technology on accounting, sustainability in the workplace, and the effects of new accounting standards
Accounting Today – a resource for public accountants, this blog offers relevant, up-to-date information and news on the accounting industry. Topics the blog discusses include tax law, accounting standards, wealth management, and technology
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