Account Officer Job Description
Account officers keep their employers’ finances. They are responsible for things such as paying utilities, taking care of payroll each week, and keeping track of the cash going out of and coming into the company. Success in this role requires someone who loves working with numbers. Account officers are employed by accounting firms and within the accounting departments of organizations. They work in a typical office environment and usually work standard office hours, although they may have to work overtime when the end of the financial year is on the horizon.
Account officer is an entry-level accounting position. Some people in this role are in pursuit of passing the certified public accountant (CPA) exam, while others use it as a stepping stone to becoming a financial manager. Account officers either work under an accountant or financial manager. According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks, which includes account officers, is set to shrink 1 percent through 2026.
Account Officer Duties and Responsibilities
The role of account officers involves a variety of duties and responsibilities related to managing and analyzing their employers’ finances. Important account officer duties and responsibilities include the following:
Pay the Company Utilities and Payroll
Someone has to pay bills, such as electricity and rent for a company, and that person in a large organization is the account officer. In addition to paying utilities, account officers are responsible for authorizing payroll payments and addressing any discrepancies.
Keep Track and Take Care of Accounts Payable and Receivable
Account officers also perform and keep track of their employers’ financial transactions. This includes making sure vendors receive payments and all client payments are processed correctly.
Review and Verify Financial Documents
Account officers use their financial acumen to review their employers’ financial documents and make financial recommendations based on their findings. They are also responsible for keeping these documents accurate and up to date.
Maintain Meticulous Records
Account officers are responsible for maintaining meticulous financial records, which can include both paper and digital filing systems. This duty requires an organized mind and an attention to detail.
Account Officer Skills
Account officers need a blend of hard skills and soft skills to perform effectively. They must have financial acumen and bookkeeping knowledge to effectively manage their employers’ finances. They also must be trustworthy people who can always be counted on to operate by the book, as they have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. Account officers have to be wizards with spreadsheets and have a passion for working with numbers. When it comes to soft skills, account officers have to have an organized and analytical mind and good communication skills to maintain relationships with vendors. Besides these qualities, account officers must possess the following skills to get hired:
- Using Quickbooks to perform various bookkeeping tasks
- Using Excel to keep track of accounts payable and receivable, as well as utilities and payroll information
- Analyzing financial documents and making recommendations based on financial acumen
- Communicating with vendors to ensure payments are made on time and diffusing any payment conflicts
- Using organization skills to keep meticulous and updated financial records
Account Officer Tools of the Trade
Account officers spend much of their time using various software:
- Bookkeeping software – account officers use bookkeeping software, such as Quickbooks, to perform basic bookkeeping tasks
- Spreadsheet software – account offices use spreadsheet software, such as Microsoft Excel, to build and maintain various financial documents.
Account Officer Education and Training
While it is possible to obtain employment as an account officer with just a high school diploma, those looking to advance typically have at least an associate’s degree in accounting, finance, or business administration, and they have more earning power. Some training, such as Quickbooks and Excel, can be acquired through on-the-job training.
Account Officer Salary
According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national median salary for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks, which includes account officers, is $38,390. Those in the bottom 10 percent make below $23,880 and those in the top 10 percent make above $59,630.
Account Officer Resources
The position account officer is often the entry point for many different rewarding career opportunities in the world of finance. To learn more about this position and industry, check out the following list of resources:
Association for Financial Professionals – Members of the Association for Financial Professionals hold a wide variety of job titles, including account officer. They have national and regional conferences, as well as digital resources for members. This organization also administers the Certified Treasury Professional certification.
Government Finance Officers Association – This is an organization for financial professionals who specifically work for the government. These are great jobs with great benefits, so those looking to work as a government account officer should start by getting acquainted with this organization.
Ledgers Online – Ledgers Online is an excellent online publication for those who work in finance. It is updated weekly by accountants and other financial professionals, and topics cover the entire spectrum of bookkeeping and financial management.
Beginner-Bookkeeping – Beginner Bookkeeping is full of resources for aspiring account officers. One resource includes more than 25 accounting and bookkeeping templates and forms. Another resource includes more than a dozen excel templates.
Bookkeeping: Small Business Bookkeeping, Accounting for Beginners – This book is geared towards those who have never worked in bookkeeping. It provides the foundational principles necessary to learn how to perform bookkeeping for a small business. Aspiring account officers should consider reading this during their job search.
Bookkeeping All-in-One for Dummies – Part of the best-selling “for dummies” series, this is a collection of 5 books all related to bookkeeping. An excellent resource for aspiring account officers, it includes Bookkeeping for Dummies, Accounting for Dummies, Bookkeeping Kit for Dummies, Reading Financial Reports for Dummies, and Accounting Workbook for Dummies.
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