Director of Accounting Job Description

Directors of Accounting oversee and run accounting departments. They supervise the accounting staff while ensuring all functions and procedures of the accounting department are running smoothly and efficiently. They may also analyze the organization’s finances and make recommendations and forecasts for top management to review.

Directors of Accounting manage the accounting department and usually report to a Chief Financial Officer (CFO). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accountants and Auditors can expect to see a job growth of 11 percent through 2024. This will add 142,400 new jobs during this timeframe.


Director of Accounting Duties and Responsibilities

The type of organization a Director of Accounting works for will determine their particular responsibilities, however, there are several main duties all Directors of Accounting perform. A review of current job listings identified the following primary tasks and responsibilities.

Ensure Compliance with Regulations

A Director of Accounting is responsible for ensuring all transactions and financial policies for their organization meet federal regulations and standards. They will help create business policies and practices that meet compliance with the laws they are subject to and develop a review process to ensure they maintain these goals.

Provide Budgets and Forecasts

Directors of Accounting often provide the data to their company’s CFO that is critical in developing future budgets. The Director of Accounting must be able to gather and supply this data as well as interpret and present the information. They may also be called upon to recommend ways to reduce costs or improve the company’s profits. Cost analyses and forecasting are also a task often delegated to the Director of Accounting.

Manage Staff

Supervising the accounting staff is another important duty the Director of Accounting will perform. This may involve hiring and training staff. It may also entail reviewing applications, conducting interviews, processing new hire paperwork, and providing on the job training or mentoring to new employees. They may also conduct performance evaluations, handle disciplinary actions and process payroll for their staff. Directors of Accounting will also oversee the day-to-day operations of their department, ensuring all tasks and projects are being completed as planned.


Director of Accounting Skills

A Director of Accounting must be reliable and highly organized. They should possess excellent communication skills both verbally and in writing and be team players. Strong leadership skills and an analytical mind are also important. In addition to these traits, employers look for applicants with the following skillsets.

Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Director of Accounting with these core skills. If you want to work in Director of Accounting, focus on the following.

  • Proficient in computer software programs such as, word processors, spreadsheet programs, and database systems
  • Excellent mathematical skills
  • Budgeting and forecasting experience
  • Project management experience
  • Knowledge of accounting and financial principles

Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your skillset and broaden your career options.

  • College degree in accounting or related field
  • CPA license
  • Experience with financial ledger software such as, Oracle or SAP
  • Knowledge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)


Director of Accounting Resources

There are some helpful and informational resources available on the Web for those interested in working as a Director of Accounting. We scoured the internet and found these links full of learning opportunities and the latest industry news.

On the Web

Accounting Today – This online magazine offers the latest news, in-depth articles, and editorial analyses for tax and accounting professionals. There are sections dedicated to financial planning and current news, as well as a plethora of resources.

Director of Accounting Books

Accounting Made Simple: Accounting Explained in 100 Pages or Less – This resourceful book explains accounting without using any technical jargon or complicated terms. It covers all aspects of accounting including preparing financial statements and the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

Accountant’s Guidebook: A Financial and Managerial Accounting Reference – A wonderful resource for the Director of Accounting. This book covers everything from basic accounting duties to managing an accounting department.

Industry Groups

American Accounting Association – Founded in 1919, AAA boasts the largest community of accountants in academia. They are also the industry leader in research and publications in the accounting field and offer a wide range of industry news and resources.

National Society of Accountants – The NSA was created in 1945 and promotes standards and ethics in accounting by providing education and advocacy to its accountant members. Members receive access to their large resource library as well as discounts on services and materials.

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