April 29, 2021

How to Write a Clear Accounting Manager Job Description

Get started with our free Accounting Manager Job Description template and the tips below.


Now that many of the early pandemic hiring freezes have thawed, it’s time to start growing your finance team again. Hiring the right accounting manager starts with recruiting the right candidates via a clear and targeted job description.

It is tempting to simply list qualifications or bullet out the tasks the hire will have to complete, but adding the right talent to your team is about so much more than checking off boxes. A good accounting manager job description ties the skills to impact. For example, the hire might be responsible for closing the books in your accounting software, but the ultimate impact is providing accurate financial data to stakeholders.

As the role of Finance is becoming more cross-functional, 76% of CEOs report skills shortages as a threat to growing their finance teams. Writing stronge job descriptions is the crucial first step to successfully hiring for your accounting team.

Map skills to key accounting activities

There's a "mismatch" between the job description and the organization's actual needs for many finance-related postings. According to a Deloitte analysis, the problem is too much of a focus on qualifications, and not enough on activities that grow the business:

“To be effective, postings should instead stress activities, such as partnering with the business, understanding the underlying drivers of growth, and possessing skills in the engineering and science domain—including proficiency with statistics and scientific software, data management, and data analysis.”

Peter Nesbitt, VP of finance at Teampay, says finance job descriptions should highlight key milestones the candidate is expected to hit. “When hiring for a new role, focus on the results you want this person to achieve rather than just the day-to-day tactics," he explained.

When hiring an accounting manager, don’t limit your job description to typical duties like producing financial reports, managing cash flow, and analyzing financial statements.

Let’s say you’re hiring an accounting manager to lead the transition from QuickBooks to a full-fledged ERP system. Your job description would reflect the objective—implementing a new ERP—and the skills required to accomplish that goal: accounting, people management, and project management.

Feel free to mention fundamental duties, like producing financial reports, managing cash flow, and analyzing financial statements, but also be sure to include the larger goals, such as establishing agile processes; developing strategic insights based on accurate, real-time data; or leading the implementation of new accounting software.

Key accounting manager responsibilities

While every organization is different, some of the key responsibilities you should include in your accounting manager job description are:

  • Oversee general accounting processes, like budgeting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and general ledger.
  • Support the development of documented accounting standards.
  • Develop and maintain improved processes for company spend policies and internal controls (financial reporting).
  • Ensure the company is maximizing investment in accounting software.
  • Own cloud software for expense classification and recognition to improve workflows.
  • Support the CFO to launch accounting transformation projects, including the implementation of a new ERP.
  • Manage and coach junior accounting staff.
  • Establish processes to ensure SOX compliance.
  • Collaborate with teammates in business, finance, and IT to automate and improve financial processes.
  • Streamline the month-end close and consolidation process, including journal entries, account reconciliations, and flux analysis.
  • Consolidates financial information and prepares financial statements within required quarterly and year-end deadlines.
  • Lead tax planning (federal, state & local, credit) and compliance.

Keep accounting job descriptions clear

Creating a concise job description for your accounting manager position is more likely to attract the right candidates.

Research shows accurate titles ensure that candidates will find your posting during their job search. Use a more direct “accounting manager,” as opposed to “accounting wizard.” An Indeed analysis of job titles suggests obscure job titles can put employees off from applying.

You may also want to show candidates how the role fits into the larger organization. For example, an accounting manager job description might state that the candidate reports to the chief financial officer (CFO) and oversees a small team, depending on the size of the organization.

Close your finance job descriptions with reasons that may make candidates excited about applying, such as details about benefits and company culture. Candidates may also be drawn to a compelling business mission, like expanding access to financial services or supporting businesses to automate their financial processes.

“People want to contribute, to feel energized and passionate about what they do,” said Whitney Johnson, founder and CEO of consultancy WLJ Advisors. “They want to be inspired by ideas that can help solve problems and meet needs.”

She continued, “It is critical that organizations ensure the roles they are hiring for are quality opportunities for meaningful work, personal growth, and impact. This needs to be conveyed through the job description and even into the interviewing process."

Achieve your finance team hiring goals

The Accounting Manager will shape your accounting policies and ensure you meet all financial reporting standards as you grow. This person must be an accounting wizard, but he/she should also be comfortable managing other individuals and establishing finance policies.

By clearly identifying what you want this role to achieve, and tying back each bullet on the job description to that ultimate goal, you will ensure that you hire the right person for the job.

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