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Corporate accounting jobs require individuals to have a technical background and understanding of how to record financial figures relating to business transactions. There is a wide range of corporate accounting job classifications, including clerk, staff accountant, manager or supervisor, controller, and chief financial officer. Clerks are responsible for accounts payable or accounts receivable transactions. Staff accountants prepare and post journal entries, create profit and loss statements, and work on ad hoc projects. Managers and supervisors direct staff accountants, and controllers oversee the entire accounting office. Finally, chief financial officers run a corporation’s entire financial department.
Accounting clerks are corporate accounting jobs for which no formal education is typically necessary. Individuals can have a high school diploma, and some or no accounting experience. Accounts payable and accounts receivable jobs do not have high requirements for accounting experience, as these positions deal mostly with opening mail, contacting vendors or customers, and reconciling invoices to statements.
Staff accountants work closely with a corporation’s daily financial information. These corporate accounting jobs typically require a college degree, a few years of experience, and professional certification, although some companies may have different requirements. People in these positions must be skilled at gathering, reviewing, preparing, and correcting financial figures. Staff accountants works underneath an accounting supervisor or manager.
Accounting supervisors and manager generally are responsible for a specific department. For example, a company's financial department may be made up of several smaller departments such as general accounting, accounts payable or receivable, payroll, and cost accounting, among others. One or more accounting supervisors or managers will be in charge of each smaller department. This structure allows corporations to separate accounting duties to meet government guidelines. Additionally, multiple accounting supervisors and managers can give the company a presence in all aspects of the accounting operations to limit issues or improprieties.
Controllers represent the top accounting position in an accounting office. These corporate accounting jobs have significant requirements for education, licensure and experience, particularly within the company’s operating industry. This position oversees all supervisors, managers, staff accountants, and clerks. Controllers also work with the chief financial officer to set accounting policies and work with external auditors. They will also create an accounting manual that directs the activities of the corporate accounting positions to ensure smooth workflow.
Chief financial officers are the capstone of corporate accounting jobs. These individuals set the overarching financial and accounting policies for the company, along with setting up bank accounts and creating other finance-related business relationships. As an officer in the corporation, the individual will also report financial figures to other officers and stakeholders vested in the company. While chief financial officers generally do not directly contact the public, they will work with the communications officer to release financial information.