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What Does an Accounting Supervisor Do?

Accounting supervisors must have several years of experience in bookkeeping or accounting.
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  • Written By: Cassie L. Damewood
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 26 July 2014
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An accounting supervisor performs a variety of accounting functions concurrent with supervising junior accounting personnel and general staff clerks. Depending on the nature of the company’s business, the supervisor description may also include managing or directing the activities of other departments as well. Generally, the supervisor’s resume includes several years’ background in bookkeeping, accounting or auditing. Experience as an accounting supervisor or manager is preferred but not usually mandatory if leadership skills have been clearly demonstrated.

Since the successful management of a company’s income and expenditures is vital to its success, the accounting supervisor’s role is significant. She must communicate well with every department that spends money and keep track of their expenditures. If budget guidelines are not followed, the accounting supervisor is required to address the infractions and try to reach an amicable solution with the department head. The ideal resolution will keep the company’s expenditures on track while meeting contractual obligations and satisfying vendors and customers.

To keep the company profitable, the accounting supervisor develops and incorporates operating procedures for each department so cash flow can efficiently be tracked and checked. She simultaneously oversees accounts payable, accounts receivable, budgets, profit and loss statements, payroll and benefits and capital investments. If problems develop in any of these areas, the accounting supervisor is responsible for acknowledging them and either proposing solutions or conferring with others who may have appropriate resolutions to offer.

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This position requires regular compilation of financial and statistical reports. Reports on financial activities for each department are prepared on a recurring basis and presented to upper management for review. Other reports are required for outside entities, such as investors, auditors, CPAs and government agencies.

An accounting supervisor is involved in all areas of a business that involve money; in most cases, this is every department. This requires her to not only be a quick and accurate number cruncher but also have knowledge or experience in related fields, such as economics, investments and asset management. Knowledge of accounting software applications is also helpful.

As in most supervisory positions, excellent communication skills are vital to an accounting supervisor’s success. Discussing money issues with department heads requires tact, diplomacy and powers of persuasion. Keeping everyone satisfied with budget limitations while maintaining a positive and productive atmosphere is a challenge regularly faced by accounting supervisors. The ability to easily connect with a wide range of personality types is a definite asset for a person in this position.

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Discuss this Article

blackDagger
Post 2

An accounting supervisor, no doubt, has a huge responsibility. However, I have come to learn that as a small business owner, I am not only a writer, proofreader, human resources supervisor and maintenance person but also an accounts payable supervisor.

Can you imagine how long it took me to figure out how much percentage of what I brought in went to me, what had to go to taxes and what needed to go into overhead? Let me tell you, there is a reason that I am not a mathematician.

But anyone who is self-employed can tell you that it is not necessarily as easy as setting your own hours. You have to learn how to do a little of it all.

Domido
Post 1

Am I the only person who would be terrified to be an accounting supervisor? I would be constantly in fear that someone somewhere would outsmart me and commit fraud or something.

I suppose working that closely with that much money is just not what I’m cut out to do, although it seems that a lot of people do go into accounting jobs these days.

While I’m not too keen on being in control of all that cash, if somebody would let me spend it, I’d be totally onboard!

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