what is a financial accountant?

As a financial accountant, you run an organisation's financial and accounting activities. You ensure the integrity and accuracy of financial and accounting management. Your job is to ensure proper preparation, documentation and reporting of financial transactions. The role involves a wide range of paperwork, such as preparing income statements, cash flow statements and balance sheets. You also handle the general ledger, including preparing or supervising journal entries.

Financial accountants ensure accurate calculation of company taxes. You submit the required taxes to the relevant authorities and ensure the company complies with the statutory requirements. Aside from reporting, you also inform the stakeholders of the financial information. You analyse the financial records and inform the company of its financial position. You assist companies with decision-making and finding new investment opportunities with the information you provide.

Since financial accounting emphasises gathering data for internal and external reporting, most duties revolve around financial reporting. You can work in various fields, including education, government and corporate or non-profit organisations. You also work in various industries, including manufacturing, mining and construction.

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average financial accountant salary

The average income of a financial accountant is $95,000 per year. However, the typical remuneration package of a financial accountant may vary depending on their educational achievements and professional qualifications. When you are new to the profession, your starting salary can be $75,000 annually. As your knowledge in the profession improves, your earnings increase to over $110,000 yearly.

what factors affect the salary of a financial accountant?

The salary of a financial accountant depends on the size of the company and the industry. When you work in a small startup, you are likely to earn less due to limited resources. Your remuneration package is higher in a large company since they have more resources. Your professional qualifications and industry expertise also improve your earnings. After working for a particular industry for a long time, you have the relevant industry expertise to handle complex issues that arise. With work experience and added expertise, you can negotiate a higher remuneration package.

The geographical location of the company also influences your earnings. Working in metro areas improves your remuneration prospects due to the high demand for the role. However, working in smaller cities reduces your earning potential.

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types of financial accountants

Some of the types of financial accountants include:

  • forensic accountant: as a forensic accountant, you investigate financial information and records to determine accuracy and importance. Your job is to analyse and interpret financial records used for legal proceedings. You also deliver the information collected to clients and other stakeholders.
  • project financial accountant: as a project accountant, you focus on project delivery needs. Your job involves tracking, reporting and analysing the financial results of a project. You provide regular reports to the management on the project's expenses and the required budgetary adjustments.
  • public accountant: as a public financial accountant, you work in state-managed institutions managing public funds and performing audits. You assist with budgeting public funds and reviewing resource allocation to various departments.

working as a financial accountant

Working as a financial accountant involves managing financial information in companies. The role requires analytical and numerical skills. If you are interested in the role, check out the duties and responsibilities of financial accountants.

female putting away files
female putting away files

education and skills

You require academic qualifications to become a financial accountant. Qualifications include:

financial accountant skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of a financial accountant include:

  • accounting skills: you need accounting skills to be familiar with processes like tax reporting and preparation of financial statements. Your technical skills help you work efficiently and identify issues in financial reports.
  • maths skills: you require strong mathematics skills to perform calculations and prepare financial reports. Your maths skills help you identify errors that arise from incorrect computations.
  • analytical skills: as a financial accountant, you assist in data analysis and interpretation of financial information. After collecting the information, you require analytical skills to understand it and offer financial advice to managers.
  • communication skills: as a financial accountant, you discuss financial matters with people inside and outside the company. Your communication skills help you explain complex financial information to various stakeholders and guide your colleagues.
  • time management: you require time management skills to meet deadlines. Time management helps you prioritise your responsibilities and focus on various tasks.

FAQs about working as a financial accountant

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a financial accountant.

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