About the job
Operations accountants plan, direct, and control an organization’s finances. They are responsible for cost analysis, financial planning, and budgeting duties.
While job specifics vary among employers and industries, an operational accountant’s job description typically includes the following responsibilities:
Preparing Revenue and Expense Reports: Operational accountants review previous accounting periods and prepare reports based on financial records. This process often involves department- or project-specific analyses.
Tracking Labor and Procurement Costs: These professionals track costs associated with labor, raw materials, and supplies. They sometimes prepare expense reports related to employee hours and materials cost comparisons.
Making Financial Projections: Operations accountants help their employers achieve internal financial objectives. Reaching these goals requires detailed financial forecasts based on historical trends.
Creating Operational Budgets: These accountants also prepare department- and project-specific budgets. Their budgets usually integrate findings from previous work in expense reporting, cost tracking, and financial projections.
Managing Financial Accounts: Operational accountants sometimes oversee organizations’ financial accounts. These duties usually apply to smaller or mid-sized businesses with limited accounting personnel.
Key Hard Skills for Operational Accountants
Specialized Licenses and Certification: While certification and licenses are optional, accountants must have either enrolled or started either of ICAN OR ACCA.
Deep Understanding of Core Accounting Principles: Operations accountants draw heavily on standardized accounting principles and skills in their daily duties. These professionals must possess a mastery of key accounting abilities, such as revenue and expense tracking, asset accounting, and cost analysis.
Auditing Knowledge: Operational accountants may perform auditing tasks or communicate with auditors to perform internal reviews of company financial data. Therefore, they need a strong working knowledge of auditing principles and processes.
Proficiency with Accounting Technologies: Accounting departments increasingly rely on specialized accounting software and tools that deliver advanced functionality. Operations accountants need digital literacy to gain familiarity with modern software and tools.
Key Soft Skills for Operational Accountants
Communication Skills: Operational accounting specialists present complex information in accessible language to colleagues with non-accounting backgrounds. Well-developed oral and written communication skills can provide a helpful performance boost.
Customer Service: In some cases, an operational accountant’s job description will include client account reconciliation and handling questions from external stakeholders. A strong customer service background can benefit these professionals in their operations accountant duties.
Collaborative Personality: Operations-focused personnel frequently work closely with accounting colleagues, management, and executives. Strong collaboration and interpersonal skills make these interactions easier and more efficient.
Professional Commitment: General accounting principles rarely undergo significant changes, but technological advancement continues to reshape the profession’s scope and profile. A commitment to professional development and skills enhancement helps accountants stay sharp.
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