Job Description of a Bank Accountant

April 12, 2017 by admin

Filed under Banking Career

Last modified April 12, 2017

A bank accountant reviews and prepares financial documents. Unlike an accountant hired by the general public during tax season, a bank accountant provides her services solely for her employer. In most instances, the role of bank accountant is held by a junior to mid-level professional. In addition, it often leads to more senior financial positions, including senior accountant, controller or even chief financial officer. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2012 that the average salary paid to accountants in the securities and brokerage industry was $89,290.

General Ledger

A bank accountant may be responsible for maintaining the institution’s general ledger. A general ledger is a company’s financial bible. It contains information pertaining to every account, including transactions. It includes all revenue and expenses. It also list and indicates the net worth of each of the bank’s assets. In addition to ensuring that everything is included in the document, a bank accountant regularly reconciles it for accuracy.

Month-End Close

A bank accountant is responsible for conducting month-end close. Month-end is a routine process that ensures that all of the month’s financial activities have been accounted for. In most instances, a series of reports are generated from bank departments responsible for bookkeeping, such as accounts payable and accounts receivable. These monetary reports are reconciled along with the bank’s general ledger and compiled to create a month-end report. Once the bank accountant is confident that all of the numbers add up, he delivers it to a senior accounting manager, such as a controller or chief financial officer for approval.

Function Specific

In many larger financial institutions, a bank accountant is responsible for a specific financial function. An internal auditor, for example, is a staff accountant who reviews the bank’s financial records to ensure its compliance with company policy, as well as federal and local laws. A tax specialist, on the other hand, focuses solely on ensuring that the company’s taxes are accurately processed and filed, researching and applying appropriate deductions in the process. Alternatively, a treasury accountant focuses on cash management, identifying ways to increase revenue and researching potential funding resources.

Prerequisites

Banks accountants must typically possess at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance. Many larger or prestigious banks, such as Goldman Sachs, prefer to hire job applicants who have obtained a master’s degree in business administration or MBA, with a concentration in accounting. In addition, federal law dictates that bank accountants responsible for filing reports with the Security and Exchange Commission must be a Certified Public Accountant, which is a state-issued license to practice.

by KJ Henderson

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