The importance of a well-thought out job description

  • 30-04-22
  • Richard Lloyd Recruitment

When you’re hiring an Accountant, the process should begin with an accurate job description. The more specific you can be, the closer you’ll get to finding the right person for the role.

So, what should go in an Accountant's job description? At Richard Lloyd Recruitment, we’ve been in the business of recruiting Accountants for many years. From our experience, we’ve compiled this list of key considerations to include in your Accountant job description template.

Accountant specialisations

As you would know, not all Accountants are the same. There are a number of different Accountant types, levels of seniority and specialisations.

The specialisation and level will impact the Accountant qualification required and the skills you’re looking for, so start your job description by considering the most appropriate job title that reflects the role you are recruiting. Some examples of different Accountant types/titles include:

Provide context

At the top of your position description, we recommend including information such as:

  • Reporting Manager - i.e. who does the role report to?

  • Direct reports - i.e. How many employees does this role supervise (including their positions)?

  • Company description - i.e. What does the company do? Useful information could include, industry, total staff numbers, the structure of the finance team, locations, revenue and values.

Qualifications and accreditations

Once you’ve identified the type of Accountant you’re looking for, you’ll need to define the seniority of the role as well as the qualifications and accreditations to target.

Typically, Accountants are expected to have a Bachelor of Accounting and Finance, Bachelor of Accounting or equivalent degree. Depending on the level of the role, you may want to consider a more senior qualification, such as a Master's of Professional Accounting.

Also based on the type of Accountant, they may need a professional certification such as a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) or Chartered Accountant (CA). The specialisation and level you require will dictate any further qualifications or accreditations.

Scope and responsibilities of the role

In this section, you should provide more detail about what the role will involve on a day-to-day basis.

Outline the responsibilities of the role and the tasks that the person will be doing. These may include:

  • Accounts receivable and accounts payable

  • Financial reporting and analysis

  • General ledger reconciliation

  • Auditing financial statements

  • Reviewing and monitoring employee expenses

  • Preparing tax returns

  • Month-end financial reporting

  • Financial forecasting and budgeting

  • Financial risk assessments

The more specific you can be about actual roles and responsibilities, the more aligned the candidates you attract will be, increasing your chance of hiring a long-term applicant. Information on percentage time splits for each task in a typical month can help to give clarity from the very beginning.

For more specific information, you can browse our job descriptions to find out about the typical duties and responsibilities for various roles.

Hard and soft skills/job requirements

In any job description, you should include both the hard and soft skills that are required. Hard skills are those technical skills that are directly related to the tasks a person will need to do in the role. Soft skills are the more generic interpersonal or transferrable skills that are required to succeed in the role and team.

Communication skills: The ability to listen to stakeholders and understand their needs is an important skill for any Accountant. So is the ability to interpret or report financial information in a way that people can understand.

Cultural fit: Every business has a set of values or ways of operating that require certain skills of their employees. You may value collaboration or innovation. To be a good culture fit, someone may need to have a particular leadership or communication style.

Systems knowledge: If there are particular systems that the Accountant will need to use, list these out. Alternatively, you may be looking at implementing a new system and need a subject matter expert specifically for the implementation.

Industry knowledge: In some occasions, technical skills may trump industry knowledge. In others, it will be critical for the Accountant to have relevant industry experience.

Technical skills: This comes back to the type of Accountant you’re looking for and calling out the specific technical skills and experience they’ll need to bring to the role. These skills may include financial accounting, auditing, financial planning and analysis (fp&a), risk management, taxation or management accounting.

Additional information

If there are any details that would be useful to share to provide transparency around your Accountant opportunity, this is the place to list them. The clearer you can be on your position description, the better, therefore, guaranteeing that everyone's expectations will be aligned.

​Using the information in this blog as a guide and our job description template as an additional tool, you’ll be on your way to creating the perfect position description for hiring an Accountant in Sydney.

If you are looking to hire a new Accounting and Finance team member, contact us at Richard Lloyd Recruitment and speak to one of our experts.