What does a Chief Accountant do?
The Chief Accountant ensures the credibility of the accounts of a company/corporation in accordance with the standards determined by management, while verifying the work provided by the accounting teams.
What are the responsibilities of a Chief Accountant?
The Chief Accountant's responsibilities are varied. First of all, he manages the organization of his accounting team by determining the structure of the organization (function, profession, legal entity) and together with his team, he defines the schedule with strict deadlines for legal or financial reasons. He is in charge of the organization during the closing of the accounts. He sets up quarterly, monthly or annual closing schedules while verifying the accuracy of the information sent to him, regarding accounting standards.
In addition, the Chief Accountant is responsible for monitoring the budget and the financing plan, he is the one who sets up communication with banks in order to have regular information on the latest developments. He also participates in negotiations with banking institutions.
The Chief Accountant meets with the Statutory Auditor to schedule the audit of the accounts and must present the main inventories and restatements of the closing of the accounts.
What are the skills and proficiencies required for a Chief Accountant?
- Master accounting techniques (Local Gaap, statutory consolidation, payroll, etc.)
- Master accounting standards (IAS/IFRS, UK-US GAAP)
- Good knowledge of the regulations
- Good knowledge of IT and accounting tools (MS Office, MS Dynamics, SAP, Oracle, JD Edwards, etc.)
- Confident with numbers
- Knowledge of professional Dutch and French is highly appreciated
- Knowledge of taxation
- Good analytical and synthesizing skills
- Good stress resistance
What background is needed to become a Chief Accountant?
A Chief Accountant has generally obtained at least a Bachelor's degree in Accounting (including management or tax courses).
Many Chief Accountants have obtained a Master's degree with a financial focus (finance/accounting, management sciences, etc.)
However, other degrees are possible provided that you have followed a finance/accounting specialization. The position of Chief Accountant is possible after a minimum experience of seven years.
What are the career prospects for a Chief Accountant?
The Chief Accountant may evolve into a position of Administrative and Financial Director, Financial Director or Consolidation Director.