What are the expectations from a Senior Accountant?

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  kev959 1 week, 2 days ago.

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    I am a CPA and a senior Accountant, started this job in May 18.Most of my work is accurate but I am making very basic errors which are mostly not presenting the data properly.I am recording all numbers correctly and never had any reconciling variance.My Manager is not happy with the minor errors and wants to make a decision on me soon.I am not sure what that decision be but I feel that he is unreasonable.

    I make errors like showing zero balances in recons, not filtering the data in recon backup that is relevant to the reconciling item even though my recon is accurate .I reconciled dec accurately but forgot to copy nov numbers in the next column and had oct numbers.

    These are the kind of errors I make and they are very silly mistakes .Are Senior accountant’s not expected to make errors like these and they get terminated?


    Dad of girls

    Termination seems extreme since you've been there less than a year, unless you knew the position was more of a temp-to-hire type of position. That being said your focus is still the same. I would recommend writing up a “final checklist” to do after every reconciliation. Put obvious things on the checklist, but more importantly, put all those small dumb little errors. Like have one point be “Verify prior months numbers agree with prior reconciliation”, and “Are any zero balances coming through when they shouldn't be”. This broad type of “reasonableness check” should help you catch those errors. Sure creating this checklist will take some thinking, and doing it after every recon will get tedious, but eventually it will become second nature. Plus it is taking the initiative to fix your mistakes that is important. Also consider showing the checklist to your manager in case there is anything he would like to add to it.



    He said he wants a decision to be made and he is copying his boss on emailing me such errors.Do you think he will do a PIP?



    CPA-level jobs are often required to have a high level of accuracy. Your post make you seem to be very forgiving of your own mistakes, and if you give that vibe to your supervisor he might interpret that as “live with it, it's not so bad”. My opinion – Do what you need to do to increase your accuracy. Make a checklist of items to check before sending something to him. Present him with the changes you are willing to make in order to do your job at a higher level.

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    I'd suggest a more thorough review of your own work.
    If possible hold the rec's until the following day to review with a fresh set of eyes to try and catch your own mistakes before someone else does.
    If it can't wait a day, hold onto it for an hour or 2 longer while you work on something else, then review once again before sending it along.
    While there are big and small errors, you should feel that any error is large. Your attention to detail needs to exceed your supervisor's expectations.
    If they can't trust you to do a simple rec, how can they trust you to do more advanced things on your own without having to double check every detail.
    Try and step your game up, you got this!

    Memento Mori - Kingston NY CPA & EA (SUNY Albany 2002)

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    Accounting professionals in general are expected to have high level of accuracy.
    As Bhunt815 mentioned above, you do sound a little too forgiving of your own mistakes.
    Everyone knows we all make mistakes, but unless you feel bad about it, you are unlikely to improve.
    And, I wouldn't give out the vibe that basically says ‘it's a silly mistake. who cares.'
    Stop justifying your mistakes. Own up to it. Fix it. Don't do it again.

    I recommend for whatever projects you are responsible for, write the process down. Maybe come up w/ a self-review checklist.
    Implement check figures in your workpaper. Even if it means spending extra 15-30 mins to do a thorough review of your work after you've done it, do it, if that's what it takes to stop you from making “silly” mistakes.

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    I am not sure those are minor errors to your manager. The zero value items are probably not a big deal, BUT if he has a recon with dec and oct numbers and doesn’t know the oct numbers are not the nov numbers you actually used, this requires him to stop what he is doing and find you or go in the file and pull the document and essentially redo your work to see what is going on.

    No matter where you work or in what position, if you are making someone’s job harder for them they are not going to like working with you.

    I really like the idea someone mentioned about making a checklist of all the things you should be checking for before submitting to your manager. This would also show that you care.

    Almost always from my phone... please excuse my typos!

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    I've been in the position where I've managed Sr Accts (as well as Sr Acct myself) and to be blunt your boss is not being unreasonable. You are a CPA and you've been in your position for 8 months. Those type of errors on a continual basis are inexcusable.
    That being said there has been some great advice in above threads that can help you. One, that I did was to create a checklist for myself when I was a Sr Acct. Make sure each item is accounted for. Second, find a way where you can incorporate your firm's data into an excel sheet. Doing so will allow you much flexibility to run simple checks, tie out numbers, create formuals to compare to previous month data, budget data, YTD, etc. Three, do a reasonableness check on the numbers and/or comparisons. For example, you may have a zero % variance (sounds great but unusual) but did the numbers change from last month, should there really be a zero there, etc? )Remember those FASB Conceptual Framework concepts from FAR?) Finally, your goal should be to make your boss's job easier. You need to ensure accurate and complete work is being presented. Take the time to check your work. It will only help you in the long run not just for this particular boss.

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