Accounting Organizational Structure
If your company is experiencing growth, you may want to consider expanding your accounting staff. The specific roles in an accounting organizational structure vary greatly by the size of the company. A large company may need multiple account clerks to process accounts payable and accounts receivable. On the other hand, a smaller accounting department of three may be able to combine the accountant and controller duties into one role.
The entry-level position in an accounting organization is an account clerk or accounting clerk. Account clerks are usually responsible for maintaining files and entering data into the accounting system. They'll process bills and payments, and arrange for money to be deposited in the bank. Account clerks tend to have more clerical duties, such as opening the mail, matching checks with invoices, and mailing out payments and invoices.
The next level position in an accounting department is a staff accountant or full charge bookkeeper. This is often an entry-level position for individuals who have a degree in accounting. The accountant will verify the accuracy of the accounting clerk's transactions in the accounting system and post adjusting journal entries that require a more thorough understanding of accounting roles. These individuals will usually process payroll and reconcile bank statements at the end of the month.
A controller is tasked with supervising junior accounting personnel and enforcing the internal controls of the company. The controller monitors all activity in the accounting system to ensure there's no risk of fraud or mismanagement. Controllers are also responsible for preparing financial documents, such as budgets, financial statements and financial analysis reports.
The chief financial officer, or CFO, is the top of the accounting organization chart. The CFO hires and oversees all staff and works closely with the CEO on financial matters. CFOs are responsible for ensuring compliance with government regulations, such as audits and tax returns. On a broad level, the CFO must have a solid understanding of the company's revenues and costs, and will make recommendations to ensure the financial success of the company.