Career Development

What Does an Accounting Analyst Do?

Find out what an accounting analyst does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an accounting analyst.

Accounting analysts are responsible for analyzing and interpreting financial data. They commonly work with accountants, auditors, and other finance professionals to help companies make sense of their finances.

Accounting analysts may also be tasked with creating reports or presentations that summarize the results of their analysis. These reports might be used internally by company management or externally by investors or other stakeholders.

Accounting Analyst Job Duties

Accounting analysts typically have a wide range of responsibilities, including:

  • Reviewing financial statements to ensure accounting principles were applied correctly
  • Analyzing data to identify trends or patterns to help make business decisions
  • Preparing reports for senior management about the financial status of the business in order to make strategic decisions about future operations
  • Preparing financial statements such as income statements and balance sheets for public companies
  • Analyzing accounting data to identify any unusual activity that might indicate fraudulent activity has taken place
  • Preparing financial statements by identifying entries from journals and ledgers that need to be recorded in the accounting system
  • Preparing budgets based on projected revenues and expenses for a department or company
  • Reviewing financial statements prepared by other departments in order to identify errors in record keeping or accounting principles used
  • Reviewing financial statements prepared by other departments in order to identify errors in record keeping or accounting principles used

Accounting Analyst Salary & Outlook

Accounting analysts’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the company size and industry. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $66,500 ($31.97/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $100,000 ($48.08/hour)

The employment of accounting analysts is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Employment growth will be driven by the need for these workers in industries that are currently employing them, such as healthcare and retail trade. However, automation may limit employment growth in some industries. For example, software is being used to automate some tasks that previously were done manually, such as calculating depreciation for tax purposes.

Related: Accounting Analyst Interview Questions and Answers

Accounting Analyst Job Requirements

The following are some of the requirements that an accounting analyst candidate may be expected to meet:

Education: Entry-level accountants are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Some employers prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in accounting or business administration with a concentration in accounting. Relevant coursework includes financial accounting, auditing, taxation, business law and business communication.

Training & Experience: Most accounting analysts receive on-the-job training from their new employer after they are hired. This training helps the analyst learn the specific processes and procedures of the company. It also helps the analyst learn the software and computer systems the company uses.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications enable professionals to prove their qualifications to current and future employers. Accounting analysts can earn certifications to gain more theoretical knowledge of their responsibilities, test their professional skills and further advance their career.

Accounting Analyst Skills

Accounting analysts need the following skills in order to be successful:

Critical thinking: Critical thinking is the ability to analyze a situation and make a decision based on the information you have. As an accounting analyst, you may be required to make financial decisions that affect the company’s bottom line. Your ability to make informed decisions is a critical skill for an accounting analyst.

Data analysis: Data analysis is the ability to interpret large amounts of data and find useful information. Accounting analysts use their data analysis skills to find trends in financial data, interpret data from a variety of sources and identify errors in data.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving skills allow you to identify and resolve issues. As an accounting analyst, you may be responsible for finding solutions to financial issues. For example, if a company is experiencing a loss, you may be tasked with finding ways to improve their financial situation.

Communication: Communication is the ability to convey information to others in a clear and understandable way. As an accounting analyst, you may be required to communicate with clients, other employees and other stakeholders. Effective communication can help you to convey information in a way that is easy for others to understand and can help to build trust and understanding between you and others.

Business knowledge: Accounting analysts need to have a basic understanding of business operations. This can help them interpret financial data and make recommendations for improvement. It’s important for accounting analysts to have a basic understanding of business operations so they can interpret financial data and make recommendations for improvement.

Accounting Analyst Work Environment

Accounting analysts work in a variety of settings, including corporate accounting departments, public accounting firms, and government agencies. They typically work a standard 40-hour week, although they may have to work longer hours during busy periods, such as at the end of the fiscal year. Many accounting analysts also travel to attend professional conferences or to meet with clients. The work environment is usually fast-paced and deadline-oriented, and accounting analysts must be able to work well under pressure. They must also be able to pay close attention to detail and have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills.

Accounting Analyst Trends

Here are three trends influencing how accounting analysts work. Accounting analysts will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Technical Skills

As businesses become more complex, the need for accounting analysts with technical skills will continue to grow.

Accounting analysts are responsible for collecting and analyzing data, which often requires them to use software or other tools. By developing these skills, accounting analysts can be more effective in their jobs and help their companies to run more efficiently.

The Emergence of Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology is emerging as a potential solution to many of the problems that plague the financial industry. This includes issues such as fraud prevention, transaction settlement, and data security.

As blockchain technology becomes more popular, accounting professionals will need to learn how to use it in order to stay competitive. They will also need to be familiar with the legal implications of using blockchain technology, as well as its potential impact on the economy.

More Focus on Cybersecurity

As businesses become more reliant on technology, the need for cybersecurity professionals has grown rapidly.

Accounting professionals can capitalize on this trend by becoming experts in cybersecurity. This means learning about common threats and how to protect against them, as well as understanding the latest regulations related to cybersecurity.

Greater Use of Cloud-Based Solutions

Cloud-based solutions are becoming increasingly popular among businesses, as they offer a number of benefits over traditional on-site solutions.

As cloud-based solutions become more prevalent, accounting professionals will need to learn how to use them effectively. This includes understanding how to manage data in the cloud, as well as how to keep sensitive information safe.

How to Become an Accounting Analyst

An accounting analyst career path can be a great way to start your career in finance. It’s important to note that there are many different types of accounting analysts, so it’s important to find the one that best fits your skills and interests.

If you want to become an accounting analyst, it’s important to have strong math and analytical skills. You should also be able to work well with numbers and be able to think critically about financial information. Additionally, it’s important to be able to communicate effectively with both clients and other members of the team.

Advancement Prospects

There are many ways to advance your career as an accounting analyst. One way is to specialize in a certain area of accounting, such as auditing, tax, or forensic accounting. Specialization can lead to becoming a partner in an accounting firm or taking on a leadership role in a corporate accounting department.

Another way to advance your career is to get an advanced degree in accounting or a related field, such as business administration or finance. This can lead to positions such as controller, chief financial officer, or treasurer.

Finally, you can advance your career by becoming certified as a public accountant or a certified management accountant. This can open up opportunities to start your own accounting firm or to take on a teaching or consulting role.

Accounting Analyst Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we’re looking for an analytical and detail-oriented accounting analyst to join our accounting team. The accounting analyst will be responsible for a variety of tasks, including but not limited to: reviewing and analyzing financial statements, preparing journal entries, assisting with the month-end close process, and reconciling accounts. The ideal candidate will have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field, as well as 2-3 years of experience in an accounting role. He or she will be highly proficient in accounting software and Excel, and will possess strong analytical and problem-solving skills.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Prepare, examine, and analyze accounting records, financial statements, and other financial reports to assess accuracy, completeness, and conformance to reporting and procedural standards
  • Develop and maintain spreadsheets to track various data points related to departmental KPIs
  • Assist with the month-end close process by preparing journal entries and account reconciliations
  • Analyze trends, costs, revenues, financial commitments, and obligations incurred to predict future revenues and expenses
  • Generate ad hoc reports as requested by management in order to make informed business decisions
  • Support Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable functions as needed
  • Research and resolve discrepancies in financial data
  • Maintain internal control systems and recommend any improvements necessary to ensure compliance with SOX regulations
  • Prepare audit schedules and work with external auditors to ensure a successful completion of the annual audit
  • Update and maintain accounting policies and procedures manual
  • Train new employees on accounting software and departmental processes
  • Perform special projects and ad hoc analysis as requested

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or related field
  • 2-4 years professional experience in accounting or finance
  • Analytical and research skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Organizational skills
  • Ability to work independently and with a team
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, with aptitude to learn new software and systems

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • CPA or CFA designation
  • MBA or Master’s degree in accounting, finance, or related field
  • 5+ years professional experience in accounting or finance
  • Experience with data analysis and financial modeling
  • Advanced proficiency in Excel, including VBA programming


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