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Junior Accountant vs. Staff Accountant: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A career in accounting can be both financially and personally rewarding. Two common positions in this field are junior accountant and staff accountant. While both roles require excellent math skills and attention to detail, there are several key differences between the two.

In this article, we discuss the differences between junior and staff accountants, and we provide information on what you can expect from each position.

What is a Junior Accountant?

Junior Accountants are entry-level accounting professionals who support the work of Senior Accountants and Accounting Managers. They are responsible for a variety of tasks, such as maintaining financial records, preparing reports and assisting with audits. Junior Accountants typically have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. They must be able to use accounting software and have strong analytical and math skills. Junior Accountants must be detail-oriented and able to work independently.

What is a Staff Accountant?

A Staff Accountant is a professional who provides accounting and financial reporting services to an organization. They are responsible for maintaining ledgers, preparing financial statements and tax returns, and performing other accounting duties as needed. Staff Accountants typically work in-house for a company in their accounting or finance department. Some may work for public accounting firms, providing accounting services to a variety of clients. Staff Accountants typically have at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Many organizations also require that Staff Accountants have or be working towards professional certification, such as a CPA.

Junior Accountant vs. Staff Accountant

Here are the main differences between a junior accountant and a staff accountant.

Job Duties

Junior accountants perform a wide variety of tasks, like preparing financial reports, analyzing data and managing databases. They may also assist more senior accountants with larger projects and prepare documents for filing.

Staff accountants typically have more responsibility within the accounting department, as they often work alone or with a junior accountant. Their duties include performing audits, compiling financial records and preparing tax returns. They also monitor internal financial systems and ensure that all accounting procedures are followed.

Job Requirements

To become a junior accountant or staff accountant, you need a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, business administration or a related field. For consideration in more advanced positions, it may help to pursue a master’s degree, but it is not a prerequisite for either position.

In addition to college, both professions may continue education through additional certifications. A CPA license, which teaches accountants how to file taxes, is accredited through the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and offered as a national exam. A CFA license allows financial analysts to advise clients through decision-making in investment opportunities. Certifications are not mandatory in either position but allow for more growth opportunities and can be an outlet for gaining more experience in the financial field through extensive training hours.

Work Environment

Both junior and staff accountants work in similar environments, such as offices or other professional settings. However, a staff accountant may have more opportunities to travel for their job than a junior accountant. This is because they often perform tasks that require them to visit clients or attend meetings with clients. They also may need to travel to train new employees on the company’s accounting software.

A junior accountant typically works in an office setting where they can complete all of their assigned duties without traveling. A staff accountant may spend some time working in an office but also spends time visiting clients and attending meetings.


There are several similarities in the specific skills used by junior and staff accountants. Both roles require excellent math skills, as they will be constantly working with numbers. They also need to have strong attention to detail to catch errors and discrepancies. Junior and staff accountants both use analytical skills to examine financial data and identify trends.

There are also some differences in the specific skills used by junior and staff accountants. Junior accountants may need to rely more on their research skills, as they may not have as much experience or knowledge as staff accountants. Staff accountants may need to use their supervisory skills more often, as they may be responsible for overseeing junior accountants.


The average salary for a junior accountant is $57,846 per year, while the average salary for a staff accountant is $62,583 per year. The salary for both positions may vary depending on the size of the company, the location of the job and the level of experience the accountant has prior to taking the position.


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