Where accounting used to be seen purely as the department where invoices are entered, nowadays organizations increasingly recognize the added value of an Accounting Manager. In this role, you will lay the foundations for the financial analyses that will eventually determine decisions about the company's growth.
Aline Lewy, Managing Consultant at international recruitment specialist Robert Walters, elaborates on the role of an Accounting Manager, explains what the career opportunities are, and what salary you can expect in this position.
An Accounting Manager supervises the team of accountants and is responsible for the entire accounting process from A to Z. The accountants in the team are responsible for the day-to-day operational accounting tasks and do the monthly, quarterly and annual closing, VAT returns, etc. An Accounting Manager does just a bit more than the pure operational side. He or she is responsible for final checking of the figures and interpreting them. In addition, an Accounting Manager acts as a financial contact within the organization, but also for external parties, such as the external auditors, for example.
Aline: "Because the Accounting Manager is less actively involved in the day-to-day operational accounting tasks, he can focus more closely on current and new projects within the organization. Think, for example, of the implementation of new tools or business projects around process improvement."
"Obviously, it is important for an Accounting Manager to be able to work autonomously and in a structured manner, against constant deadlines. Moreover, the Accounting Manager is expected to be able to thoroughly analyze, understand and explain the figures," says Aline. "After all, his or her insights and conclusions form the basis for the recommendations made by the controlling team to the company management who makes the final decisions. Therefore, it is also important that he has strong communication skills and speaks Dutch and French fluently, especially when the team is bilingual. If the organization works on an international level, a good knowledge of English is also required."
Of course, we should not forget technical expertise: accounting tools such as SAP, JD Edwards and accounting standards such as IAS/IFRS and US/UK GAAP should hold no secrets for Accounting Managers.
Moreover, a good Accounting Manager can handle stress very well and knows how to guide the team smoothly through busy periods. Aline: "The constant workload means that Accounting Managers often find it difficult to strike a good balance between their strong technical skills and at the same time being able to lead, motivate and encourage each individual in their team to grow in their role."
Aline: "Generally speaking, we can say that an Accountant will progress to Senior Accountant and then to Accounting Manager. But there are different growth paths possible. A Senior Accountant in an SME will be responsible for A-Z accounting. As a Senior Accountant in a large company, you can either have A-Z responsibility, for example for an entity, or you can choose to immerse yourself further in a particular aspect of accounting, such as VAT, for example. The next step in your career can then be that you become responsible for multiple entities or that you broaden your job content and focus, as a true specialist, on multiple aspects within accounting.
The logical next step for an ambitious Accounting Manager is the role of Head of Accounting. As an experienced expert, he or she is expected to advise and assist the management team in important decisions, while ensuring that the team is managed well. And of course, the involvement in company-wide projects is even more intense in the role of Head of Accounting."
Statistics from Jobfeed show that the number of vacancies for Accounting Manager has increased 23% in 2022 compared to the previous year.
"The rising demand for Accounting Managers is indeed palpable. We notice that the added value of a good Accounting Manager is increasingly recognized in the business world," says Aline.
"Correct and timely accounting is the essential basis for the organization to perform financial analysis. Companies are therefore looking for Accounting Managers who are very close to the business and can act as true business partners.
An Accounting Manager with 7 to 15 years of experience can expect a gross annual salary between 75 and 110k EUR. Anyone with more than 15 years' experience could see their gross annual salary rise to 145k EUR or more, according to the Robert Walters Salary Survey. "As the demand for Accounting Managers is still rising, we expect salaries to increase further this year," Aline continued. "These days, a company car with fuel card is almost always part of an Accounting Manager's salary package, as well as group and hospitalization insurance and meal vouchers. Flexible and hybrid working are now well established and are therefore among the standard benefits for Accounting Managers."
Rediscovering your career: The first step in upskilling
Many professionals are re-questioning their own career profiles. While establishing a clear understanding of yourself can be a tricky existential question, determining it remains crucial as a basis for any future personal or career plan. If you have been in the workforce for some time, relooking atRead More
7 tips to make the right career move
If you are frustrated, bored or tired of working in the same environment or role and are looking for more of a challenge, it may time to take your career in a new direction. One of the biggest career challenges is tapping into your inner voice when direction is needed. How can you make sure you makeRead More
Time to change jobs?
So you’ve been in your job a good while, and you’ve noticed motivation is dwindling. Maybe you don’t feel challenged enough, or maybe you feel like you’re not moving in the direction you want any more. Your interests and goals naturally change over time, but how do you know if you’re ready for a jobRead More
Come join our global team of creative thinkers, problem solvers and game changers. We offer accelerated career progression, a dynamic culture and expert training.