Head of Accounting

The Head of Accounting oversees all activities of the accounting and tax accounting departments and is involved in the supervision and management of general accounting activities, analyses, business partnership, and the maintenance of effective internal controls while ensuring statutory compliance in all accounting initiatives.

The Head of Accounting is responsible for the day-to-day aspects of the business’s accounting and reporting functions and he reports directly to the Chief Finance Officer who takes responsibility over the entire financial department. He is additionally expected to work with other finance departmental heads in deciding on complex modeling of the business’s financial approaches that cut across the entire business.

Objectives and Responsibilities of the Head of Accounting

Leadership/Supervisory Role: The Head of Accounting first and foremost plays a leadership role where he leads both the accounting and tax accounting departments. In his leadership role, the Head of Accounting supervises end-of-period processes and supports the analysis of the periodical business performance, budgets, and forecasts.

He also leads the accounting department in the establishment of risk management procedures as well as the update of those procedures. As the leader of the accounting department, the Head of Accounting is charged with motivating, developing, and creating a departmental culture and vision, taking full responsibility for the success or failure of the quarterly/annual audit process.

He is also responsible for building talent across the accounting department and supports continuous improvement initiatives across the finance department. He serves as thought leader within the business and partners with senior management contributing to general financial management across the business. In his leadership position, the Head of Accounting also plays a mentorship role to key accounting personnel, supporting their continuous professional growth and readying them for the succession of his position in the future.

Policy Formation: The Head of Accounting also plays a leading role in creating and enhancing financial policies and procedures across the accounting department as well as the wider Finance department. He ensures that there is consistency in procedures and policies across the accounting department and that these policies are appropriately set for the achievement of the business’s overall goals and objectives. In this position, the Head of Accounting also leads compliance with the business’s internal corporate framework policies and finance manuals.

Collaboration and Support: The role of the Head of Accounting is not an independent role and, as such he collaborates with various internal and external personnel in the execution of his functions. The Head of Accounting liaises with senior finance department personnel in deciding on processes, and procedures to apply in the department and across the entire business.

The Head of Accounting will also work with departmental heads across the business in supporting their financial activities, guiding them through financial process, and interpreting the progress, implications of financial outcomes. The Head of accounting also collaborates with external partners such as tax accounting firm personnel, auditors, and in all matter regarding auditing and taxation.

Documentation & Reporting: The Head of Accounting also leads the department in the documentation of all financial books and records. He also prepares reports in reflection of the revenue quarterly/annual processes, which he delivers directly to the Chief Finance Officer. He develops reports on all accounting related matters inclusive of taxation matters. These reports accompany pro-active advice and recommendations on the business’s financial approaches from an accounting and taxation perspective.

Financial Analysis: The Head of Accounting is also tasked with leading the accounting departments in the preparation of accounts and conducting quarterly/annual auditing and the final preparation of accounts. The Head of Accounting leads the Accounting department in the preparation and monitoring the business’s annual budgets and liaises with external auditors to drive ad hoc projects that will improve process efficiency.

In this capacity, the Head of Accounting ensures that there is a proactive engagement across the accounting department in implementing audit findings with a view of improving the business’s overall financial performance.

Research/Knowledge/Opportunity: The Head of Accounting takes initiative in ensuring departmental compliance with state tax requirements as well as with accepted accounting principles. The Head of Accounting also attends regular finance forums/meetings both internally and externally in an attempt to gather useful knowledge and insights that can be applied within the accounting department and the larger finance department. The Head of Accounting makes recommendations for systems improvements across the finance department and oversees the implementation of approved changes across the department upon approval.

Other Duties: The Head of Accounting performs similar duties as he deems fit for the proper execution of his duties and duties as delegated by the Chief Finance Officer.

Required Qualifications of the Head of Accounting

Education: The Head of Accounting must have a Phd in Finance or Accounting. The equivalent of the same in practical experience is also acceptable. The candidate will also be better suited with CPA and further finance qualifications such as ACA, ACCA/FCCA.

Experience: A candidate for this position must have had at least 7 years of working experience in a leading accounting position within a fast-paced and dynamic position, preferably as a Senior Tax Accountant or a Senior Accountant. The candidate will have had significant, successful, and proven experience leading a financial accounting department.

The candidate will also have had experience preparing corporate tax computations as well as experience designing and implementing process improvements and controls. The candidate will demonstrate experience in tax management and have an ability to interpret complex financial information, translating that information into business planning, processes and risk management.

Communication Skills: The Head of Accounting must further portray exceptionally good communication skills. This is especially so for his collaborative role where the clear and concise conveyance of information to collaborative personnel will determine how effectively collaborative duties are executed.

He will need superior communication skills in his leadership position where he will need to convey sensitive information and instructions down the line, which will determine the effectiveness and efficiency of the accounting department. The Head of Accounting will also need exceptionally good communication skills in drafting clear, concise, and unambiguous reports and recommendations for senior finance leadership.

Ms Office/Software: The Head of Accounting must also possess exceptional computer skills and be highly proficient in Ms Excel, Ms Office, Ms Outlook, and PowerPoint, which will be necessary in the creation of financial reports and recommendations. The Head of Accounting must additionally be highly proficient in the use of financial softwares such as software such as Oracle Finances, Expensify, and JD Edwards.

Interpersonal Skills: The Head of Accounting has a keen eye for detail, works comfortably in a highly collaborative setting, has an ability to manage multiple projects and meet tight deadlines, has a confident and outgoing personality, works comfortably with senior business management, has an ability to operate comfortably in a fast-paced and fast-evolving environment, has strong business acumen, is very analytical and procedural, is highly organized, is a self-starter and proactive requiring minimal supervision, and demonstrates an ability to remain calm and composed during times of stress and uncertainty, inspiring the same in his team.

Leadership/People Skills: The Head of Accounting must demonstrate exceptional leadership skills, having an ability to influence and lead a cross-functional team as well as senior business leadership.  The Head of Accounting must additionally be a people person who forms strong bonds with other people and who inspires trust and confidence in both his peers, senior, and external partners, enabling the smooth execution of his duties.

Career path