A senior tax accountant is, as the job title suggests, a high-ranking position in the accounting industry whether it is in government or in the private sector. The basic function of such a job is to ensure that a company's tax policies comply with those set down by the state and federal government. Preparing the company's tax returns will be the primary duty, but there are other duties and responsibilities associated with this position as well. Internal auditing of the company's financial records is also a duty of this job to ensure that the correct amount of taxes are paid and that there is no hint of fraud in any of the financial transactions.
The senior tax accountant in a company will deal with the portions of the income tax returns that relate to the following areas:
- Downloading financial data into the computer database.
- Reviewing tax packages for subsidiaries, if you work with a large corporation
- Making applicable tax adjustments when necessary
- Prepare sub-sections of the tax return and assisting on integrating these into the total return
You will be part of the senior team as senior tax accountant. One of the expectations for this position is that you will contribute innovative ideas to help minimize company expenses, decrease the workload or to come up with ways to make the work easier. You may be assigned various assisting tasks where you have to assist other managers on projects. In these duties, you need to be a team member and be able to utilize team-building strategies to establish good relationships with your colleagues and supervisors. You may also have staff working under you, with whom you often need to be tactful and diplomatic, which calls for excellent interpersonal skills.
You do need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree in accounting to obtain the position of senior tax accountant and CPA certification. Most professionals in this position have at least five years of experience working in the area of corporate tax. In addition to thses skills, you must be proficient in the use of the computer, accounting software and in using spreadsheets. Since you will have to prepare reports, you should also be familiar with word processing and have good keyboarding skills. You will be called upon to make oral reports in your meetings, which calls for excellent oral and written communication skills as well as presentation skills. You should be able to work for long periods of time with limited supervision and be able to meet deadlines, which also means having good organizational skills and the ability to prioritize.