If you've ever wondered what a day in the life of an accountant looks like, you're probably not the only one. The thing is, there is no typical day for an experienced accountant. It depends on the field of accountancy, seniority, the monthly accounting cycle and many other variables. Depending on the particular company and/or office, an accountant's day might be filled with daily repetitive routines, or it can be filled with long and time-consuming audits and financial reports. So, let's look at some of the most common accounting activities.
Answering Client Emails/Queries
Starting with the most basic and obvious task, each morning the very first an accountant does is grab a coffee and start answering any emails or queries that clients may have. Due to the nature of the job, you're constantly bombarded with questions from clients and you cannot allow having unanswered emails in your inbox. You would be surprised at how fast things can escalate when the query is of a financial nature.
Tracking Accounts Payable
You don't want to be put in a position where you owe other suppliers/vendors/companies money. This not only looks very unprofessional but it'll also hamper any sort of potential working relationship you might want to establish with them. Not to mention creditors, where you most definitely do not want to fall behind with payments. You can track your payable amounts on a daily, weekly or monthly basis – depending on the size and structure of your company. Just remember to stay on top of any payments you have.
Tracking Accounts Receivable
Your payables and receivables are the yin and yang of your companies finances – you must have both and one can't function without the other. Having cash flow is essential for any successful business, and if you don't have an overview of who owes you money and how much that amount is you're going to struggle with keeping your business' finances healthy. Have a timeline set for when are your receivable deadlines and stick to those dates religiously. Which brings us to our next accounting task.
If you don't bill your clients on time, chances are you might not get paid on time either. Invoicing is another part of accounting where following deadlines is essential. A lot of companies pay their invoices once per month, so if you miss the deadline you might not get paid for another 4 weeks which can have devastating consequences in certain cases. Establish a timely billing pattern and don't send your invoices a bit earlier than the deadline if you can. This ensures that even if there is some mistake with the invoice, you can still fix it and get paid on time.
Updating Financial Data
While this might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of accounting, it still is one of the most important aspects of the job. If the accounting software you're using is connected to the company bank account, you can easily do a daily check-up on expenses and revenue. This won't take much of your time as it can be done in minutes, but failing to do this daily will cost you a lot more time. It's much easier to stick to your deadlines and billing patterns if you know what the daily finances are like rather than doing a week's work all at once.
There is no typical accounting job. It is a very complex job that takes years of experience and learning to master. Different fields of accounting and different areas of business all require different tasks, so these things vary quite a bit. However, we tried to go over some of the generic accounting tasks that usually happen on a daily basis.
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