A certified accounting technician holds a professional certification from a global accounting organization known as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. These technicians can operate at a number of different levels within an organization, primarily focusing on the recording and reporting of financial transactions. Lower positions include clerks who handle the majority of basic financial transactions, operational managers who oversee the accounting office, financial managers over business divisions and financial analysts who forecast and review financial data.
The certified accounting technician receives training on a variety of accounting topics, ranging from recording financial transactions and management control (introductory), accounting for costs and maintaining financial records (intermediate) and managing people or systems, creating financial statements and the planning, control and performance management (advanced) of accounting and business topics. The technician also receives training on two other major topics, including the implementation of audit procedures, managing finances and preparing corporate tax information. With this knowledge, the certified accounting technician can select the career path he desires, which most often starts in the private accounting sector.
Accounting clerks are typically the lowest position in an accounting office. These individuals handle the daily paperwork from various transactions and enter them into the company’s accounting ledger. Clerks will balance entries, reconcile accounts and cut checks to pay vendors. Large organizations with copious amounts of transactions will often have several clerks that record this information. Department divisions allow companies to group technicians by the tasks they perform, such as accounts payable, general accounting or fixed assets.
The certified accounting technician who achieves operational management position supervises the accounting clerks in a specific department. This creates a structure environment where an accounting controller will run the company’s accounting operations through the multiple accounting managers or supervisors who approve and ensure that transactions are accurate, valid and timely.
Financial managers do not necessarily work in the accounting department. They often work in various business departments as cost controllers, who account for and oversee the costs necessary to run the department. These positions require a mixture of accounting and management experience and education. Financial managers will most likely report to the company’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer, as both these positions have a stake in the operation of a department.
As a financial analyst, the certified accounting technician has more concern over the future direction of the company. They will review past financial performance and determine the company’s future opportunities for sustainability. In some ways, the financial analysts focus more on the economics of a business. They desire information that indicates how well the company competes with other companies in the business environment. This information helps the financial analyst make recommendations for future operational changes to the company.