The Top 20 Accounting Job Titles (2023)

What are the optimalaccounting job titles?

I asked my team to help me analyze which accounting titles work best. In this mini-report (the latest chapter in Ongig’s Job Titles: The Definitive Guide, you’ll find guidance on:

  • Accounting Job Titles Hierarchy — The standard for accounting department positions
  • Most Searched-For Accounting Titles — A pie chart of the top 22 accounting position titles candidates search for on Google.
  • Accounting Job Titles and Descriptions — A list of the top 20 accounting titles and descriptions that employers request.

Note on the Hierarchy of Accounting Positions: Many employers have both Accounting and Finance together as one department or Accounting reports into Finance. For this article, I’m focusing on just Accounting positions as its own department — titles for Finance is a topic I’ll cover in a future article! However, I’ll mention Finance titles/positions in a couple of spots (especially leadership).

Accounting Job Titles Hierarchy

The Top 20 Accounting Job Titles (1)

Management Job Titles in Accounting

The leader of most accounting teams is the Chief Financial Officer or Chief Accounting Officer (CAO). The CAO title, while less common, is used at major businesses including Dell and Allstate Insurance.

As in most departments, the #2 person on the accounting team is typically a vice president. While there are many different Accounting VP titles, the most common are VP of Accounting and Finance, VP of Finance and VP of Accounting.

At the Director level, most Accounting departments use the title Controller (for-profit), Comptroller (non-profit and governments) or Director of Accounting/Finance.

Entry Level Accounting Job Titles

Below are the most popular entry-level accounting job titles ranked by both candidate and employer searches on Google (source;ahrefs and Google Keyword Planner).

Entry Level Accounting Job TitleCandidate Searches per mo.

Employer Searches per mo.

Accounting Clerk1,4002,000
Accounting Assistant1,3001,100
Junior Accountant200200
Accounting Intern60300

You’ll notice that the candidate/employer job title search volume above are closely aligned except for“Accounting Intern” — that’s an entry-level title that candidates search for less compared to employer searches.

Top Accounting Job Titles (Candidates)

Below is a list of the top 22 accounting titles candidates search for(source:ahrefs and Google Keyword Planner).

The Top 20 Accounting Job Titles (2)

Note for Employers: The titles listed above are the exact titles candidates search for. So, if you’re an employer for example, and you want to fill general accounting positions, titles that work best are “Accountant” followed by “Bookkeeper”, “CPA”, “Accounting Clerk”, etc.

Candidates who search these accounting titles on Google are also highly likely to search for the same titles on job boards like Indeed, LinkedIn and Glassdoor. If you use a different title, the candidate is less likely to find you.

Top Accounting Job Titles and Descriptions (Employers)

Below is a list of the top 20 accounting job titles and descriptions that employers search for via Google. These different accounting titles are ranked in descending order (source: Google search terms such as “[Job Title] Job Descriptions”). I’ve included synonyms for the positions where relevant.

1. Controller

A Controller (aka Comptroller) is responsible for overseeing and managing the accounting for a for-profit company. A Controller ensures that all financial reports are accurate and interprets data that is shared with executives of a company. A director or above position on most accounting teams the Controller is also tasked with keeping the business in compliance with financial laws and regulations. A Controller is the same position as Comptroller with Comptroller more commonly used in government and non-profit organizations.

# of Google Searches for this title per Month: 6,000; Financial Controller: 500

2. Bookkeeper

A Bookkeeper is tasked with the day-to-day financial transactions in an organization. A Bookkeeper role is most common in small to mid-sized employers. An accountant will review the work of the Bookkeeper in most organizations before finalizing monthly, quarterly, or annual financial statements.

Bookkeeper’s daily tasks are to process and record transactions like:

  • Sales
  • Purchases
  • Payroll
  • Accounts receivable
  • Bill payments

# of Google Searches for this title per Month: 4,600

3. Accountant

An Accountant manages financial information and processes for a business, either internally or externally. An Accountant is trained and qualified to do the following duties for an organization of any size:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Preparing Profit-and-Loss statements
  • Performing financial audits
  • Preparing tax reports

An accountant also advises on business structure, can manage invoicing and payroll, and keep management in the know about tax law changes.

# of Google Searches for this title per Month: 4,100

4. Staff Accountant

A Staff Accountant works directly with the Controller/Comptroller in an organization to prepare and analyze organizational budgets. A Staff Accountant is responsible for maintaining financial records, general ledgers, and reports. In some organizations, a Staff Accountant may also manage accounts receivable and assets.

# of Google Searches for this title per Month: 2,100

5. Accounting Clerk

An Accounting Clerk provides general accounting support in the accounting department of an organization. The Accounting Clerk, usually an entry-level accounting position, has daily tasks such as:

  • Verifying the accuracy of invoices
  • Updating and maintaining accounting journals, ledgers, and records
  • Data entry for accounting activities
  • Reconciliation of records for employees and vendors
  • Investigating data inconsistencies

# of Google Searches for this title per Month: 2,000; Accounting Assistant: 1,100

6. Accounting Manager

An Accounting Manager oversees the daily operations of an accounting department. An Accounting Manager is responsible for establishing the proper accounting methods for a business and the enforcement of those policies. An Accounting Manager is expected to meet financial accounting objectives set by senior management and may also provide budget recommendations based on financial reports. They often report to the

# of Google Searches for this title per Month: 1,400; Accounting Supervisor: 250

6. Auditor

An Auditor conducts financial investigations for various businesses. An Auditor is an external and independent accounting professional who performs audits to ensure the accuracy of financial information within an organization. An Auditor’s duties also include:

  • Verification of company assets and liabilities
  • Laws and Regulations compliance
  • Examining management policies and procedures for effectiveness
  • Proposing new processes for financial improvement

# of Google Searches for this title per Month: 1,100; Internal Auditor: 300; Internal Audit Manager: 300

7. Senior Accountant

A Senior Accountant is responsible for reviewing journal entries of junior accountants and making recommendations based on their analysis. A Senior Accountant takes ownership of costs, expenses, and the productivity of an organization. Other responsibilities of a Senior Accountant include assisting with tax or financial audits, coordinating complex accounting projects, and preparing account reconciliations.

# of Google Searches for this title per Month: 800

8. CPA (Certified Public Accountant)

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is an accounting professional who has met licensing requirements from their state to manage accounting and tax practices for public businesses. The duties of a CPA are:

  • Tax preparation services
  • Auditing and review
  • Forensic accounting services
  • Financial planning
  • Business valuation
  • Financial litigation representation

# of Google Searches for this title per Month: 500; Certified Public Accountant

9. Tax Accountant

A Tax Accountant is responsible for ensuring that businesses and individuals are in compliance with tax laws. A Tax Accountant offers tax planning services and advice that assist businesses in saving money. Another role of a Tax Accountant is to prepare federal and state tax returns.

# of Google Searches for this title per Month: 450

10. Accounting Payable Clerk

An Accounting Payable Clerk is responsible for paying the outgoing invoices or bills on behalf of a company. An Accounting Payable Clerk is also known as an accounts payable clerk, and their jobs duties include:

  • Responding to vendor invoices
  • Paying company credit card bills
  • Ensuring payments are sent when due
  • Resolving payment disputes

# of Google Searches for this title per Month: 450; Accounts Payable Clerk: 300

11. Accounts Receivable Specialist

An Accounts Receivable Specialist oversees the billing and collection for an organization. An Accounts Receivable ensures that confidentiality is maintained when collecting payments from clients. Other duties of an Accounts Receivable Specialist include account reconciliation and cash receipt creation.

# of Google Searches for this title per Month: 300; Accounts Receivable Clerk: 250

12. Accounts Payable Specialist

An Accounts Payable Specialist works closely with the accounts payable clerk to monitor outgoing payments from an organization. An Accounts Payable Specialist also assists in keeping track of vendor payment agreements and logs outgoing invoices. An Accounts Payable Specialist reviews and reconciles reports within the payables department.

# of Google Searches for this title per Month: 300; Accounts Payable Manager: 300

13. Comptroller

A Comptroller is a highly ranked accounting professional in a government or non-profit organization. A Comptroller (similar to the Controller position in for-profit companies) manages expenditures to keep the organization in line with a pre-determined budget. Comptrollers also review all accounting activities to ensure high standards and make adjustments to budgets as needed.

# of Google Searches for this title per Month: 300

14. Cost Accountant

A Cost Accountant is tasked with examining, recording, and summarizing a company’s costs, including products and services. The work of a Cost Accountant helps organizations plan budgets and improve cost efficiency. A Cost Accountant records and classifies expenditures to create financial statements for senior management.

# of Google Searches for this title per Month: 300

15. Accounting Representative

An Accounting Representative is the primary contact between and company and its clients. An Accounting Representative is responsible for creating and maintaining customer accounts. The essential duties of an Accounting Representative are:

  • Client Communication and issue resolution
  • Monitoring and responding to client communication
  • Creating client invoices
  • Auditing client files
  • Collaborating with department heads across departments

# of Google Searches for this title per Month: 300

16. Accounting Intern

An Accounting Intern assists the accounting department with a variety of tasks. An Accountant Intern is responsible for basic office tasks such as making copies of client invoices or files. An Accounting Intern also works directly with upper-level accountants to prepare financial reports and tax returns, and to perform audits of client financial accounts.

# of Google Searches for this title per Month: 300

17. Accountant Specialist

An Accountant Specialist, also known as an Accounting Specialist, is tasked with managing the payroll activities of a business or organization. This includes reviewing employee contracts and time sheets to ensure accuracy. An Accountant Specialist is responsible for preparing reports for workers’ compensation claims and other federal or state reports. Depending on the size of the organization, this role may also include the management of accounts payable and receivable.

# of Google Searches for this title per Month: 300; Accounting Specialist: 150

18. Accounting Coordinator

An Accounting Coordinator is responsible for inputting employee payroll information on a weekly or monthly basis. An Accounting Coordinator also manages the contract filing systems and creates monthly financial statements. In some organizations, the Accounting Coordinator works across all departments to assist in creating annual plans.

# of Google Searches for this title per Month: 250

19. Forensic Accountant

A Forensic Accountant uses the combination of investigative and accounting training to examine the financials of a business or an individual. A Forensic Accountant conducts audits and creates reports that are legally acceptable in court cases and legal action based on their findings, commonly for embezzlement or fraud cases. A Forensic Accountant may also be called upon to testify in court and prepare additional visual aids based on their findings.

# of Google Searches for this title per Month: 250

20. Property Accountant

The Property Accountant addresses the requirements needed to buy and sell real estate. Job responsibilities include crafting budgets, setting up escrows and preparing statements.

# of Google Searches for this title per Month: 200

Other Accounting Titles Resources

Thanks to the many experts on accounting positions I learned from for this report. They include:

Why I wrote this?

My team at Ongig is on a mission to transform job descriptions. A key to any job description/job posting is the job title. If you’d like more data/input on job titles, check outJob Titles: The Definitive Guide:Best practices on job titles including lists of titles by hierarchy and departments.The logic/data about job titles is built intoOngig’s job description software.

by Rob Kelly in Job Titles


What is the highest position in accounting? ›

1) Financial Controller

Job Description: A company's controller is the chief accounting officer and heads the accounting department. The controller is responsible for the company's financial statements, general ledger, payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, budgeting and tax compliance.

What are alternate titles for accounting manager? ›

It's common for an Accounting Manager to become a Financial Director, Finance Manager, Financial Reporting Manager, Tax Specialist, Financial Analyst, Chief Financial Officer, Financial Planning and Analysis Manager or Bookkeeper.

What are the 4 types of accountants? ›

These four branches include corporate, public, government, and forensic accounting. An undergraduate degree is most often required for any accounting career, while previous master's work, especially in the accounting field, is often strongly preferred.

What is the richest type of accountant? ›

The top-paying industries for accountants include finance and insurance, management of companies and enterprises, tax preparation, and the government.

Who are the big 5 in accounting? ›

The Big Eight consisted of Arthur Andersen, Arthur Young, Coopers & Lybrand, Deloitte Haskins and Sells, Ernst & Whinney, Peat Marwick Mitchell, Price Waterhouse, and Touche Ross.
Revenue comparison.
Fiscal year ending2022-05-31
Revenues (US$)$59.3 bn ( $9.1 bn, 18.1%)
% revenue gap to next largestN/A
4 more columns

What is another title for accountant? ›

Read along for a list of the most popular accounting job titles:
  • Bookkeeping clerk. ...
  • Accountant. ...
  • Financial analyst. ...
  • Business analyst. ...
  • Certified public accountant (CPA) ...
  • Controller. ...
  • Accounting consultant. ...
  • Chief financial officer (CFO)

What are the 9 branches of accounting? ›

The eight branches of accounting are:
  • Fiduciary accounting.
  • Financial accounting.
  • Forensic accounting.
  • Cost accounting.
  • Tax accounting.
  • Auditing.
  • Accounting information systems.
  • Managerial accounting.

What is a higher position than an accountant? ›

A controller, or comptroller, oversees the accounting operations of a firm, including managing staff. Because controllers' duties and responsibilities expand beyond that of an accountant, they typically command larger salaries.

How many types of accountants are there? ›

What are the 4 types of accountants? Accounting jobs come in many shapes and sizes, but accounting can sometimes be broken down into four categories: corporate, public, government and forensic.

What is the most entry level accounting job? ›

  • BOOKKEEPER. Bookkeepers track and record purchases, sales, and other financial transactions for individual clients or organizations. ...

What is position in accounting? ›

Financial position is the current balances of the recorded assets, liabilities, and equity of an organization. This information is recorded in the balance sheet, which is one of the financial statements.

What are the 5 roles of accountant? ›

Ans: The services which an accountant provides are as follows:
  • Management Consultancy services.
  • Taxation services.
  • Bookkeeping.
  • Statutory audit and internal audit.
  • In winding up of companies, they act as liquidators for the company.
  • Accountants also act as arbitrators to settle of disputes.

What are three 3 main areas of accounting? ›

The 3 types of accounting include cost, managerial, and financial accounting. ​​ Although 3 methods of accounting are both vital to the healthy functioning of a business, they have different meanings and accomplish different goals. Let's dive into each of each below.

What are the 7 types of accounting? ›

Here's an overview of some common accounting types a business may need: Financial accounting. Managerial accounting.
  • Financial accounting. ...
  • Managerial accounting. ...
  • Cost accounting. ...
  • Tax accounting. ...
  • Auditing.

What are the 8 types of accounting? ›

What are the different types of accounting?
  • Tax accounting.
  • Financial accounting.
  • Management accounting.
  • Cost accounting.
  • Forensic accounting.
  • Governmental accounting.
  • International accounting.
  • Auditing.
15 hours ago

Can accountants make 7 figures? ›

According to Glassdoor salary data, the typical salary for an entry-level accountant is $49,284. However, as you progress in the accounting field, you have the potential to earn over six figures.

Do accountants make 100k a year? ›

While possible, it is unlikely to earn over $100k as an accountant because even higher-paid positions do not typically earn more than $69,000 per year. The average annual salary for an accountant is $52,965.

Do accountants make 6 figures? ›

A CPA salary usually reaches the high five figures, and senior CPAs in management can earn a six-figure salary.

What are Big 8 accounting firms? ›

This book focuses on the firms that make up of the Big Eight – Arthur Andersen; Arthur Young; Coopers & Lybrand; Deloitte Haskins & Sells; Ernst & Whitney; Peat, Marwick, Mitchell; Price Waterhouse; and Touche Ross.

Are accounting jobs 9 5? ›

Accounting is typically a standard 9-to-5 job, except for certain times of the year with impending deadlines.

What is the Big 3 in accounting? ›

They are Deloitte, Ernst & Young (EY), PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG).

What are top accountants called? ›

1. Certified Public Accountant. Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are upper-level accountants who are recognized as experts in an organization's accounting records, taxes and financial standing.

What is the lowest position of an accountant? ›

The lowest level of an accountant is the junior accountant. It is a position in accounting at the entry-level. They typically report to one of the higher-level positions or, in smaller businesses, the controller. They may or may not hold a bachelor's degree.

What are the 11 branches of accounting? ›

Here is a list of 12 branches of accounting along with a description of each area's focus:
  • Financial accounting. ...
  • Managerial accounting. ...
  • Cost accounting. ...
  • Auditing. ...
  • Tax accounting. ...
  • Fiduciary accounting. ...
  • Project accounting. ...
  • Forensic accounting.
Mar 15, 2021

What are the six major accounts? ›

Types of accounts
  • Asset accounts are used to recognize assets. ...
  • Liability accounts are used to recognize liabilities. ...
  • Equity accounts are used to recognize ownership equity. ...
  • Revenue accounts are used to recognize revenue. ...
  • Expense accounts are used to recognize expenses. ...
  • Gain accounts are used to recognize gains.

What are the 10 functions of accounting? ›

Functions of Accounting
  • Financial Management. With accounting, management and external regulatory bodies can assess the financial situation of a company. ...
  • Cost Management. ...
  • Making Business Decisions. ...
  • Taxation and Compliance. ...
  • Maintaining Transparency. ...
  • Risk Management.
Dec 5, 2022

What is the next position after accountant? ›

After working in accounting for approximately 7 years, you can expect to move on to a mid-level management position such as Accounting Manager. You will manage professional level accounting functions and the preparation of reports including earnings, profits/losses, cash balances, and cost accounting.

What type of accounting is the hardest? ›

Tax Accounting: Usually some of the most difficult classes for an accounting major as they delve into the minutia of tax codes, though this knowledge is a major source of income for accounting graduates.

Why do so many accountants quit? ›

Many accountants are leaving the profession due to dissatisfaction with pay and benefits. A recent survey found that nearly one-third of respondents said they were not satisfied with their current salary, and nearly half said they were not satisfied with their benefits.

Can you do accounting without CPA? ›

Based on EMSI's aggregated job posting data for 2021, there were 46,626 job postings for accounting professionals that required a CPA. On the other hand, there were 170,607 jobs posted for accountants that only required a bachelor's degree, not a CPA. A CPA license won't disqualify you from any accounting position.

What is Level 3 accounting? ›

The Level 3 course covers a range of key areas, including: Financial accounting: preparing financial statements. Management accounting techniques. Tax processes for businesses including accounting for VAT and payroll.

What are the three levels of accounting? ›

The 3 types of accounting include cost, managerial, and financial accounting. ​​ Although 3 methods of accounting are both vital to the healthy functioning of a business, they have different meanings and accomplish different goals. Let's dive into each of each below.

What are the 7 basic accounting categories? ›

7 Basic Accounting Categories: –
  • Financial Accounting.
  • Tax Accounting.
  • Project Accounting.
  • Managerial Accounting.
  • Government Accounting.
  • Foreign Accounting.
  • Cost Accounting.

What is an accountant vs bookkeeper vs CPA? ›

Bookkeepers, accountants and certified public accountants (CPAs) all work with businesses' financial data. Bookkeepers record when a company receives, pays or owes money. Accountants provide more in-depth analysis than bookkeepers. A CPA or certified public accountant is an accountant with a state license.

What is the hardest accounting qualification? ›

The CIMA qualification is more demanding, as it does not let you move forward until you pass one set of exams, compared with ACCA which allows you to study towards multiple sets of exams simultaneously.

Is Level 4 accounting a degree? ›

Professional - Level 4

The Professional Diploma in Accounting is equivalent to an HNC level qualification, or the first year of a university degree. It is the final AAT level, teaching you more complex accounting theory, and lets you choose two specialist subjects.

How many CPA levels are there? ›

What are the 4 CPA Exam sections? There are four CPA Exam sections you must pass to complete the Uniform CPA Examination, divided by major topics: Auditing & Attestation (AUD), Business Environment & Concepts (BEC), Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR), and Regulation (REG).

What are the 5 major of accounting? ›

The chart of accounts organizes your finances into five major account types, called accounts: assets, liabilities, equity, revenue, and expenses.

What are the 5 major types of accounting? ›

The 5 Account Types
  • Assets.
  • Liabilities.
  • Expenses.
  • Income (Revenue)
  • Equity.
Jul 20, 2022

What are the 13 concepts of accounting? ›

: Business Entity, Money Measurement, Going Concern, Accounting Period, Cost Concept, Duality Aspect concept, Realisation Concept, Accrual Concept and Matching Concept.

What are the 8 branches of accounting? ›

The eight branches of accounting include the following:
  • Financial accounting.
  • Cost accounting.
  • Auditing.
  • Managerial accounting.
  • Accounting information systems.
  • Tax accounting.
  • Forensic accounting.
  • Fiduciary accounting.

What pays more accounting or bookkeeping? ›

The salary range for bookkeepers and accountants differ per state and on other important factors. But typically, accountants earn more than bookkeepers, and their midpoint salary is higher.

Can you call yourself an accountant without a CPA? ›

Accounting is basically the recording and reporting of business and financial transactions. Anyone who does that function can call themselves an accountant, even without a degree in accounting, although typically an accountant does have an accounting-related degree.

What can a CPA do that a bookkeeper Cannot? ›

Analysis: An accountant can give you a comprehensive view of your business's financial state, along with strategies and recommendations for making financial decisions. Bookkeepers, on the other hand, are only responsible for recording financial transactions.


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