How to Be a Staff Accountant

In larger companies, a staff accountant will work under the supervision of a senior accountant.

In larger companies, a staff accountant will work under the supervision of a senior accountant.

A staff accountant is an accountant who works in-house for a business. Most staff accountants are certified public accountants (CPAs). The duties of a staff accountant vary according to the size of the business. In a small business, a staff accountant will have more clerical responsibilities, while in a larger business, a staff accountant will have more supervisory and management responsibilities. Generally, a staff accountant will be responsible for maintaining the company's ledger accounts and preparing financial statements.

Receive a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance or another related field from an accredited university or college. Be aware that the majority of states require at least 150 semester credit hours to become a CPA. As such, you may need to obtain a master's degree in accounting to meet this requirement.

Take the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination and receive a passing score, which may vary by jurisdiction. The Uniform CPA exam is designed to assess the knowledge and skills entry-level CPAs need to practice public accountancy. The exam covers four major subject areas: auditing and attestation, business environment and concepts, financial accounting and reporting and regulation.

Get work experience working under a CPA in your state. The amount of required work experience varies according to jurisdiction, but is generally one or two years.

Apply for your CPA's license from your state's Board of Accountancy.

Use online job boards and recruiting events to find staff accountant employment opportunities. Apply to these jobs by sending a cover letter and resume to the company's human resources department.


  • On the American Institute of CPAs' This Way to CPA website, you can check your state's specific requirements for CPA licensure.

About the Author

Lisa S. Kramer is a licensed attorney practicing civil litigation and estates and trusts law in southern Florida. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Florida, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and cum laude. Kramer earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images