Career Story: Staff Accountant For A Healthcare Company

Staff Accountant For A Healthcare Company

Job Title: Staff Accountant

Type of Company: I work for a company that owns and manages nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Education: BS, Business Administration, Babson College

Previous Experience: I started as a public accountant when I graduated from college. I decided to switch to the private side after a year and worked in Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable and Payroll before finding my current job.

Job Tasks: As a staff accountant, I am involved in the monthly reporting of financial information. It is my job to post and review all of the revenues and expenses for specific nursing homes each month based on the time line provided by our supervisors. I propose journal entries and reconcile accounts to be sure that our company has the correct information to base decisions on.

Accuracy and organization are the two most important qualities for a person to have in my job. Each month, at the beginning, we gather information from the centers to use as journal entries. The entries are reviewed and posted. After that, we use computer software to run our reports. We have reports called "profit and loss" statements that show all the revenue earned by each center and all the things that money was spent on as well. We also have "balance sheets." These keep track of things like how much cash a center has in the bank or how much money they owe to vendors that they buy goods from. We review the results on these reports to see if we need to make any more changes in order to have the most accurate reports we can. Once the reporting is complete, we create packets of information to distribute to the people in our company and at the centers. By the time this is done each month, it is just about time to start all over again!

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I enjoy the organization of the job. Although the work I do changes from month to month, the schedule is the same. It allows a person to really build a routine. I also enjoy reviewing the reports we create. We use budgets to keep revenues and expenses on target and sometimes you have to be a bit of a detective to find out why a center spent so much on certain things, anything from office supplies to pieces of medical equipment.

The worst part can sometimes be the routine. It can be a good thing or a bad thing. Sometimes the job's routine can get a little monotonous, especially in the period between month-ends when there can often be "down time."

Job Tips: The best way to find out if accounting interests you is to take a class in school, whether in high school or college. Accounting is a career that has been around for a long time and is pretty stable. I would also suggest talking to people who are accountants as every company has its own culture that can affect the staff it employs.

Additional Thoughts: I think that people often think of accounting as a "nerdy" profession. It surprises people to find out that there are a lot of different people who do this job. Some people are writers or artists and there are others who are into sports. I think it is job that gets stereotyped a lot and that is not necessarily fair.

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