An accountant in charge is an accountant who oversees other accountants, usually for the purposes of auditing. This job does not usually entail normal accounting work, though this accountant must have extensive knowledge of the work in order to monitor the work of other accountants. In many cases, this accountant is also the person who acts as a go-between when a client company and the accounting firm need to communicate. The position is a supervisory one, and involves managing employees, delegating tasks, and ensuring that the work done is accurate and complete before it is turned over to the client.
One of the things an accountant in charge is typically responsible for is overseeing an audit. During the process of an audit, a company will be evaluated for the correctness and completeness of its financial documentation and will also often have its documentation process evaluated for reliability. This will be done by an outside accounting team, usually one hired by the company. The accountant in charge will divide up the workload amongst the employees and will supervise the audit itself. This accountant will also make sure that all laws and guidelines are followed so that the information found during the audit is legal and accurate.
The other main responsibility of an accountant in charge is maintaining relationships with clients. The accountant is usually the point of contact when an outside business wishes to speak with an accounting firm. As such, the accountant in charge needs to be able to talk about the audit process with the business and be able to answer any questions the client may have. Good communicative skills and the ability to to discuss a business's accounting process in clear language are essential parts of the accountant in charge's job. In some cases, this accountant may also be responsible for advertising and finding new clients.
Though an accountant in charge is usually a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), he or she rarely works on the day to day tasks of other accountants. Tasks such as going over financial records, calculating income and loss reports and determining taxes will usually go to other accountants at a firm. The accountant in charge needs to be familiar with all aspects of accounting, however, because this accountant is responsible for the accuracy and completeness of an audit. He or she may need to check over the work of other accountants, answer questions they may have, or solve any problems that arise.