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Organizational & Business Structure for Accounting Department: Best Practices

Sharissa Barnett Jun 19, 2024 10:10:28 AM
blue chart flow organizational structure for accounting department

Whether you’re operating a small, medium, or large business, you need a finance team that ensures you stay in business. Likewise, the finance department needs the best accounting department structure to accurately manage, track, and report transactions.

With the right structure, you can allocate resources optimally, encourage clear communication, and speed up reporting for decision-making. What’s more, a well-designed organizational structure for the accounting department evolves to match the changing needs of your growing business. 

If your business is growing, you’ll know what to change so you don’t strain your team and negatively impact your bottom line.

This guide will show you the accounting department structure for small, medium, and large businesses and best practices.

Small Accounting Department Structure for Small Businesses

A small accounting department or practice can have about five employees with clear roles and responsibilities. Its accounting team structure comprises the following:

Practice Owner or Department Head

An accounting practice owner of a small business with a CPA firm organizational structure makes top-level decisions. They oversee the operations in the department and ensure there’s accuracy, compliance, and integrity in the information they receive from their teams. 

More importantly, practice owners or department heads nurture accountant-client relationships by solving unique challenges and building trust. Other duties include:

  • Leads in client acquisition
  • Makes top-level operational and financial decisions
  • Oversees the strategic direction of the business


A manager or partner of a small accounting firm supervises the daily operations of the business. They supervise accountants and associates to ensure clients receive quality services. Other duties include:

  • Making administrative decisions
  • Ensures compliance with laws and regulations
  • Offers guidance and mentorship to junior staff 
  • Participates in staff recruitment


Accountants perform daily accounting operations like bookkeeping and preparing payroll and tax returns. They’ll also do the following:

  • Prepare financial reports
  • Conduct research
  • Perform audits for clients
  • Maintaining financial records

Administrative Staff

A small business may decide to have in-house administrative staff or to outsource admin duties. If you choose to have an admin assistant or office manager, they’ll do the following.

  • Schedule appointments
  • Handle correspondence and organize files
  • Receive visitors
  • Order office supplies

Small Accounting Firm Organizational Chart 

small business accounting department structure checklist
Medium Accounting Department Structure for Medium Businesses

A typical accounting department structure for medium-sized businesses can have about 10 to 30 employees. These employees need clear lines of communication and authority so they can work with precision and agility. 

When the accounting structure of a business is clear and less confusing, it attracts and retains top talent, which is important in sustaining the growth of your business.

Here is the organizational structure for accounting department of a medium-sized business.


A medium-sized business can have one or two partners or owners who are responsible for its strategic direction. They also do the following.

  • Set the vision and mission of the firm.
  • Make decisions about major investments, expansion, and acquisitions.
  • Handle key client relationships.
  • Ensure profitability and oversee business performance.


Managers oversee the work of accountants and ensure projects are completed on time. Here, the best business structure for an accounting firm should have at least two managers. Other duties include:

  • Implementing strategic decisions.
  • Assist in handling client relationships.
  • Ensuring compliance with policies and regulations.
  • Offering guidance and mentorship to junior staff.

Accountants and Associates

Accountants and associates perform accounting tasks like daily, weekly, and monthly processing of income and expenses. They also:

  • Offer support to clients.
  • Prepare internal and external reports.
  • Make accounting information available to partners.

Office Managers

Office managers or admin assistants ensure office work runs smoothly. They can also perform HR duties like managing new staff and helping them register for training. Other duties include:

  • Preparing, organizing, and storing information
  • Managing diaries
  • Managing travel arrangements

Accounts Department Hierarchy Chart

organizational-structure-for-accounting-department Large Accounting Department Structure

The organizational structure for an accounting department in a large firm can have more than 30 members. With such a large team, there’s a need for proper communication to ensure accurate and timely reporting from one level of the corporate accounting department structure to the next.


The accounting structure of a company with multiple partners can be complex. So, it’s important for partners to clearly understand their roles, which include:

  • Strategic decision making.
  • Developing and maintaining key partner relationships.
  • Oversee the financial performance of the firm.


The directors in large accounting firms oversee the completion of client projects and report to specific partners. They also do the following:

  • Ensure the firm adheres to professional standards, policies, and regulations
  • Implement initiatives and department strategies
  • Manage resources and budget allocations

Team Leaders

Accountants in large firms are divided into teams. The team leader is responsible for ensuring projects run smoothly. They also do the following:

  • Offer guidance in team projects and give feedback on specific tasks
  • Offer mentorship and training
  • Delegate work and monitor progress


Accountants carry out everyday accounting duties and responsibilities. They also do the following.

  • Work in teams and provide support to clients
  • Conduct research on specific tasks
  • Ensure their work complies with laws and regulations in the industry.

Supportive Staff

Supportive staff ensure everyone in the accounting team structure works smoothly. They manage supportive services, including:

  • IT support and HR services
  • Oversee staff training and offer the necessary support
  • Maintain office equipment and inventory

Accounting Department Structure Best Practices

man working on accounting department structureTo successfully implement an organizational structure for the accounting department, you need to adhere to these best practices.

Define Roles and Responsibilities

When designing the accounting department structure of your team, you need to clearly understand the functions of each member. Know their roles and responsibilities and who they should report to. 

Also, consider what you hope to achieve in the future and how it might affect the accounting team structure.

Organizational Structure for Accounting Department and Strategic Goals

The accounting department structure should make it easy for employees to align with the vision, mission, and goals of the organization. 

For example, the organizational structure should enable teams to coordinate their efforts towards a common goal through reporting, decision making, or resource allocation.

Promote Specialization in the Accounting Department Structure 

If you have future plans to offer services in a specific area, you can consider creating an organizational structure for the accounting department. For example, you may want your team to provide more tax-related services. 

For that reason, it’s better to have a dedicated team on the accounting firm organizational chart. The team will specialize in tax returns. 

Encourage Information Flow and Collaboration

Any organizational structure, including a CPA firm structure, needs a strong information flow that fosters transparency and builds trust. When there’s trust, employees communicate freely with the leadership. There’s more engagement and better work performance. 

To encourage workflow, ensure the organizational structure for the accounting department has clear information-sharing methods, reporting lines, and regular meetings.

Be Flexible

A flexible accounting department structure lets you quickly adapt to the ever-changing market needs. 

Adaptability is crucial to the survival of your accounting business. It lets you review and restructure so that you can accommodate new market trends and stay relevant.

Leverage Simple and Affordable Technology

Organizational structure for the accounting department needs a refreshing, simple software for accountants to collaborate, store, and manage information.

An all-in-one software solution makes it easy for your team to complete tasks fast and collaborate seamlessly with colleagues.


The organizational structure of the accounting department determines the success of any business. Whether your business is small, large, or medium, you need to clearly define the roles of each team member and create a structure that’s functional, flexible, and relevant to the needs of your business. Moreover, implementing best practices in the accounting department structure unlocks the full potential of your team. Also, remember to leverage modern technology that offers an all-in-one solution. Request a demo.

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