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Accountant PDF Print E-mail

Job overview
Accountants ensure that an organisation’s financial records are kept accurately and its taxes paid properly and on time.

Their fundamental tasks involve preparing, analyzing, and verifying financial documents in order to provide accurate information to the organisation’s decision makers and stakeholders.

What do people do in this job?
Specific job duties vary widely in the four major fields of accounting.

  • Public accountants: - perform a broad range of accounting, auditing, tax, and consulting activities for their clients, who may be corporations, governments, non-profit organisations, or individuals.

Public accountants can choose to concentrate on certain aspects such as tax matters, compensation or employee health care benefits, the design of accounting and data processing systems or even the selection of controls to safeguard assets.

Others opt to specialize in forensic accounting, where they investigate and interpret bankruptcies and other complex financial transactions.

  • Management accountants: - also called industrial, corporate, or private accountants, record and analyze the financial information of the companies for which they work.

Other responsibilities include budgeting, performance evaluation, cost management, and asset management. They are usually part of executive teams involved in strategic planning or new product development.

Management accountants also prepare financial reports for non-management groups, including stockholders, creditors, regulatory agencies, and tax authorities.

  • Government accountants: - maintain and examine the records of government agencies and audit private businesses and individuals whose activities are subject to government regulations or taxation.

Accountants employed by state and local governments’ guarantee that revenues are received and expenditures are made in accordance with laws and regulations.

  • Internal auditors: - examine and evaluate their firms financial and information systems, management procedures, and internal controls to ensure that records are accurate and controls are adequate to protect against fraud and waste.

They also review company operations evaluating their efficiency, effectiveness, and compliance with corporate policies and procedures, laws, and government regulations.

There are many types of highly specialized auditors, such as electronic data processing, environmental, engineering, legal, insurance premium, bank, and health care auditors.

What kinds of people are suitable for this career?
Prospective accountants should have an aptitude for mathematics and be able to analyze, compare, and interpret facts and figures quickly.

They must be able to clearly communicate the results of their work to clients and managers.

Accountants must be good at working with people as well as with business systems and computers.

Due to many influential decision makers who rely on their services, accountants should uphold high standards of integrity.

What qualifications are needed?

Most accountant positions require at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field.

Accountants who obtain professional recognition through certification, a master’s degree, proficiency in accounting and auditing computer software, or specialised expertise will have an advantage in the job market.

In addition, employers increasingly seek applicants with strong interpersonal and communication skills.

Regardless of ones qualifications competition remains keen for the most prestigious jobs in major accounting and business firms.

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