Accountant Job Description And Responsibilities

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Analyzes, prepares and evaluate financial information before advising clients on the financial state of their businesses. Accounting job field is broad and has many specializations that require their own job description. An accountant may also choose to specialize in other areas of accountancy such as: 

Auditing: An auditor examines accounting records and gives opinion on the financial position of the company and the results of its operations. 

Accounting: Pure accounting involves the preparation of financial statements, giving advice on accounting systems, budgets, management information, cash flows and on improving profits. 

Taxation: The tax specialist gives expert advice on tax matters including tax and estate planning, examining computations and designing methods of tax savings. 

Legal Matters: This covers the financial and taxation implications of contracts, leases and hire purchase advice on and interpretation of company and closed corporation law, and administration of deceased and insolvent estates. 

Finance: The expert in this field gives advice in planning and arranging finances, including capital budgeting, mergers and acquisitions, raising capital or loans, cash projections, decisions regarding the purchase of assets and investment management. 

Management: This includes administration, financial and various other aspects of general business management. Also called a cost accountant, managerial accountant, industrial accountant, corporate accountant, or private account, accountant manager, management accountant. Etc.

Information Technology: The specialist in this field is concerned with electronic information processing, financial modeling and advising on the acquisition of computer hardware and software as well as the design and implementation of computerized information systems. 

In addition to specialization, all companies in most countries - including small concerns - have to be audited annually; there would be many different types of businesses and industries which would offer a wide variety of interests to an accountant. One week an accountant might be auditing a multi-million dollar company and the next a concern which specialized in stage productions. In this case the accountant need to be a CPA - Certified Public Accountant.

Computers are now an important part of most businesses and professions so the accountant would have to be computer literate. An interest and knowledge of the latest information concerning taxation, financial management, company law, politics and marketing is also needed by an accountant. 

Good communication skills and tact are helpful because much of accountant work would be done in the offices of clients. If the accountant became part of an audit team, they  would have to be able to get along with your fellow accountants. 

Accountants including internal accountants should also be prepared to travel as many companies have international offices and even local companies sometimes have many offices in different parts of the country.

Employment Opportunities

Government, Self employment, Most Public companies and businesses, Banks, Accounting and Auditing firms, Finance services providers, Private companies and private businesses.

Expanding Opportunities for the 21st Century

More companies and businesses establishments will grow faster in future and therefore more accountants jobs are opening up to fill the more need for auditing and management. Many people also need financial advice and banking services.

Earning

Accountants can earn approximately $25,000 to $70,000 or more. Factors affecting earnings include the particular industry the individual is working in, the specific employment setting, and location. Other factors include experience, education, and responsibilities.

Generally, the more experience and education individuals have, the higher their earnings. Salaries will be higher for individuals working in metropolitan areas than they are for their counterparts in less urban areas.

EDUCATION AND TRAINING 

The minimum recommended education for an Accountant is a bachelor's degree. Some positions prefer postgraduate degrees. Required majors for accountant differ from job to job. Accountants may have degrees in Commerce, Accounting, Finance and banking, computer information systems, data processing, or information science. Other individuals have degrees in business management, or applied mathematics with an emphasis in accounting.

No matter what the degree, Accountants must have courses in management, accounting and legal matters.

Continuing education in the field is necessary to keep up with new technology. Many employers sponsor classes and training programs. In addition, software vendors, professional societies, and trade associations offer a variety of classes, seminars, and workshops.

EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS 

Accounting experience is usually necessary to get a job as an Accountant. Individuals can obtain needed experience working as accountants.

While it is not a requirement, Accountant can be certified by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) for Certification of Certified Public Account (CPA). In order to obtain this credential, they must pass a number of examinations. Individuals who hold the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential may be preferred for positions as it indicates experience and professional competency. Another voluntary certification is offered by the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFA) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants(ACCA). In order to hold the designation Certified Public Account (CPA), individuals must complete certain education and experience requirements, pass an examination, and endorse a code of ethics.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Individuals interested in accounting career can obtain additional information by contacting the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFA) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).  

TIPS 

Large cities often host employment agencies specializing in accounting-related positions.

Newspapers and job websites regularly advertise job openings in this field. Look in the jobs websites and in the classified section of the paper under "Accounting," "Accountant," "Manager,"  "Director," "Controller," "Analyst" "Specialist" "Clerk" "Supervisor" "Auditors," "Cost accountants," "Senior accountant,"  "Accounting clerk," "Assistant accountant,"  "Cash Manager," "Bookkeeper," "Fund accountant," "Financial Director" "Junior Accountant" "Credit Analyst" Business Analyst" "Tax Specialist" "Internal Auditor" "Payroll Clerk" "Billing Supervisor" or specific industry names.

Jobs are advertised in trade journals. In addition to Accounting or IT-related trade journals, consider industry journals.

The placement offices of colleges and universities offering degrees in Accounting related areas are usually notified of job openings.

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