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June 22, 2023

What does an Accountant do?

There are certain connotations many pair with the idea of working as an accountant. The mere mention of the word “accounting” in conversation likely triggers images of endless spreadsheets and complex equations, long hours behind a desk during tax season, or the influx of phone calls from loved ones (or even just distant acquaintances) seeking financial advice.

While many might jump to the conclusion that this is a dull career, accountants would beg to differ! Many consider their jobs to be anything but boring, pointing toward the exciting opportunity they have to get a behind-the-scenes look at how an organization functions. It’s as if accountants are fluent in a language that allows them to understand the business culture as a whole.

It may also surprise you to learn that accountants have an array of areas in which they can specialize. If you’re intrigued by the industry but not quite ready to commit to a career, you can sleep easy knowing that a career in accounting offers several options.

Accountants could spend time preparing accounts to meet regulations, but they could also focus on more commercial aspects of a business, sit in on meetings, test out new products, and improve profit margins. “There are so many possibilities!”

If you’re the least bit curious about this multifaceted career, then you’re in the right place. We’ve compiled all the need-to-know facts about working as an accountant—everything from daily duties and career outlook to salary info and the various specialties you can pursue in your accounting career. Read on to see if it all adds up to the right career path for you.

What exactly does an accountant do?

In general, accountants compile, analyze, verify, and prepare financial records for their department or organization as a whole. In layman’s terms, they work with financial documents to ensure lawful, efficient, and compliant business practices.

Accountant job duties can be super different depending on the specialization, role, and employer.

Where do accountants work, and how much do accountants make?

While some accountants secure positions that allow them to work from home, most professionals in this field work in office settings. It’s also worth noting that auditors and CPAs working for large firms may travel to meet with clients.

A nice positive about this field is that accounting professionals are needed nearly everywhere. Organizations of all stripes require the services of accountants—family farms, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and Fortune 500 goliaths all turn to accounting professionals.

This also makes accounting a great choice for people who love to travel. 

The Job of an Accountant: 10 Specialties to Consider

With so many different facets of accounting, you don’t have to lock yourself into a single career path before pursuing your degree. The knowledge and training you receive in the classroom will likely help you home in on an area of interest. But until then, these brief breakdowns will provide you with a quick introduction:

1. Financial Accounting

Financial accountants track a company or client’s financial transactions, summarize them, and generate financial reports or statements. Company shareholders can then assess a company's value based on these documents.

2. Managerial accounting

Managerial accountants track the information needed for the management of a company to make informed operational and strategic decisions.

3. Cost accounting

Cost accountants determine the costs of products and services by analyzing records and depreciation data. They classify and record all operating costs so management can control expenditures and may also assist in making management decisions.

4. Tax accounting

Tax accountants prepare federal, state, or local tax returns for individuals or organizations according to prescribed rates, laws, and regulations. Tax accountants will often specialize even further in an area such as corporate income, individual income, or property tax.

5. Government Accounting

Government accountants exist at the federal, state, and local levels. At the federal level, they may work to investigate white-collar crime or manage public funds. At the state and local levels, they may work to manage the use of local revenues, investigate fraud and perform lower-level audits.

6. Nonprofit Accounting

Nonprofit accountants assess their organization’s financial situation. Their goal is not to maximize profits but to minimize costs and maximize their service to society, which distinguishes them from accountants employed by for-profit companies.

7. Forensic Accounting

Forensic accountants work as investigatory accounting professionals. They often work in conjunction with an ongoing or anticipated legal issue and are charged with uprooting questionable financial data and uncovering fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, and other financial misconduct.

8. International Accounting

International accountants work with companies or organizations that conduct business internationally. They also determine what these statements reveal based on knowledge of the foreign country’s economic and cultural atmosphere.

9. Accounting information system services

Accounting information system professionals generally have an educational background in general business as well as information systems. They can work in a variety of positions, including systems auditors, consultants, and accountants. They may help companies develop accounting information systems, assess the data within the systems, or make it available to other accounting professionals.

10. Auditing and assurance services

Assurance service providers review several types of documents, such as loans, contracts, or websites, to certify they are correct. An assurance provider may work with financial or nonfinancial documents, whereas auditors work strictly with financial records. Auditors may work internally or as a third-party service to ensure an organization’s financial records are accurate, complete, and compliant with federal law.

Is an accounting career the right fit for you?

Now that you’ve become acquainted with the ins and outs of accounting—including the array of specialties that exist within the field—you can rest easy knowing that you can start taking steps toward your future career without pigeonholing yourself into one specific path.

But even if you’re now certain that accounting is the perfect career fit for you, there are a few steps you’ll need to take before you reach that end goal.

Studying with Get Trained Get Hired is your opportunity to see if a career in accountancy is for you. Reach out to Get Trained Get Hired to book a free 30-Minute career counseling meeting. At Get Trained Get Hired we provide you with the necessary training to learn practical skills to become an accountant. Our training is based on practical real-life cases. After the training, we work on your resume and try to place you in accounting firms through our network. You will also get access to like-minded individuals who are looking for jobs through our WhatsApp group. Please feel free to contact us at [email protected]. Or call us at 647-275-7150.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is intended to provide general information. The information does not consider your situation and is not intended to be used without consultation from professionals. Salman Rundhawa and Gettrainedgethired.com will not be held liable for any problems that arise from the usage of the information provided on this page.

Author

Salman Rundhawa

Salman has a strong desire to help others succeed and believe in passing on the knowledge. He likes to mentor others and wish to play part in other people success.
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