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Accountant

Career Highlights

  • Manage multiple business accounts
  • Keep track of tax issues
  • Crunch numbers and audit

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Career Summary

Accountants and auditors are increasing the services they offer to include budget analysis, financial and investment planning, information technology consulting, and limited legal services. Specific job duties vary widely among the four major fields of accounting: public, management, and government accounting and internal auditing.

Some public accountants specialize in forensic accounting. They investigate and interpreting white-collar crimes such as securities fraud and embezzlement, including money laundering by organized criminals. Forensic accountants combine their knowledge of accounting and finance with law and investigative techniques in order to determine whether an activity is illegal. Many forensic accountants work closely with law enforcement personnel and lawyers during investigations and often appear as expert witnesses during trials.

In response to recent accounting scandals, new Federal legislation restricts the non-auditing services that public accountants can provide to clients. If an accounting firm audits a client´┐Żs financial statements, that same firm cannot provide advice on human resources, technology, investment banking, or legal matters, although accountants may still advise on tax issues, such as establishing a tax shelter. Accountants may still advise other clients in these areas or may provide advice within their own firm.

Electronic accounting

Computers are rapidly changing the nature of the work of most accountants and auditors. With the aid of special software packages such as QuickBooks, accountants summarize transactions in standard formats used by financial records and organize data in special formats employed in financial analysis. These accounting packages greatly reduce the amount of tedious manual work associated with data management and record-keeping. Accountants also are beginning to perform more technical duties, such as implementing, controlling, and auditing systems and networks, developing technology plans, and analyzing and devising budgets.

Increasingly, accountants also are assuming the role of a personal financial adviser. They not only provide clients with accounting and tax help, but also help them develop personal budgets, manage assets and investments, plan for retirement, and recognize and reduce their exposure to risks.

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Salary

$33542*

Education

  • A Bachelors Degree in Accounting

Career Skills

  • Experience with financial transactions and preparing financial reports.
  • Attention to Detail - Approaches work in a meticulous and detailed manner while still being able to meet deadlines and manage multiple priorities.
  • SFAS Rules - Knowledge of applicable Financial Accounting and Standards Board (FASB) accounting rules.
  • Confidentiality - Can be trusted to keep sensitive information secure.

Additional Information

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Different types of accountant

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Business accounting school info

Up and coming careers in the next 10 years

References

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*Salary ranges based on location, experience, and demand. This number represents a rough nation-wide average.