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What is an Accountant?

May 4, 2013

The job of an accountant is to prepare and examine financial records. They use their business expertise to help companies and organizations stay financially organized and legally compliant. They also help to improve efficiency where possible. Numerous types of accountants exist, including those that serve the public, corporate, and government sectors.

Job Responsibilities

Although accountants may specialize in certain areas, they generally share a number of key responsibilities. All accountants compute taxes and ensure organizations comply with laws and regulations. They may also be responsible for maintaining financial records, giving recommendations regarding best practices, suggesting cost-reduction methods, and inspecting account books. Some specialize in areas like risk management or assurance services to help clients reduce their risk of error). Most accountants work in offices. The majority work directly in accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services sector. However, they are also found in other notable areas such as government or self-employment.

Salary Details

Accountants make a median annual salary of $63,350. However, those in the top ten percent earning bracket can make as much as $122,220. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in this field are expected to grown 10 percent by 2026, a rate much faster than average. Employment growth of accountants is predicted to be strongest for entry-level positions.

Education Requirements

Accountants generally require at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. However, some choose to earn advanced degrees to increase their competitiveness in the workforce. Those who choose to enter this field is required by law to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). This test involves a passing a national exam and meeting certain requirements in your state.

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