Accountants analyze financial information and prepare financial reports to determine or maintain record of assets, liabilities, profit and loss, tax liability, or other financial activities within an organization.

They are also called: Accountant, Accounting Manager, Accounting Officer, Accounting Supervisor, Business Analyst, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Cost Accountant, General Accountant, Project Accountant, Staff Accountant

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Accountant Job Duties

  • Develop, maintain, and analyze budgets, preparing periodic reports that compare budgeted costs to actual costs. 
  • Prepare, examine, or analyze accounting records, financial statements, or other financial reports to assess accuracy, completeness, and conformance to reporting and procedural standards. 
  • Review accounts for discrepancies and reconcile differences. 
  • Prepare adjusting journal entries. 
  • Establish tables of accounts and assign entries to proper accounts. 
  • Analyze business operations, trends, costs, revenues, financial commitments, and obligations to project future revenues and expenses or to provide advice. 
  • Report to management regarding the finances of establishment. 
  • Develop, implement, modify, and document recordkeeping and accounting systems, making use of current computer technology. 
  • Advise management about issues such as resource utilization, tax strategies, and the assumptions underlying budget forecasts. 
  • Maintain or examine the records of government agencies. 
  • Compute taxes owed and prepare tax returns, ensuring compliance with payment, reporting, or other tax requirements. 
  • Advise clients in areas such as compensation, employee health care benefits, the design of accounting or data processing systems, or long-range tax or estate plans. 
  • Represent clients before taxing authorities and provide support during litigation involving financial issues. 
  • Provide internal and external auditing services for businesses or individuals. 
  • Prepare forms and manuals for accounting and bookkeeping personnel and direct their work activities. 
  • Appraise, evaluate, and inventory real property and equipment, recording information such as the description, value, and location of property. 
  • Survey operations to ascertain accounting needs and to recommend, develop, or maintain solutions to business and financial problems. 

Technology Used in Accountant Jobs

  • Accounting software — Fund accounting software, Intuit QuickBooks, Sage 50 Accounting, Tax software 
  • Database user interface and query software — Best Software CPAPayroll, Data entry software, Microsoft Access, Structured query language SQL 
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software  — Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle PeopleSoft, Sage ERP Accpac, SAP 
  • Financial analysis software — Brentmark Estate Planning Quickview; Delphi Technology; Oracle E-Business Suite Financials; RSM McGladrey Auditor Assistant 
  • Tax preparation software — ATX Total Tax Office; BNA Income Tax Planning Solutions; Intuit Lacerte; Orrtax Software IntelliTax Classic 

Knowledge for An Accountant Job

  • Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills Needed for an Accountant Job

  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

What Accountants Do at Work

  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.