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What Is an Accountant?

The term accountant alludes to a professional who performs accounting capabilities, for example, account analysis, auditing, or financial statement analysis. Accountants work with accounting firms or internal account departments with large companies. They may likewise set up their own, individual practices. In the wake of meeting state-explicit instructive and testing requirements, these professionals are certified by national professional associations.

Grasping Accountants

Accountants are financial professionals who assume responsibility for a series of accounts โ€” either private or public. These accounts might be owned by either a corporation or individuals. In that capacity, they might look for employment with corporations of various sizes โ€” little to large โ€” legislatures, various organizations like non-profits, or they might set up their own private practice and work with individuals who enroll their services.

They perform numerous accounting duties which change in light of where they work. Accountants perform account analysis, survey financial statements, archives, and different reports to guarantee they are accurate, conduct normal and annual audits, audit financial operations, prepare tax returns, exhort on areas that require more efficiencies and cost-investment funds, and give risk analysis and forecasting.

An accountant's duties frequently rely upon the type of instructive foundation and assignment they receive. Most professionals in the field have four year college educations and โ€” whenever employed by a corporation โ€” may expect certification to climb inside the firm. Certification requirements differ, for certain jobs requiring extra instructive requirements over the four year college education and effective completion of thorough examinations. Accountants can have more than one assignment. However, the most common accounting assignments are the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and Certified Public Accountant (CPA). A Certified Internal Auditor doesn't have to receive any license to practice, and neither do Certified Management Accountants.

In spite of the fact that your accountant might have more than one assignment, the most common are Certified Internal Auditor, Certified Management Accountant, and Certified Public Accountant.

Numerous accountants decide to become CPAs in light of the fact that the assignment is viewed as the gold standard in the accounting calling. In the United States, certification requirements for accountants can change from one state to another. In any case, there is one requirement that is uniform in each state โ€” the death of the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination. This is an exam that is written and graded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Special Considerations

Accountants must abide by the ethical standards and core values of the region where they practice, like the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) or Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). The IFRS is a set of rules issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). These rules advance consistency and transparency in financial statements. GAAP, then again, is a set of standards that accountants must stick to when they complete financial statements for any publicly-traded companies.

Certified public accounts are legally and ethically responsible to tell the truth, dependable, and to stay away from negligence in their duties. CPAs have real influence over their clients, and that means their judgment and work can influence an individual as well as a whole company โ€” including its representatives, its board, and its investors. Accountants might be held at risk for paying uninsured losses to creditors and investors on account of a misstatement, negligence, or fraud.

Accountants can be held obligated under two unique types of law โ€” common law and statutory law. Common law liability incorporates negligence, fraud, and breach of contract, while statutory law incorporates any state or federal securities laws.

History of Accountants

The main professional association for accountants, the American Association of Public Accountants, was framed in 1887, and CPAs were first licensed in 1896. Accounting developed as an important calling during the industrial revolution. This was largely due to the way that businesses filled in complexity and the shareholders and bondholders, who were not really a part of the company but rather were fiscally invested, wanted to find out about the financial prosperity of the companies they were invested in.

After the Great Depression and the formation of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), all publicly traded companies were required to issue reports written by accredited accountants. This change increased the requirement for corporate accountants even further. Today, accountants stay an omnipresent and crucial part of any business.


  • An accountant is a professional who performs accounting capabilities like account analysis, auditing, or financial statement analysis.
  • Accountants can find employment with an accounting firm or a large company with an internal accounting department, or they can set up an individual practice.
  • Numerous accountants decide to become Certified Public Accountants in light of the fact that the CPA assignment is viewed as the gold standard in the accounting calling.