Victoria India Period 7/8

Responsibilities of an Accountant

The duty of an accountant is to keep track of a businesses financials information. They make sure that there's enough money to pay salary, to see that every investment made into the company was accounted for.

Specific duties of an accountant are:
  • Prepare profit and loss statements and monthly closing and cost accounting reports.
  • Compile and analyze financial information to prepare entries to accounts, such as general ledger accounts, and document business transactions.
  • Establish, maintain, and coordinate the implementation of accounting and accounting control procedures.
  • Analyze and review budgets and expenditures for local, state, federal, and private funding, contracts, and grants.
  • Monitor and review accounting and related system reports for accuracy and completeness.
  • Prepare and review budget, revenue, expense, payroll entries, invoices, and other accounting documents.
  • Analyze revenue and expenditure trends and recommend appropriate budget levels, and ensure expenditure control.
  • Explain billing invoices and accounting policies to staff, vendors and clients.
  • Resolve accounting discrepancies.
  • Recommend, develop and maintain financial data bases, computer software systems and manual filing systems.
  • Supervise the input and handling of financial data and reports for the company's automated financial systems.
  • Interact with internal and external auditors in completing audits.
  • Prepare the financial statement of a business, they also determine if the company is making profit or not.
  • Other duties as assigned

Career Details

Salary/Wages Potential: ranges between $32,259-$60,787

Average hours/Working Schedule: hours range from 40 hours a week to more. Some, especially in public accounting, work 45 hours a week from 55 to 80 hours a week during the three-month busy season.

Working Location(s): Accountants would have an office job, working in a business building.

Job Outlook:Employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow 16% from 2010-20, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Demand for thorough financial documentation is expected to increase in response to recent financial crises and subsequent financial regulations.

Skills Required

Accountants must be capable of creating an accurate workflow in their job and manage the amount of time spent on each project. The month-end or year-end closing process is usually when individuals must exert strong fundamental skills and complete accounting functions in a timely manner.

Other skills are:

  • dealing with coworkers
  • managing time at work
  • attending meetings
  • presenting accounting information to managers or supervisors and corresponding with individuals outside the business
  • good at working with business systems, and computers.

Education Needed

  • Needs at least a bachelor's degree in accounting (most underemployers require a master)

  • By law, you have to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). CPAs are licensed by their State Board of Accountancy. Any accountant who passes a national exam and meets the other requirements of the State where they practice can become a CPA.

  • Accountants must be good at mathematics and able to analyze, compare, and interpret facts and figures quickly. They must be able to clearly communicate the results of their work to clients and managers both verbally and in writing. Also, should be familiar with basic accounting and computer software packages.

Advancement Opportunities or Related Jobs

  • In accounting firms, beginning public accountants most likely start by working on a few accounts. They may advance to senior positions in another few years. Some become supervisors, managers, and partners. Others open their own firms. Still other accountants may transfer to executive jobs in management accounting or internal auditing in private firms.

  • Beginning management accountants often start as cost accountants, junior internal auditors, or as trainees for other accounting positions. They may advance to accounting manager or budget director. Other opportunities include chief cost accountant or managers of internal auditing. Some accountants become controllers or chief financial officers. Others become treasurers or corporate presidents.