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What are Accountants

Accountants prepare and examine financial records. They ensure that financial records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time.

Accountants and auditors typically do the following:

  • Examine financial statements to be sure that they are accurate and comply with laws and regulations
  • Compute taxes owed, prepare tax returns, and ensure that taxes are paid properly and on time
  • Inspect account books and accounting systems for efficiency and use of accepted accounting procedures
  • Organize and maintain financial records
  • Assess financial operations and make best-practices recommendations to management
  • Suggest ways to reduce costs, enhance revenues, and improve profits

Average Hours, Salary, and Working Location

Work Environment

Most accounts and auditors work full time, and one in five works more than 40 hours per week.

They work in offices, although some work from home. Auditors may travel to their clients’ places of business.


The starting(or average) salary of an Accountant is about $61,200. However an accountant has the ability to always move up in the world. Meaning after a year or two their salaries move up to around $100,000-$140,000. After a series of promotions the top 10% of Accountants could make to $250,000-$300,000.

Education and Skills Needed and Job Outlook

Education and Skills

Most accountant and auditor positions require at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field. Some employers prefer to hire applicants who have a master's degree, either in accounting or in business administration with a concentration in accounting. Schools that offer this type of major are University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, DePaul University, and North Western. You move up in this job my doing hard work, and also by taking different tests and certifications. The career of an Accountant is expected to grow about 16% in the next 10 years or so.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Accountants and auditors must be able to identify issues in documentation and suggest solutions. For example, public accountants use analytical skills in their work to minimize tax liability, and internal auditors do so when identifying fraudulent use of funds.

Communication skills. Accountants and auditors must be able to listen carefully to facts and concerns from clients, managers, and others. They must also be able to discuss the results of their work in both meetings and written reports.

Detail oriented. Accountants and auditors must pay attention to detail when compiling and examining documentation.

Math skills. Accountants must be able to analyze, compare, and interpret facts and figures, although complex math skills are not necessary.

Organizational skills. Strong organizational skills are important for accountants and auditors who often work with a range of financial documents for a variety of clients.