There are many different jobs that go into making a business a success and profitable. From CEO and the way down to the floor workers everyone have a job to do, and it is important that every person dose their job correctly. Accountant is one of these job titles that interests me the most.
Accountants prepare and examine financial statements to be sure that they are accurate and comply with laws and regulations. They calculate what taxes are owed by a company, prepare the tax returns for these taxes and make sure that the taxes are paid on time. They organize and maintain all financial records for the business they are working for. After reviewing the financial records the accountant must explain their findings and also suggest ways to reduce costs, enhance revenues, and improve profits. This is done by face-to-face meetings with the business managers and individual clients, as well as preparing written reports. There are three main types of accountants; Public accountants, Management accountants, and Government accountants. Public accountants perform a broad range of accounting, auditing, tax, and consulting tasks. Their clients include corporations, governments, and individuals. They help clients with financial documents that the clients are required to disclose by law. Many Public accountants are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) generally work for a public accounting firm or have their own businesses. Management accountants record and analyze the financial information of the business they work for. This financial information is intended for internal use by business managers, and not by the general public. Government accountants maintain and examine the records of government agencies. They also audit individuals and private businesses whose financial records are subject to government regulations or taxation.
In the world of accounting there is really no such thing as a typical day. No two days are ever the same because of the always changing environment. Most days involve providing accounting guidance to either members of the accounting team or to business unit support personal. Most of the focus is on preparing the financial statements for year end, but this is achieved by conducting monthly closes.
Some of the skills an accountant must have are analytical skills, communication skills, math skills, and organizational skills. Analytical skills are important to be able to identify issues in documentation and suggest solutions to problems. Accountants need good communication skills to be able to discuss the results of their work with business managers as well as in written reports. Math skills are very important to be able to analyze, compare, and interpret facts and figures. Accountants must have good organizational skills because they often work with many different financial documents for many different clients.
Accountants must be detail oriented and have a high attention to detail when preparing and examining financial documents so there is no errors. Accountants must be reliable because a mistake and a financial statement might cost the company a lot of money or even in trouble with the law if the taxes are not paid in full or on time. An accountant must be a problem solver to figure out what went wrong if numbers are not coming out the way they should or to find ways to reduce costs, enhance revenues, and improve profits.
Some personality traits are better for accountants than others. An accountant should be efficient and organized to get multiple financial documents for multiple clients done on time and without error. If an accountant was easy-going and careless the financial documents would not be done on time and will most likely have errors. Accountants should also be cautious instead of inattentive to insure that their work is error free.
Accountants need to have a set of ethical values. One of which is integrity. Accountants need integrity to restrict themselves from personal gain or advantage using confidential information. Accountants should avoid the intentional opportunity to deceive and manipulate financial information. Objectivity and independence are other ethical values accountants need to have. Accountants must remain free from conflicts of interest and other questionable business relationships. I feel like I have these ethical values to be an accountant because I have never stolen anything and manipulating financial information is the same as stealing.
Most accountants work in offices, some even work from their home. Accountants may travel to their client's places of business. There are no real health or safety risks for accountants besides the occasional minor paper cut. Accountants work full time, which is 40 hours per week. Longer hours are only at certain times of the year, such as during tax season or the end of the budget year.
Most accountants are requiring having at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field. By law it is required for every accountant to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to file a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Becoming a CPA requires passing a national exam and meeting other state requirements. Accountants can get extra certifications to provide and advantage in the job market. The Institute of Management Accountants offers the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) upon applicants who complete a bachelor's degree. I am currently taking accounting for non-accountants which are giving me the basics of accounting, interpersonal communication that helps me communicate with business managers about the finances, and business intro which gives me the basic understanding of how a business works.
The median annual wage of accountants and auditors was $61,690 in May 2010. There are many benefits given to accountants like medical, dental, vision discount, and prescription drug plans, a 401 (k) matching retirement plan, life insurance, long term disability insurance, and workers' compensation insurance. They are given time off like personal time off and summer flex time.
Employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow 16% from 2010 to 2020. This is about as fast as the average for all occupations. The increased focus on accounting is in response to recent financial crises and corporate scandals. Stricter laws and regulations will likely increase the demand for accounting services as organizations seek to comply with new standards. Three employers that hire accountants are Forward Service Corporation, Transport Refrigeration, and QPS Employment Group.
I think that some aspects of accounting that seem like a particularly good match for me are the mathematics and the problem solving skills. I really enjoy working with numbers and mathematics and don't get bored with it and I like to solve problems when they arise to stretch my creative side. Some of the aspects of accounting that are not good matches for me are the sitting in one spot and focusing and being responsible for all of a company's finances. I have attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHA) so it is hard for me to just sit for an extended period of time and I don't like having that much responsibility for all of the finical records and statements.
"Career Story: Accountant In A Financial Services Firm." Career Story: Accountant In A Financial Services Firm. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2012. <http://www.citytowninfo.com/career-story/accountants-and-auditors/accountant-in-a-financial-services-firm>.
Osmond, Vitez. "Ethics in the Accounting Profession." Small Business. Demand Media, n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2012. <http://smallbusiness.chron.com/ethics-accounting-profession-3738.html>.
"Summary." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 31 Aug. 2012. Web. 30 Oct. 2012. <http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Accountants-and-auditors.htm>.