Also called: Accountant, Accounting Manager, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Staff Accountant
Produced by CareerOneStop
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What's the difference between an accountant and an auditor? Basically, accountants keep track of an organization’s money, and auditors check their work. But there's much more to the work than simply balancing the books. These financial professionals make sure the organization’s finances operate properly. They are involved in analyzing financial information and records, and preparing reports related to budgeting, cost control, employee compensation, new product development, and of course... calculating taxes. If money's involved, accountants and auditors are too. In fact, so many areas need accounting and auditing services that many professionals opt to specialize. Some become tax specialists. Others become employee benefits experts, while still others concentrate on preparing the income statements and balance sheets every publicly-held corporation must file. Auditors and accountants work in a wide range of industries – from accounting companies to hospitals, insurance firms to manufacturing. To take full advantage of the many opportunities for accountants and auditors, you need to have at least a bachelor's degree in accounting. To become a "Certified Public Accountant" or "CPA," in many states you will need 150 hours of college coursework to qualify to take the state licensing exam. And, as long as there is money to spend, accountants and auditors will be needed to make sure it’s accurately recorded.
What they do: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.
On the job, you would:
- 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.
- accounting and economics
- administrative services
Math and Science
- arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Arts and Humanities
- English language
Safety and Government
- law and government
- listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
- reading work related information
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
- thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
- figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
- choose the right type of math to solve a problem
- add, subtract, multiply, or divide
- read and understand what is written
- communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
- use rules to solve problems
- make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Attention to Detail
- Analytical Thinking
You might use software like this on the job:
Tax preparation software
- ATX Total Tax Office
- BNA Income Tax Planning Solutions