Accountant Job Description

WHAT DO ACCOUNTANTS DO?

Show me the money! Accountants, also known as auditors, look over financial and tax records for companies and people, and prepare those records. They help make sure people are prepared for tax day, examining over tax forms, determining the amount of taxes owed. Accountants can help find inefficiencies in spending, as well as find places to save costs and improve revenue.

You can work as a public accountant, with a mix of corporate and individual clients, a management accountant for a company, a government accountant employed by the state or federal government, or an internal auditor, looking at money use from within the company.

There are also jobs known as accounting clerks, which work exclusively for companies to produce records, bookkeeping and financial transactions that will be used by accountants and auditors at tax time. Accounting clerks will record transactions, create reports, track income and expenses and check figures for accuracy.

HOW MUCH DO ACCOUNTANTS MAKE?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accountants and auditors made a median income of $61,690 a year in 2010, or $29.66 per hour. Auditing clerks made $34,030 per year, or $16.36 an hour.

WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?

Accountants must have a bachelor's degree in accounting or a similar field. Additionally, you will need certification to increase your value, such as becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Accounting clerks need only a high school diploma, as much of their training is on-the-job. However, employers prefer people with college or associate's degrees or proven math and accounting skills.

JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS

  • Attention To Detail: You must pay attention to every penny, and make sure everything is in order when preparing tax information.
  • Computer Skills: Much of your job will be done on computers, inputting spreadsheets, tax documents and reports. Good computer skills will be necessary.
  • Math Skills: Accountants do math, plain and simple. You will need to be comfortable with basic math skills.
  • Analytical Skills: You will be looking at complex numbers and trying to find disparities, cost-saving areas and new solutions.
  • Communication Skills: You will need good listening and communication skills when working with clients, listening to issues, and dealing with the government at tax time.
  • Organizational Skills: Tax time gets hectic. Knowing where every document and client is will help you greatly.

THE FUTURE OF ACCOUNTANTS

Both accountants and accounting clerks are growing at an average rate over the next 10 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


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