what are the biggest responsibilities of an accountant?
Everything that has to do with economy and finances has always caught my attention. I have the basic knowledge about the career but wanted to know what is the main responsibility in the job of an accountant college accounting business
A career as an accountant can take a few different forms, but overall accountants are responsible for providing relevant and trustful financial information to market participants, which could be leadership within your own company, investors, banks, etc. As your career progresses, your responsibilities will shift to more decision-making roles. As an accountant, you will be expected to analyze scenarios and apply the relevant accounting guidance to ensure that all of the impacts and financial transactions are properly reflected in the books. For example, with everything that is going on with COVID-19, many businesses will be impacted in many different ways. The accountants are the professionals that will drive the analysis of the impact to the business and help make the decisions on how to respond.
Hope I answered your question. If you have any other questions, please let me know and I will be glad to answer them.
I think the shortest answer is an accountant is engaged to review, prepare, or analyze financial records for a company or individual. The nature of the specific responsibilities could vary widely based on the type of records you are dealing with. In general, it is an accountant's responsibility to provide a factual and ethical analysis of those records. That said, the above responses are great, take a look at job postings of accounting firms to get a better idea of the very wide nature of the types of careers and responsibilities out there for accountants.
The job of an accountant can depend on what kind of accountant you are. Different types of accountants can include tax accountants, auditors, and internal accountants (just to name a few). In each of these groups there are specialties such as Tax Auditor, State And Local Tax accountant, etc.. A good thing about the accounting field is that there are many different paths you can take. With that being said, it can also be a tough decision to decide which one you want to take if you have never worked in any of them. My advice is to think about/research the different types I listed about (Tax accountants, Auditors, and Internal accountants) and think about which one you think you would enjoy. After you choose out of these three options, it will then be easier to pick a specialty once you have experience.
All answers above are right on point.
The only thing I would add is more in regards to overall conduct. You asked what the main responsibility of an accountant is. No matter what discipline of accounting you enter into or what sector (private companies or public accounting firms) the main responsibility an accountant has and holds dear is professional integrity.
This is the practice of maintaining appropriate ethical behavior. It is the practice of showing strong adherence to moral and ethical principles and values such as honesty, honor, dependability and trustworthiness. The accounting profession, no matter what form it takes, is centered on these values. Without them our work is null and void to those who utilize our services.
The previous answers are very good for the general responsibilities of being an accountant but I wanted to give some insight to the tools and skills that we utilize from day 1 that would be good for you to work on if this is your goal.
The most important skill for you to practice would be Excel skills. I use Excel basically all day, everyday at work. Becoming familiar with the shortcuts, formulas, and deeper intricacies of the software will give you a huge advantage on your competition. Fortunately, there are a lot of online resources on Youtube and other places that will give you top level Excel practice and tips for free. And if you are ever stuck or confused, just google how to do whatever you are trying to do in Excel and there will probably be an answer somewhere from someone who has been in your situation.
The next most important skill would be general understanding of business and financial information. Accounting touches on all parts of a business so anything you can do to increase your business IQ would be extremely helpful in your career as an accountant.
I can only tell from a tax accountant's point of view and I think the biggest responsibility as an accountant would be to meet tax policies and compliance rules. This factor includes reporting accurate tax returns and expecting tax liabilities. You need the ability to apply the basics of the Internal Revenue Codes and tax return instructions and find relevant tax forms while providing correct information. It's like a decision tree that you would answer either Yes or No to multiple questions to figure if you need a specific form or not.
I hope this helps!
The responsibilities and role of an accountant vary according to the type of accounting performed.
For financial accounting, I believe the responsibilities could be summarized in:
1- Preparing, reviewing and reconciling monthly general ledgers.
2- Preparing monthly/final trial balance.
3- Preparing financial statements based on the trial balance figures.
As for managerial accounting:
1- Perform analysis for decisions such as "Make or buy ?"
2- Forecasting patterns and information for decision making.
3- Financial management, which involves the management of the liquidity position of the company and the ability of the company to generate profits on invested capital while meeting its liabilities accordingly.
Accounting is a very broad profession and an accountant can have many responsibilities, depending on what career path they take. From advisory services to manufacturing logistics to preparation of financial reports accountants do a lot! It's up to you to find what interests you the most. If your a very curious person with varied interests a career in accounting could be a great choice. As others suggested I think it's a great idea to look at job listings so you can see what kind of work you could expect from a career in accounting.
Best of luck!
I would also recommend that you look at job postings for various companies for accounting roles as usually they will include the responsibilities for that role and why it is key to support the overall business. It also will list the skills, knowledge, and abilities required to successfully perform that job. You could look at firms such as EY, KPMG, and Deloitte for example.
Common responsibilities of an accountant at a company for example include:
•Liaise with business partners for all accounting inquiries including providing technical accounting guidance for new business initiatives
•Review and analyze financial statements for business units in order to ensure accuracy and completeness of the financial statements
•Prepare financial statements and variance analysis on a quarterly basis for balance sheet and income statement
•Prepare key quarterly and year-end financial reporting deliverables including margin analysis and footnote disclosures
•Prepare monthly spending packages for accuracy and provide explanations for any significant variances
•Record monthly distribution cash statements and prepare various quarterly accruals
•Manage various ad-hoc reporting and projects for Senior Management
•Prepare and submit requests related to SOX compliance, tax, and quarter/year-end financial audits
•Establish an environment of continuous improvement to identify, develop and implement process changes to increase accuracy of our financial records or forecast, and efficiency of our processes
•Effective communication skills (written & verbal)
•Excellent knowledge of accounting principles and internal controls
•Strong quantitative and analytical skills
•Ability to succeed in a team environment
•Strong problem solving skills
•Ability to adapt quickly and learn new tasks independently
•Excellent organization skills
•Ability to manage competing priorities
•Ability to analyze and resolve issues from multiple stakeholders
If you want to get specific, here is a job posting from EY:
Tax Accountant, International Tax Services, Tax, ITS Standard (Manager) (Multiple Positions), Ernst & Young U.S. LLP, Charlotte, NC.
Work on international tax engagements, applying knowledge of US and foreign tax policies to resolve specific multinational client issues. Contribute to client satisfaction by providing timely, integrated and knowledgeable global tax advice including international tax planning, consulting, and compliance. Advise U.S. and foreign multinational companies and private equity funds on the tax implications of international operations as well as coordinating U.S. tax laws with foreign tax laws to develop an optimal worldwide tax strategy. Conduct primary and secondary review of complicated or complex international tax returns. Research tax technical issues and write opinions and tax memos for clients on specific tax issues or tax planning strategies. Consult with clients on tax-efficient structuring of international transactions, effective use of tax treaties, planning related to offshore investments activities and repatriation programs to minimize US and foreign income taxes of our US based multinational clients, minimizing worldwide tax burdens on business transactions and operations, and making effective foreign investments. Required to obtain a CPA, JD or other alternate certifications based on approval from practice leadership within one year from hire date.
Manage and motivate teams with diverse skills and backgrounds. Consistently deliver quality client services by monitoring progress. Demonstrate in-depth technical capabilities and professional knowledge. Maintain long-term client relationships and networks. Cultivate business development opportunities.
Due to the important role accountants play in society, CPAs have a significant responsibility for the services they provide. This means working to cultivate the accounting profession, cooperating with peers in the industry, and maintaining public confidence in their ability to provide professional services.
Many times integrity is tested in the absence of clearly defined rules or expectations. The integrity of a CPA or any business person is measured by doing what is “right”: it requires a CPA to observe both the form and the spirit of technical and ethical standards.
Therefore, the stake is pretty high when it comes to public accounting.
That is a good question! The biggest responsibility of an accountant is a good set of knowledge and expertise. A great accountant's responsibility is to have skills, knowledge, insight, and expertise in the accounting area to properly record, adjust, and keep the books according to GAAP (Generally-Accepted-Accounting-Principles; rule-based) or IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards; principles-based).
Believe it or not, this may seem very simple, but it is the biggest responsibility.
The biggest responsibility of the auditors is knowing the GAAS (Generally Accepted Auditing Standards) which includes by default a perfect knowledge of GAAP. The auditors have a responsibility to the society to have a questioning mind in conducting audit of the business companies in order to give a REASONABLE assurance that the companies' financial statements are free of MATERIAL misstatements due to error or fraud, therefore the auditors have to master the accounting and auditing.
I hope that answers your question.
While I agree with several of the descriptions of "what is an Accountant" here. I am happy to share what I have done as an accountant - focusing in tax. I am a tax Deals (mergers and acquisitions) partner. I am an accountant, I have worked in preparing tax returns and tax provisions as part of financial statements. However, I have also been involved in consulting - from planning mergers, to integration of businesses, to spin offs, to dispositions. I have also been involved in state and local income tax planning and international planning. Beyond tax, I work hand in hand with accounting advisory folks that do everything from technical financial reporting / GAAP issues, human resources, Deals review, supply chain management, IPO planning, etc. The role of an accountant is very broad.
I hope that is helpful - happy to chat further.