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What does an accountant do on a typical day?


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Adebola’s Answer

Hey Jessica!

An accountants job fluctuates every day, they are never stuck on doing the same thing. They type of job that they do depends on the industry that they are working in within accounting. Auditors review a company's financial statements and related documents. Tax analysts assist with tax data and compile tax research. Accountants that provide advisory services construct financial recommendation toward their clients, in order to enhance their decision-making skills.

Every month you have to go through month-end close which is a recurring event as well. Kristy Tijerina

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Whitney’s Answer

Hi Jessica!

As most people above mentioned, there's many different jobs an accountant can have, and every day may look different. As an auditor, accountants work in teams both internally, and with clients. Often auditors spend time both at clients' offices and in their own company's office. As an auditor, you get an inside look at how companies operate and record transactions. This experience can be highly beneficial for those who want to move into management positions outside of a traditional accounting firm.

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Bryan’s Answer

I was in audit for my first accounting job, everyday was different since we were at client's office all the time. But you start with audit tasks assigned by seniors (cash confirmation, inventory count, and various other audit tasks).
But once you move to private sector things will get repetitive and boring, but less stress and overtime. (higher pay also)

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Laurie’s Answer

A typical day depends on your role as an accountant. A high level summary is basic accounting, analysis of financial results, interpretation of guidance, written reports and various forms of communication. When I entered the accounting field I was surprised at the amount of written and verbal communication that is needed to be successful. To be a successful accountant you need to have strong communication skills and be able to effectively write technical and non technical documents.

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Hannah’s Answer

Hi Jessica,

I am an accountant at PwC in Risk Assurance which means instead of providing audit work for financial statements, I mostly provide support to the internal technology general controls that financial statements rely on. So part of what I do day-to-day is compile a list of evidence requests like what users have been onboarded to the the company's internal network, who granted them access, what their start date is and then I test the evidence at random to make sure the company's controls are doing what they should. This job is necessary so that when auditors test financial statements, they can have reasonable assurance that the technology used to generate this information if working as it should.

Just like every other field of study, there are so many different types of accountants- we don't all just do taxes!

I hope this helps!

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Annika’s Answer

Hi Jessica! I am wrapping up my first year in public accounting and remember wondering the same going into the job! I really was surprised with how different each day can be. I am constantly learning new things and working with different people. I feel like there is a stigma that accountants just sit at a desk all day and don't interact with anyone but this couldn't be further from the truth. There is so much interaction with team members and clients, working together to solve problems.

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Hongyun (Heley)’s Answer

Prepare, review, reconcile a lot schedules. The details of the schedule varies based on the software, format, purpose, accounting guidance.

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Danny’s Answer

Hi Jessica,

I work in Tax Accounting and there is no fixed day in my life. Most of the job at my firm involves learning every single day. Most of my work comes from manipulation of data and managing our file database. I also communicate with the needs of my team and that of the client. Every day is a little bit different and it varies even more depending on your team and specialization!

I hope this helped a little!

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Jordan’s Answer

Hi Jessica,

The workday for an accountant looks different depending on what “type” of accounting you perform in your as well as your position/title. As other mentors have mentioned, some accountants will have a more structured, routine work schedule while others will experience different tasks each day.

Another factor that may influence an accountant’s workday is the size of the company and your position/title within the company. If you work for a larger company there are likely other members on your team, and you will be able to evenly spread out all the accounting responsibilities for month-end. For smaller or mid-size companies, there may not be as many accountants on staff and you’ll find yourself working on a little bit of everything! In addition to your company’s size, the position/title you hold may impact your workday based on what your responsibilities/duties are (i.e. accountant, senior accountant, manager).

From my personal experience, when I was an auditor in public accounting, everyday was something different. I didn’t repeat any task as I was assigned to different accounts to test and had different clients throughout the year. It was exciting to go in each day and learn something completely new that I didn’t know from my college courses or the day before. When I transitioned to the private accounting sector, I’ve had a few different positions that have offered more structured workdays and others that remind me of public accounting. As a financial reporting accountant, I had my weekly and monthly responsibilities. I had due dates and was able to establish my own routine as I performed the same tasks throughout the year. As a senior tax accountant, I still had weekly and monthly duties that planned accordingly for but I also acquired a larger workload. I had to prepare quarterly provisions as well as responsible for various filings throughout the year. On top of it, we were implementing a new tax software and updating our overall federal tax process. This reminded me more of public accounting since everyday I had something new to do and learn.

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Katie’s Answer

Hi Jessica! As others have mentioned, every day is different and every facet of accounting is different. From copying and inputting information for tax filings, to auditing accounts and reconciling financial statements for branches of an international company, to auditing local governments and non profit organizations, to working in local government, accountants can do it all. Don't think that being an accountant means that you have to do the same thing every day. Each day is a puzzle and a new challenge. There are many days where you start out with a list of what you want to do and end of somewhere completely different. Also, finance directors of smaller local governments and even businesses wear many hats sometimes. You won't spend your time doing journal entries and drafting financial statements every day. Finance professionals are also called on to help with human resources, information technology, a bit of public relations and other projects. I thought when I went into this profession that I'd be bored. I haven't been yet...

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Jacinta’s Answer

There are a few different "types" of accountants, for example tax professionals, auditors (both internal and external), staff accountants. Each type of professional does something a little differently. For example, tax professionals help individuals or companies plan tax structure, strategize transactions and deal with the many issues with transfer pricing and such. Internal and external auditors often work together to ensure the financial statements are being prepared at a high standard. Staff accountants ensure the correct journal entries are being booked through all the books and may report to the CFO to align strategy.

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Mansi’s Answer

When it comes to Accounting it is not only about looking into the accounts of the finance but also other possible tasks an accountant might complete in a day at work include designing and implementing accounting systems, forecasting and budgeting, preparing income tax, investment and tax planning, conducting internal audits on accounts, and making financial recommendations.

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Jennifer’s Answer

The great thing about being an accountant is that there are so many different opportunities and each one has a different day to day experience. I am currently a first year international tax accountant in the Big 4. My day is a mixture of client work and trainings. In the now virtual work environment, I log on around 8am and respond to any emails that need my attention. Then I work on client engagements which can include researching tax laws, preparing workpapers for a tax return, or administrative work such as preparing invoices for the client. I also attend meetings with my team and clients. Throughout the day, while my work is under review and I don't have any new assignments, I work through self-paced training videos, exercises, and readings on a variety of topics. Some of these focus on building my digital skills, my technical tax knowledge, or understanding the firm's values and policies. As I progress through the company, my work will be much more client facing and also involve engagement management and client procurement.

I hope this gave you some perspective on what the day of an entry level accountant looks like! Best of luck in the future!

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Calvin’s Answer

Hi Jessica,
I guess it depends what type of accounting field you get into. You could become a CPA and do individual and corporate taxes. You will be extremely busy during tax season :).
You could get into the audit side of the business and work for one of the top firms and audit books. You will spend lots of time by yourself auditing books.
Hope this helps.

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Mansi’s Answer

When it comes to Accounting it is not only about looking into the accounts of the finance but also other possible tasks an accountant might complete in a day at work include designing and implementing accounting systems, forecasting and budgeting, preparing income tax, investment and tax planning, conducting internal audits on accounts, and making financial recommendations.

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Penny’s Answer

There are different types of accountant. External auditor usually works on variance clients, so you get the opportunity to communicate with the people in different companies and different departments. You will need to plan for the audit and collect evidence from client to ensure the financial statement is in accordance with accounting standard. It involves lots of communication with client, understand their process and working paper, solve issues when variances are found. On a typical day, I will wake up clean up my emails and schedule call with the team or client and then list out the items that I need to do throughout the day. I generally will not perform the same tasks each day, but for different areas on the financial statement we want to ensure that we have received the necessary support from client and document the audit working paper.

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Kristina’s Answer

Hi. As mentioned, there are so many different jobs in accounting, and each day is often different. I wanted to share the components of my job as a tax accountant. The mix of work varies based on the time of year and other factors. While each day may have some combination of items listed below, the following are generally present in a typical week:

- Tax calculations: We analyze financial data and complete various calculations to determine what will be included on the tax forms.
- Tax form preparation: We use the results of our calculations and work to actually prepare and/or review the tax forms.
- Client communications: We discuss the work we are doing, expectations, and timelines with the client.
- Internal communications: We communicate regularly with our team members about our work, expectations, concerns, etc.
- Learning: We are often learning tax material as well as learning new technologies.
- Teaching/mentoring: We teach and mentor others to help grow as a team.
- Continuous improvement: We try to find ways to build efficiencies and improve our process.

I hope this helps highlight the variety of components to a typical work week. These might vary in different accounting roles, but it likely that each role will have several different elements that keep day-to-day work interesting.

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Lina’s Answer

Hi Jessica,

Great question! It really does depend on what type of accountant you are/field you are in. Others may have mentioned audit/tax, but I'm in advisory/deals/transaction services practice at my firm.

To give you some context on what I do - to put it simply, I help review/analyze financial statements on the company (target) my client is interested in buying or selling. We call this buy side (sell side) due diligence and it's generally use to aid our clients in receiving financing for the companies (targets) they are interested in reviewing.

Since I'm in deals, which is typically project based (unlike auditors or tax accountants which are tagged to a one or two big clients), my day to day fluctuates tremendously depending on the deal/project/team. It'll generally range from reading the financial statements, putting it into excel for analysis, using technology tools such as PowerPivot, PowerQuery, Alteryx, PowerBI, and Tableau to analyze the data given to us by the target, discussing with Management, determining what are one off items or debt like items, and writing a report to give to our client.

My job is one type of accountant you could potentially be, and as others may have said, accounting is extremely versatile. It's a great way to put your foot through the door and work in multiple fields and industries.

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