The job of an accountant is often understated. Most people do not understand just how much goes into an accounting job, and how many different responsibilities accountants actually have. If you are considering getting a job as an accountant, it may be good to know some of the things you would potentially be responsible for. Here are some of the main duties that most accounting positions will require of you.
The Main Job of an Accountant
The primary, and most important job of an accountant is to go through the finances of a person or company, and prepare their documentation as to all of the financial records for that person or company. These need to be accurately kept, and all of the numbers must be up to date. Those financial records must be able to be used for filing taxes, ensuring that every penny that is earned or spent is accurately accounted for. The other use of those financial records when applicable to companies, is to ensure that the company is running properly, and not losing money by any means other than happenstance with the ups and downs of the market. The more accurate the records are for the company, the more the company is going to be able to see where too much money is being spent, and get themselves under budget.
Secondary Responsibilities of Accountants
There are also other responsibilities that an accountant will have. They will be responsible for things like:
- Compliance with local, state, and federal laws in all aspects of the business that relate to the financial side of things
- Offering financial advice on how to keep the company within financial restraints so they are not losing money or getting into debt
- Go through and prepare the tax returns for others, including individuals, small businesses, or large corporations
- Looking at the books of companies, large and small, and looking for ways of being able to improve the profits of the company overall
- Performing audits for both individual people, and for businesses
There are many different options as to what your duties can be, and questions you will be asked as an accountant. There are also many different options you have when it comes to the type of career focus you have when you go into accounting. Here are some of the most common career paths for those who go through and get their accounting degree.
- Accountants for businesses or corporations that need someone to manage all of the finances of the business from a single point. Not only do these accountants keep the financial records for their clients, but they also analyze the data of the corporation to make sure that all financial rules are being properly followed.
- The consultants offer advice to people and companies alike on how to better manage their finances throughout the year. This advice can be about where to put donations, where to save money by cutting costs, or even where to save money when it comes to paying annual taxes.
- Auditors go through the finances of others to ensure they are accurately claiming all of their income, and not hiding, whether intentionally or not, any forms of income that should have been reported. They also assess the levels of risk that people and corporations have in terms of their financial status.
Each of these accountant careers can take a very winding path. You may start off on a very low level at one accounting firm, and end up as a top auditor at a government office. There is no way to know exactly which opportunities you will be presented with, but there are many different opportunities that can come to someone who gets a degree as an accountant.
The Long Term Prognosis of an Accountant
As long as you are willing to go through and learn on a continual basis, then you will likely enjoy being an accountant. With the constant changes happening in laws and regulations when it comes to how to manage the finances of a company or even a small business, learning is a continual requirement for an accountant. Each year, there are changes in the laws that take over the laws of the years preceding, which need to be learned, understood, and implemented into your career. So make sure you are constantly trying to learn the new restrictions so that you are putting that bit of information into use for each of your clients.