Accountant Job Description – What does an Accountant Do

Accountants are responsible for analyzing, evaluating and reporting on financial transactions, events and operations for companies, businesses, enterprises and individuals. This also includes furnishing appropriate advice on the financial stability of their clients or employers by thoroughly going through relevant financial information such as profit and loss statements, budget estimates and automated financial frameworks.

As part of an organization, an accountant may be responsible for making important business judgements as a crucial member of the strategic team. Accountants who are working for individuals may be required to formulate financial statements and prepare tax returns.

They have to be acquainted with the local taxation law in order to ensure that their client or employer carries out business activities that are in compliance with the law of the land.

Following career opportunities and fields of specialization are available to accountants:

  • Tax accountant
  • Financial accountant
  • Management accountant
  • Forensic accountant
  • Auditor
  • Finance manager
  • Investment analyst
  • Cost accountant

Daily tasks to be accomplished

The daily tasks of an accountant can be different based upon his or her area of specialization or the kind of job they have been designated to carry out. Some of their day to day activities may include:

  • Keeping track of the turnover and expenses of a business entity
  • Carrying out financial examination and audits and formulating reports
  • Presenting reports to managers, directors or shareholders regarding the financial stability of the business entity
  • Furnish advice to business entities regarding taxation, mergers, purchases, liquidation, bankruptcy and financing
  • Creating budgets and accounting protocols
  • Coordinating with external auditors
  • Formulating profit and loss statements, monthly closing and cost accounting reports
  • Getting rid of accounting deficiencies

Working hours

Accountants have to work during weekdays within working hours. Theirs is a desk job. However, during hectic schedules, such as nearing the end of the fiscal year, an accountant may have to work for extended hours including evenings and weekends in order to overcome heavy workloads and meet strict timelines.

Difference between a Chartered Accountant and Certified Practicing Accountant

A Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) is the professional designation for members of CPA Australia.

A Chartered Accountant is a globally recognized professional title for members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICA).

ICA and CPA are a couple of the largest accounting institutions in Australia and both need their members to be part of a continuous professional development program. The members of both the entities function across commercial and public accounting platforms.

It is the requirement of a majority of medium to large accounting entities that an accountant is a CA as the content of this program is more suited to functioning in an accounting firm scenario.

The CPA program is more suitable for professionals functioning in the accounting industry outside of a company, or in small to medium sized accounting companies.