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Accountants Career

Career Description

Analyze financial information and prepare financial reports to determine or maintain record of assets, liabilities, profit and loss, tax liability, or other financial activities within an organization.

What Job Titles Accountants Might Have

  • Accountant
  • Accounting Manager
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Staff Accountant

What Accountants Do

  • Prepare, examine, or analyze accounting records, financial statements, or other financial reports to assess accuracy, completeness, and conformance to reporting and procedural standards.
  • Report to management regarding the finances of establishment.
  • Establish tables of accounts and assign entries to proper accounts.
  • Develop, implement, modify, and document recordkeeping and accounting systems, making use of current computer technology.
  • Compute taxes owed and prepare tax returns, ensuring compliance with payment, reporting, or other tax requirements.
  • Maintain or examine the records of government agencies.
  • Advise clients in areas such as compensation, employee health care benefits, the design of accounting or data processing systems, or long-range tax or estate plans.
  • Develop, maintain, and analyze budgets, preparing periodic reports that compare budgeted costs to actual costs.
  • Provide internal and external auditing services for businesses or individuals.
  • Analyze business operations, trends, costs, revenues, financial commitments, and obligations to project future revenues and expenses or to provide advice.
  • Advise management about issues such as resource utilization, tax strategies, and the assumptions underlying budget forecasts.
  • Represent clients before taxing authorities and provide support during litigation involving financial issues.
  • Prepare forms and manuals for accounting and bookkeeping personnel and direct their work activities.
  • Appraise, evaluate, and inventory real property and equipment, recording information such as the description, value, and location of property.
  • Survey operations to ascertain accounting needs and to recommend, develop, or maintain solutions to business and financial problems.

What Accountants Should Be Good At

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

What Accountants Should Be Interested In

  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

What Accountants Need to Learn

  • Economics and Accounting - Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Sun iconThis career has a bright outlook.
Median Salary: $68,150

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.