When a person becomes an accountant, his or her occupational title will usually fall into one of the four following categories:
– Government accountant
– Internal audit accountant
– Public accountant
– Management accountant
No matter the type of accountant a person becomes, his or her basic role is to protect and maintain the financial information of his or her employers.
When an accountant works for a government entity, whether it be public or private, he or she is regarded as a government accountant. His or her duties consist of making sure all records are in compliance with the law, developing budgets, assessing financial information, making recommendations and more.
Internal Audit Accountant
This type of accountant is usually responsible for the monitoring and reviewing of a company’s financial data, making sure that funds are not being misused. Most importantly, an internal audit accountant is responsible for making sure no fraudulent activity is taking place. Many times, this type of accountant will not work solely for one company. Instead, he or she will have several employers. Sometimes, an internal audit accountant may have some type of area of specialty such as compliance or technology.
As a public accountant, a person will have a broad range of employment opportunities. Public accountants can work for accounting firms, or if they choose, they can be self-employed. Sometimes, they may become the primary accountant for a particular business. Common duties carried out by this type of accountant include managing different accounts for clients, analyzing financial data, conducting personal bookkeeping tasks and much more. Many public accountants are certified and referred to as Certificed Public Accoutants (CPA). CPAs oftentimes prepare taxes for individual clients and business entities. They may provide advice in relations employment compensation, employee benefits and more.
Management accountants spend their time working solely for business entities. The duties carried out by this type of accountant usually does not vary as those do that are carried out by public accountants. Management accountants must be extremely trustworthy because they will be in full charge of a business’ financial data. This type of accountant is usually responsible for creating budgets, assessing budgets, implementing financial changes, preparing taxes, and more.
Salary Levels of Accountants
Government accountant: more than $59,000 a year
Internal audit accountant: more than $51,000 a year
Public accountant: more than $47,000 a year
Senior management accountant: more than $55,000 a year
Tax compliance officer: more than $32,000 a year
Supervisory auditor: more than $92,000 a year
Supervisory accountant: more than $82,000 a year
How to Become an Accountant
To become an accountant, a person will need at least an associate’s degree in accounting or a related field, however, most employers will mandate a bachelor’s or master’s level degree. If a person wants to become a CPA, he or she will need to take and pass the appropriate certification test. In this line of work, a person will need at least a bachelor’s degree.