Thursday, November 11, 2010

Questions and Answers About Starting an Accounting Career

An accountant plays a very important role in the functioning and efficiency of a corporation. They provide a number of vital business services to clients including the management of financial matters, auditing, and handling tax issues. However, the specific duties performed in an accounting career will differ depending on what field the practitioner works in, be it public accounting, management accounting, government accounting, or internal auditing.
Accountants will generally use computers and special accounting programs to assist them in their duties. Accountants can summarize and organize data in particular formats to make them more suitable for storage or analysis. The programs also remove a lot of the tedious manual work of accounting out of the job. For this reason, accountants will generally have a very high level of competence with computers and many employers will require them to be proficient in these programs to help keep their work accurate.
The environment in which an accountant works will generally vary depending on what field of accounting he/she is in as well as what type of company or organization he/she works for. The vast majority of accountants work in an office setting, often with many other coworkers and colleagues; although, some accountants are self-employed and may be able to work part of their job at home as well. Most accountants work a standard 40-hour week; though, there are exceptions especially in the case of tax specialists and self-employed accountants who may work longer hours during certain times of the year.
Public accounting firms often send their accountants to their clients' place of work or residence to perform audits. In this scenario, there can also be a lot of traveling involved. Accountants who travel often will most likely use a laptop to allow for the increased mobility of their accounting programs, data, and other information needed on the job.
Accountants, regardless of their chosen field, require a proficiency in mathematics as well as business. Many accountants are unlicensed, especially in the fields of government accounting, management accounting, and internal auditing. A bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field is required to become licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Public Accountant (PA), Registered Public Accountant (RPA), or Accounting Practitioner (AP). Some companies will require their accountants to hold master's degrees as well.
There is a large demand for accountants, and as more businesses are created in the coming years, the demand is expected to increase. The rapid expansion of business is also expected to have a large effect on the types of responsibilities accountants will have. Nevertheless, these jobs can be very competitive, and many businesses are increasing their standards by which they hire and the qualifications they demand.
Accountants who have a great knowledge of computers and many different accounting software will have a better change of employment. Also, those who have more education, training, and experience will also have an edge in the job market. It is also important for accountants to demonstrate interpersonal skills as this will also help them perform their job more effectively and get along better with clients.

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