What Does an Accountant Do? Duties, Rules, Skills, and History


Your small business is booming, sales are strong and you’re on track for a record year. If you’re asking yourself these questions, it’s time to start working with a professional. Small business accountants have the knowledge to not only guide you through hidden deductions and pesky forms, they will also provide solid advice about planning and projections.

Accounting is an in-demand career with impressive salaries and job growth to match. Professionals in this field need to be able to use advanced accounting software and other computer-based tools to work effectively. Accountants can be held liable under two different types of law—common law and statutory law. Common law liability includes negligence, fraud, and breach of contract, while statutory law includes any state or federal securities laws. Although your accountant may have more than one designation, the most common are Certified Internal Auditor, Certified Management Accountant, and Certified Public Accountant. As your business partner, Go Accountants, Inc. understands your need to save time and money.

What is an Accountant?

The BLS reports a median annual salary of $131,710 for financial managers like controllers, projecting that these jobs will grow by 17% from 2021 to 2031. They perform multiple accounting duties which vary based on where they work. Small business https://www.bookstime.com/s are professionals, often Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), who have the experience and knowledge to help owners navigate through their financial records. Depending on the size and needs of the business, these accountants may work on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. While larger companies often keep accountants on staff, small businesses typically contract with an accounting firm or independent accountant who offers the services they need. Accounting jobs typically require at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

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This percentage is on pace with the average projected growth for all occupations. According to data from Zippia, 35.4% of accountants in the United States are not white, 8% identify as LGBTQ and 61.8% are women. Notably, Black, Hispanic and Native American accountants remain underrepresented in their field. Women make up more than half of all accounting personnel but are less likely than men to hold leadership roles. A CMA provides services directly to employers rather than to the public.

What Does a Small Business Accountant Do?

Financial analysts research and report on investment opportunities for organizations. They forecast potential earnings by considering a company’s financial health and the state of the overall market. The BLS projects a 6% job growth for accountants and auditors between 2021 and 2031.

Factors such as cost of living and scarcity of talent influence the salary you can expect to earn in a given city or region. Common skills are incredibly important when considering your long-term success in accounting. According to data pulled from active job postings, here are the top common skills employers are looking for in accounting professionals. Additionally, accountants provide an essential service by helping to maintain the integrity and transparency of financial reporting. In an era of increasing complexity and regulation in financial markets, accountants serve as watchdogs, helping to prevent fraud and ensure that financial records are accurate and reliable.

Specialized Skills

Start by crowdsourcing and asking other small business owners who they use and trust with their finances. Once you have several names, complete some internet research on their background and experience, and read any available reviews. Many states have passed versions of the Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA).

  • They may work closely with regulatory groups such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on both a local and federal level.
  • The best accounting software programs all provide similar features, so when considering which one is best for your business, you need to consider which features are the most important to your situation.
  • Accountants can increase their earning potential by pursuing higher education and industry credentials.
  • As a general rule, you will either pay a fee per service, or an hourly rate.

They can work as public accountants, tax specialists, financial advisors, or auditors. Since nearly every sector needs accountants, there are many options for places to intern. Businesses, public accounting firms, nonprofits and government organizations may offer accounting internships. Accounting students can find internship opportunities through their academic departments or college career services.

When do I need a small business accountant?

The role also requires a strong knowledge of state and federal regulations of how investments should be maintained, reported, and managed. Both internal and external auditors work a variety of different industries, including public and private companies. Generally, auditors work as part of a team or department, but some auditors work from home, while others travel to their clients’ places of business. Management accountants often advise senior management on financial decisions.

To comply with SEC regulations, you must be a CPA to prepare and file reports. Like other tax professionals, tax consultants work with clients to make sure they follow regulations. They help companies and individuals maximize their deductions and properly file their taxes. Employed by individuals or corporate clients, tax what is an accountants prepare and submit tax documents. They make sure clients follow all relevant tax laws and maximize their deductions. Typically working as part of a team, staff accountants handle day-to-day accounting tasks for their organizations.

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