An accountant is someone who handles the accounting functions of a company like audits, analysis, communicating the financial position, etc. An accountant prefers to become a CPA since it is the most esteemed designation in the accounting world in the U.S., and the certifications for an accountant vary depending on the state they reside in.

They are usually present in the account firms or work in the internal accounts in the conglomerates. They also practice independently and attain the title of accounts after passing through testing and educational obligations. They are accredited by national professional associations. 

Ancient picture of the accountants

The inception of the accountant’s associations started with the American Association Of Public Accountants in 1887, CPA followed it in 1896. With the onset of the industrial revolution, their importance rose. As businesses started handling more complex data, shareholders were invested in the company in monetary terms, and hence it became important to hire an accountant to put the true financial picture forward.

Following the Great Depression and the creation of the SEC (Securities Exchange Commission), companies were obliged to show their reports created only by certified accountants. Hence, accountants gained more prominence. Today, they are an integral part of all organizations and remain to retain a high status in the chain of command. 

The duties of an accountant 

An accountant is proficient in finances professionally and handles a financial account that is either public or private. The accounts can belong to an organization or individual who needs help in managing the financial obligations of a professional. Hence, accountants work with people and enterprises that are small, large or medium or non-profits and/or work independently.

Their duties vary based on the needs of their clients. This includes accounts analysis, reviewing and finding errors in the financial statements, rendering financial advice, ensuring accuracy in reports, handling monthly audits, filing tax returns and helping in cast savings and forecasting.

The duties are also dependent on the education that the accountant has received. A majority of accountants have a bachelor’s degree, and if working in a corporation, they may require further qualifications. The certifications they need also vary on the roles and duties that they are obliged to fulfill. Accountants can also carry multiple designations like a CIA (Certified Internal Auditor), CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and CMA (Certified Management Accountant). CIA and CMA are not required to get licenses to practice accounting. 

An accountant prefers to become a CPA since it is the most esteemed designation in the accounting world in the United States. The certifications for an accountant also vary depending on the state he/she resides in. But the requirement that remains the same in every state is passing the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination, which is graded and written by the AICPA or the American Institute Of Certified Public Accountants. 

Other requisites 

An accountant has to follow the standards that govern every principle and transaction in accounting. That means they have to practice IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) or GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). IFRS are the rules that are created by the IASB (International Accounting Standards Board). The rules in it help to ensure consistency and transparent disclosure in the books. GAAP is the standard that each accountant in the world is required to follow when they handle the statements of public companies. 

An accountant is bound to be true, trustworthy and honest, and not take advantage of their positions. CPAs’ clients follow their advice rigorously owing to their expertise. Hence, a cloudy judgment by a CPA can affect the entire company including staff, investors, customers, etc. If the company has uninsured losses, the accountant can be held responsible to pay them to the investors or the creditors if fraud or negligence is involved. 

The responsibility of liability can fall on the accountant under the common and situation law. The former includes negligence regarding liabilities, breach of contracts and fraud, and the latter is more concerned with federal or state security laws. 


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