Accountants are very demanding professionals. They provide business advice, information and insight on how companies can improve their financial performance by applying accounting principles, methods and procedures. The role of an accountant varies depending on the size of the company they work for or their particular profession. There are many different types of accountants and they all perform certain functions.
Types of accountants for business
Accountants work in public accounting, industry and government.
The role of an accountant depends on the size of the company they work for or their particular profession. There are many different types of accountants and they all perform certain functions. Accountants work in public accounting, industry and government.
There are four main types of accountants:
- Management accountant;
- Public accountant;
- External auditor;
- Internal auditor.
Requirements for the position of accountant
Each type of accountant has particular skill sets and educational requirements that are required to qualify for these positions. One of the main differences between the four types of accountant is the formal education requirements, which include:
- A bachelor's degree;
- A professional qualification (in Canada);
- Many years of experience in a public accounting firm;
- In some cases, a master's degree;
- Certification as a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA).
Features of each type of accountant
Management accountants use financial information to assist managers in planning, decision making and control in the organization. They work at all levels, from the CFO to middle management.
Management accountants provide information to management. They provide financial reports to the chief executive officer, the chief operating decision maker and the key executives of the company. The purpose is to ensure that the company's management uses the information to make business decisions. This type of accountant is most needed in today's young companies where different professional opinions are important, e.g. this is important for Jet Casino in Canada which has already achieved great results in 2 years of management.
Public accountants usually make the financial information available to the public, which means that it is available to anyone who has an interest in the information. This may include people who hold shares in the company and potential investors. Public accountants also work with other professionals, including lawyers, government agencies and other businesses. External auditors are employed by the company they audit. Their role is to determine the reliability of the company's financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The internal auditors are employed by the same organization they audit, i.e. if it is a public accounting firm, the internal auditor will work with the public accountants in that firm.
In most countries outside the US, public accountants make up the majority of all accountants. However, public accountants usually work for firms that specialize in accounting and tax advice for high net worth individuals and small businesses. Public accountants provide services to these categories of clients for personal income taxes and corporate and business transactions.
Internal auditors carry out their audits by assessing the level of risk for each item of financial reporting. They also determine the effectiveness of the company's internal controls over financial reporting and procedures.
External auditors are independent of the company they audit, which means that they do not benefit from the information they receive during the audit. The external auditors give their opinion to the company's shareholders on whether the company's financial statements are reliable, and also give their opinion on the financial statements to the public. External auditors may also be employed by a company undergoing bankruptcy or similar proceedings to determine whether such proceedings should be pursued.
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