An accountant is a trusted professional whose career is centred on dealing with money and figures.
An accountant will assist business to track income, expenditure and assets. In general an accountant is detailed, well organised and good at communications.
As one of the key roles in any business, the accountant monitors and records the flow of funds and has the responsibility of verifying the accuracy of all transactions ensuring that at all times they are recorded and reported within regulatory guidelines. Accountants obtain certifications from professional bodies and must abide by ethical standards and guiding principles where they practice.
Through financial statements the accountant assesses the health of a business by using their knowledge in areas such as accounting, law, math and finance. The accountant provides this information to business owners who in turn will evaluate business performance over a period of time.
While the main task of an accountant is to examine financial records to ensure that they are accurate, the following duties may also be performed by an accountant.
- Prepare profit and loss statements
- Prepare the balance sheet and cash flow statements
- Prepare and review budgets against actual expenditure
- Preparation and lodging of annual tax returns
- Establish and maintain accounting procedures
- Supervise data entry of financial transactions
- Resolve accounting discrepancies
- Compile financial information
Accountants can specialise in various fields such as financial accounting, management accounting, cost accounting, auditing, tax accounting, government accounting, non profit accounting and international accounting.