An accountant is a professional who performs accounting functions such as account analysis, auditing, and financial statement analysis. Large corporations may employ accountants internally or through accounting firms. Some even establish their own independent practices. National professional associations certify these professionals once they have completed state-specific educational requirements and passed testing.
An accountant is a financial professional who oversees a number of accounts, either private or public. These accounts can belong to corporations or individuals. Consequently, they may be hired by corporations of all sizes, including small and large companies, governments, non-profit organizations, or they may set up their own private practices and work with individuals.
Accountants perform a variety of accounting functions, depending upon where they work. Accounting professionals conduct account analysis, review financial statements, documents, and other reports to ensure they are accurate, perform routine and annual audits, look at financial operations, prepare tax returns, advise on areas for improved efficiency and cost-savings, and analyze risks.
Accounting duties depend on the type of education and designation an accountant receives.
Professionals in this field typically hold bachelor's degrees, and if employed by a corporation, they may need certification in order to advance. Some roles require additional education beyond a bachelor's degree and successful completion of rigorous exams in order to be certified. Accounting professionals have the option of holding multiple designations. Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) are the most common accounting designations. Certified Internal Auditors and Certified Management Accountants do not require any licenses to practice.