Responsibilities & Duties for Different Accounting Jobs

by Luanne Kelchner
Accountants manage and oversee business transactions.

Accountants manage and oversee business transactions.

The field of accounting provides opportunities for individuals in a variety of positions. The duties and responsibilities accounting professionals perform depend on the position they hold in an organization. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 1.2 million accountants working in 2010. Accountants may work in a variety of organizations or in private practice.

Public Accountants

Public accountants work for corporations, small businesses and individuals preparing the financial documents clients must impart to investors and government agencies, such as balance sheet statements and tax forms. Public accountants also provide clients with advice on taxes and may work as auditors ensuring investors that a business's financial statements are accurate. All accountants who file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission must obtain a Certified Public Accountant license. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants offers the Uniform CPA Examination to candidates in all states who meet education and work requirements.

Internal Auditors

Internal auditors work in organizations evaluating the company's financial information to identify waste and fraud. Accountants working as internal auditors work to develop methods for improving the organization's financial processes to eliminate waste. Auditors ensure the company's financial and management controls comply with company policies and government regulations. The Institute of Internal Auditors offers the Certified Internal Auditor credential to applicants who meet education requirements, take a four-part examination and have a minimum of two years of experience as an internal auditor.

Management Accountants

Management accountants work in the accounting departments of businesses and organizations. The accountants prepare budgets, assist companies to plan business costs and develop investment strategies for the business. The accountant oversees workers who enter transactions in the company's general ledger. Management accountants with a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of two years of experience qualify to sit for a certification examination to earn the Certified Management Accountant credential from the Institute of Management Accountants.

Accounting Clerks

Accounting clerks specialize in the types of transactions they perform. For example, some accounting clerks specialize in accounts payable or accounts receivable transactions. Accounting clerks enter transactions, add accounts, calculate interest and monitor accounts to ensure payments are current. Clerks write receipts for cash transactions and reconcile accounts. Some accounting clerks work as auditing clerks checking financial accounts for accuracy. There are no certifications for accounting clerks, but the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers offers the Certified Bookkeeper credential for accounting professionals who perform bookkeeping duties such as balancing accounts and payroll.

About the Author

Luanne Kelchner works out of Daytona Beach, Florida and has been freelance writing full time since 2008. Her ghostwriting work has covered a variety of topics but mainly focuses on health and home improvement articles. Kelchner has a degree from Southern New Hampshire University in English language and literature.

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