Everyone has heard of an accountant, but not everyone knows truly what this job entails. In this blog we will break down what an accountant is, to help you better understand how their role fits in with your business needs.
First things first, it is important to note that an accountant is not merely someone who just looks at numbers all day, their jobs are much more intricate and complex than merely that. Simply defined an accountant is a professional who interprets and keeps financial records. This includes a very vast array of tasks, and they can be hired by individuals from small businesses to large corporations. It is also noteworthy to state here that the term accountant is often used synonymously with bookkeeper, but the two are not always identical. Keep in mind that all accountants can be bookkeepers, but not all bookkeepers are accountants. A similar important distinction is the fact that there are CPAs in the realm of accountants, and similar like bookkeepers, an easy way to remember the difference is the fact that all CPAs are accountants, but not all accountants are CPAs. In order to be a CPA, which stands for Certified Public Accountant, you need to pass an exam and have fulfilled state licensing requirements in addition to your degree.
This frankly depends on what type of accounting the accountant does and what entity the accountant works for, as the job of an accountant can be quite diverse and vary greatly from situation to situation. That being said, below are some tasks that are common for accountants to perform: