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What is an Accountant?

Position Description Analyze financial information and prepare financial reports to determine or maintain record of assets, liabilities, profit and loss, tax liability, or other financial activities within an organization.

Life As an Accountant: What Do They Do?

  • Prepare, examine, or analyze accounting records, financial statements, or other financial reports to assess accuracy, completeness, and conformance to reporting and procedural standards.
  • Review accounts for discrepancies and reconcile differences.
  • Advise management about issues such as resource utilization, tax strategies, and the assumptions underlying budget forecasts.
  • Appraise, evaluate, and inventory real property and equipment, recording information such as the description, value, and location of property.
  • Advise clients in areas such as compensation, employee health care benefits, the design of accounting or data processing systems, or long-range tax or estate plans.
  • Establish tables of accounts and assign entries to proper accounts.

What an Accountant Should Know

These are the skills Accountants say are the most useful in their careers:

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Types of Accountant

  • Traveling Repair Accountant
  • Traveling Accountant
  • Fund Accountant
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • General Accountant

Accountant Job Outlook

In the United States, there were 1,397,700 jobs for Accountant in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 10% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 139,900 new jobs for Accountant by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 141,800 job openings in this field each year.

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The states with the most job growth for Accountant are Utah, Colorado, and Tennessee. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Alaska, or Ohio. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Accountant Average Salary

Accountants make between $43,650 and $122,840 a year.

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Accountants who work in District of Columbia, New York, or New Jersey, make the highest salaries.

How much do Accountants make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $70,310
Alaska $82,920
Arizona $69,190
Arkansas $67,700
California $84,430
Colorado $82,320
Connecticut $84,890
Delaware $78,120
District of Columbia $98,130
Florida $71,790
Georgia $75,930
Hawaii $65,580
Idaho $66,110
Illinois $81,060
Indiana $70,780
Iowa $67,030
Kansas $66,530
Kentucky $67,080
Louisiana $66,860
Maine $70,810
Maryland $82,610
Massachusetts $81,460
Michigan $74,370
Minnesota $72,480
Mississippi $62,850
Missouri $70,240
Montana $66,410
Nebraska $67,920
Nevada $66,600
New Hampshire $72,690
New Jersey $90,400
New Mexico $66,370
New York $96,300
North Carolina $76,880
North Dakota $61,870
Ohio $72,370
Oklahoma $73,040
Oregon $71,450
Pennsylvania $75,250
Rhode Island $81,090
South Carolina $64,750
South Dakota $65,800
Tennessee $69,690
Texas $80,200
Utah $70,980
Vermont $75,360
Virginia $85,640
Washington $78,970
West Virginia $68,160
Wisconsin $68,410
Wyoming $66,180

Tools & Technologies Used by Accountants

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Accountants:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Access
  • Data entry software
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Project
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Structured query language SQL
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • IBM Notes
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Google Docs
  • FileMaker Pro
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Intuit QuickBooks

Becoming an Accountant

What education or degrees do I need to become an Accountant?

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How Long Does it Take to Become an Accountant?

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Where do Accountants Work?

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Accountants work in the following industries:

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Those who work as an Accountant sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

References:

Image Credit: Pixabay via CC0 License

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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