If you are considering a career as a general accountant, read below to find out more about the responsibilities and duties that come with the job.
Job Duties of a General Accountant
A general accountant is responsible for compiling and analyzing financial information for his or her clients in order to prepare financial reports for them. General accountants also prepare tax returns for clients, either individual or corporate. Business owners also rely on accountants to make profit-and-loss statements for them and their businesses. Included in a general accountant’s job description is creating, reviewing and maintaining budgets, investigating accounting discrepancies and communicates best accounting practices and tax law to his or her clients.
Accountants can find job opportunities in both small and large accounting firms. General accountants can prepare tax forms and give out tax as well as financial planning advice to individual and commercial clients. Various companies that aren’t in the accounting business may also hire general accountants as staff. Most organizations, large corporations and other groups also employ accountants to complete some tasks such as preparing taxes and giving tax advice for them.
Potential candidates will be evaluated by the companies that they are applying for based on their degree and their skills. Some of the things that they look for in candidates are the ability to make judgments in certain situations using facts that they know through accounting principles through investigating and analyzing source materials and the ability to organize and plan out a workflow that will require minimum supervision.
Professional Accounting Organizations
General accountants who are seeking employment can apply to companies that they potentially want to work for through direct application. There are many of these jobs that are advertised everywhere such as in local newspapers or even online job search boards. Most of the professional accounting organizations also provide resources as well as networking opportunities for their members who are seeking jobs. Examples of these professional organizations are the National Society of Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts and the American Accounting Associations. Many sites are also available to provide niche industry-specific online job sites.
If you are interested in becoming a general accountant, you must first have a four-year degree in accounting, finance or in any related field of study. However, most businesses and companies prefer accountants with degrees in accounting or business administration. Any candidate may also opt to become a certified public accountant by passing an examination administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
In the year 2009, Salary.com recorded that the average accountant in the United States earned $41,654 in annual base salary. An 18 percent increase is expected by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics for the employment of accountants between 2006 and 2016.