4 different types of accounting jobs and what they do (part 1)
March 23, 2023

4 Different Types of Accounting Jobs and What They Do (Part 1)

Accountants are responsible for a wide range of tasks–including maintaining financial records, data computation, and tax payments–and can be hired to fulfill multiple different roles.

In addition to supporting the everyday finances of an organization or business, some accountants choose to specialize in particular industries. 

Whether you’re a newly graduated accountant or a seasoned professional looking to make a career change, knowing where to start can be difficult.

To ease you through the process, our accounting recruitment experts have compiled the following list of accounting jobs and what they do:

1. Certified public accountant

Also known as CPAs, certified public accountants typically possess expertise in a particular organization’s accounting records, taxes, and financial standing. Although a certain degree of their work does involve taxes, there is often a more in-depth level to the tasks they complete.

These accounting roles are usually the most commonly recognized, dealing with the everyday accounting needs of a particular business or public entity. Tending to the daily operations of the companies they work for, certified public accountants complete tasks that range from calculating taxes to arranging financial plans. 

The tasks a CPA is responsible for include (but is not limited to):

  • Preparing and reviewing financial statements for clients.
  • Ensuring tax compliance and working with the tax department of an organization.
  • Filing tax returns of an organization and acting as an audit representative.
  • Managing a client’s financial activities, such as general accounting and cash flow.
  • Leading an organization’s accounting department or a team of accountants.

In this role, a certified public accountant is a trusted advisor to their clients. They support their clients’ existing plans while helping them meet their financial goals and other financial matters. 

Before becoming certified as a CPA, individuals must complete a bachelor’s degree from an accredited accounting program and pass the Uniform CPA Examination. 

As an accounting employment agency in Ontario, AHK Accounting Recruiters ensure to learn everything about our candidates through in-depth, personalized discussions and assessments. In turn, we provide a thorough, detailed analysis highlighting candidate qualifications and achievements that help companies make a well-informed decision about a candidate before scheduling an interview.

2. Management accountant

Before making any big business decisions, it’s important that business owners understand the full extent of their company’s financial standing and how any potential changes may impact it. Management accountants help provide support during these types of strategic business changes, ensuring companies make the most informed, financially sound decisions possible. 

They are essentially responsible for managing the company’s financial future by providing guidance and advice where necessary. 

A management accountant’s role depends on the individual’s experience level and financial needs of a given company. Some of their duties may include:

  • Preparing reports for the controller’s department
  • Preparing financial statements
  • Mentoring and supervising accounting staff
  • Coordinating financial operations
  • Planning and maintaining organizational budgets
  • Identifying opportunities for investment
  • Analyzing internal and external risks
  • Presenting financial assessments to senior management

This is often accomplished through various tasks, including planning, budgeting, external financial reporting, risk management, profitability analysis, and other accounting-related tasks. 

In order to be an effective management accountant, these individuals must demonstrate an equal combination of technical accounting skills and data organization skills. It is not enough to simply be able to complete the assigned financial tasks. Management accountants must also convert the collected information into a digestible breakdown for business owners and executives. 

Management accountants concern themselves more with the “big picture” elements of accounting, focusing their efforts on supporting the financial management and strategy within a given company.

In order to become a certified management accountant, candidates must first complete either a college or university degree in a similar field, such as business or financial accounting. Once they have finished this first stage of education, aspiring management accountants must write a specialized two-day exam that assesses their knowledge of business management and accounting concepts.

3. Auditor

Often identified as the accuracy experts within any given organization or business, auditors ensure the existing financial records are accurate and up to date. These individuals work within a number of different organizations, ranging from commercial businesses to nonprofits.

While there is work for auditors to complete year-round, one of their major responsibilities is to conduct annual audits, determining whether a business’ records align. Typically acting as objective, third-party observers, their ultimate goal is to provide an unbiased evaluation of a company’s existing financial status.

Several of the tasks they are expected to complete include: 

  • Examining financial statements
  • Inspecting account books and accounting systems
  • Organizing and maintaining fiscal records
  • Assessing financial operations to provide recommendations for improvements

In some cases, auditors choose to specialize in specific sectors or industries. This often depends on their own areas of interests, in addition to the type of clients they manage to take on.

Similar to other types of accountants, auditors require a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a similar field. In some instances, certain employers may prefer to hire auditors that possess a higher level of education, such as a master’s degree in business administration that focuses on accounting.

4. Government accountant

Regardless of the branch of government, they each require an accountant (or several) to keep track of their finances and money spending. Typically working for a specific government office, these accountants are responsible for ensuring that all the incoming taxpayer money is spent in an efficient, wise, and relevant manner that benefits the overall contributors.

In the same way a management accountant oversees the larger strategy of a particular business, government accountants also help different government agencies plan the financial activities for the current fiscal year. 

In addition, there is some overlap between government accountants and auditors, considering that these individuals can sometimes be assigned to specific agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). When working in these positions, they are responsible for auditing the financial standing of various private businesses and individuals. 

At the federal level, government accountants are responsible for:

  • Managing public funds
  • Investigating white-collar crime
  • Performing financial statement audits for government agencies
  • Conducting research on emerging accounting issues

At the provincial and local levels, their expected tasks include:

  • Managing the use of local revenues
  • Investigating fraud
  • Performing financial performance and compliance audits
  • Recommending corrective action when necessary

Like most other accounting positions, a government accountant is expected to hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance. In many cases, these individuals choose to complete a master’s degree in accounting, finance, taxation, or business administration. 

Through our accounting employment agency in Ontario, we vet the candidates we send you. We do so not just with standard interview questions they can find anywhere online, but with tasks and projects more fitting of an accounting role to thoroughly judge their skills and qualifications.

How to Hire the Right Accountant

If you’re looking to hire a specific type of candidate for your business, or hoping to improve the quality of the candidates your company spends its valuable time getting to know, call AHK Accounting Recruiters at 833-399-1663 or contact us here.

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