What does an Accountant do?

Accountants are responsible for a wide variety of finance-related tasks that are primarily associated with preparing financial records. These tasks oftentimes include computing taxes and preparing tax returns, organizing and maintaining financial records, and ensuring statements are accurate. Accountants in the United States must perform all of this work while abiding by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

Accountants generally have a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, or a related field. In addition, many accountants have a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential, which is obtained by passing a national exam and a completing a minimum number of college coursework hours. Accountants usually fall into one of four categories: public accountant, management accountant, government accountant, or internal auditor.

  • Assist in the preparation of financial reports such as financial statements and budget performance
  • Ensure compliance with applicable standards (i.e. GAAP, FASB), rules, regulations, and systems of internal control
  • Aid in the implementation of new accounting policies, standards, and guidelines
  • Provide accurate, timely, and relevant recording, reporting, and analysis of financial information
  • Identify areas for improvement and implement improvements to processes
  • Assist with and act as the primary point-of-contact for auditor requests
  • Handle sensitive information in a confidential manner
  • Bachelor's degree in Accounting, Finance, or a related field, or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience
  • 2-5 years of accounting/finance experience
  • Demonstrate intermediate to advanced skills and knowledge of Excel, as well as other Microsoft Office applications
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Experience with accounting software
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to communicate effectively across the organization
  • Thorough knowledge of general ledger accounting and account reconciliation
  • Highly detail-oriented
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.4 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.4 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Accountant Salaries

Average Base Pay

$75,000 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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$50K
Median: $75K
$124K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Accountant Career Path

Learn how to become an Accountant, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L2
Accountant
$75,000/yr
L3
L4
Adjunct Accountant
No Salary Reports
See Career Path

Accountant Insights

Read what Accountant professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
CARWAVE
Accounting Clerk
23 Aug 2019

“I am honored to be part of a growing company that is honest and transparent.”

Leeds United
Kiosk Staff
17 Aug 2021

“The first manager I had was amazing really helpful and looked after me all the time.”

Matrix Technology SolutionsMatrix Technology Solutions
Staff Accountant
17 Jun 2020

“Matrix is an Innovative Company that focuses on promoting the best and making customers happy.”

Rosenberg Smith & PartnersRosenberg Smith & Partners
Staff Accountant
26 Oct 2020

“The people at the firm were really nice and many people were on the same career trajectory”

O'Neill & Associates (NY)
Staff Accountant
4 Oct 2021

“I have been here a year and it is nice to work for such knowledgeable owners”

SKS Business ServicesSKS Business Services
Accountant
19 Jul 2021

“If you want to do career then it is good to learn here about quickbooks and xero sage”

Supporting StrategiesSupporting Strategies
Accounting Associate
8 Jun 2021

“I didn't feel we were doing good accounting and felt like my loyalty was tested often”

LightspeedLightspeed
Senior Financial Accountant
10 Feb 2021

“I moved to Canada and started this position and it is the best decision I've made!”

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Accountant Interviews

Related Careers

Management Accountant
$90,991
38% skills overlap
Cost Accountant
$88,679
63% skills overlap
Accounting Manager
$100,000
Project Accountant
$97,000
50% skills overlap

Accountant jobs

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of an accountant

When working as an accountant, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Excellent Communication, General Ledger, Microsoft Office Suite, Microsoft EXCEL and GAAP.

The most similar professions to accountant are:
  • Management Accountant
  • Cost Accountant
  • Accounting Manager
  • Project Accountant

The most common qualifications to become an accountant is a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.