An accountant is a professional person who works for a company and provides critical decisions about the business’s finances. It is much more than crunching numbers, though. An accountant is responsible for a wide range of financial tasks for individual clients and large companies, and their duties lead them to not only gather financial information but also interpret it.
Are you looking to get into the accounting game? Here is a look into a day in the life of an accountant.
Working in a company in the accounting division will place you in different classifications according to your job description. Different positions include:
- Junior accountant
- Staff accountant
- Senior accountant
- Accounting supervisor
- Accounting manager
These positions are often full-time careers. However, you can also seek employment through contract accounting jobs. They allow you to work at a job position for a contractual period.
Other accounting specializations
Each role comes with different duties and responsibilities to contribute toward the upkeep of financial records.
- Financial advisor
- Forensic accountant
- Tax accountant
- Internal accountant
- Management accountant
- Accountant consultant
General Accounting Tasks
Depending on your position within an accounting department, you will have common duties that fall within your purview. These tasks are:
- Securing financial documents
- Collecting, analyzing, compiling and evaluating financial data
- Completing and filing tax documents
- Ensure timely bank payments
- Preparing the assets, capital and liability statements in various accounts
- Utilizing analytical and mathematical skills
- Preparing forecasting reports and budgets
- Using technology to assist in financial operations
- Taking care of payroll
- Preparing and supplying stockholders with a financial report
All these tasks and more help maintain the financial health of the company.
Document Financial Transactions
Daily, an accountant will gather information as they monitor and document financial transactions within the company. This is prepared as entries into a general ledger to keep accurate tracking and recording of those financial transactions with a goal of compliance with any regulations and laws that are relevant.
For customers and vendors, invoices need to be prepared and reviewed by an accountant. They are verified for orders, contracts and collectable receivables to reconcile payroll. Budgets are created to help make strategic financial decisions using sound financial models.
Communicate with Accounting Staff
This is often a team environment; information must be communicated and shared to create cohesive alignment within the department. You will discuss various assignments, projects and other accounting duties, and these interpersonal relationships bring the team together to get their work done more efficiently.
Beyond that, you may be reporting to other staff members and must explain complicated accounting terms and procedures so it is easily understood. This is an adjustment in how they communicate and their language.
Respond to Emails and Queries
Accountants are also there to come up with solutions, and there are many questions asked that they need to address daily. You may start your day by checking emails, but they will be coming in anytime with queries from clients and colleagues.
Some require immediate action, and you need to respond promptly. Especially as an independent accountant, when clients communicate with you, they need solutions for potential urgent issues and require pertinent information from you.
Resolve Any Discrepancies
As accountants work through the financial records of their companies or clients, they often find discrepancies that need reconciliation. Irregularities can happen in:
As they file financial documents, they can avoid any issues and potentially save the company money.
Give Financial Advice
Accountants are skilled professionals who understand finances and usually have considerable experience within their sector. They are often called to make sound financial recommendations and advice for their organization and clients. They use their knowledge and expertise to guide and shape a company’s resources and procedures to stay compliant, become more efficient and avoid any issues.
Preparing Financial Statements
Accountants analyze the end-of-year financials and prepare statements, including:
- Cash flow
- Profit and loss
- Balance sheet
This is a detailed look at the company’s financial health and is used to give relevant advice to management. Along with this is preparing and submitting annual tax returns that will reconcile any outstanding balances apart from regular, quarterly payments, and it is a filing process that follows standard guidelines to avoid any audits.
This is a typical day in the life of an accountant. They may cover all these duties and more, but every day can bring new challenges to test their skill set and expertise. It is a rewarding career that sets you apart in business as a respected financial aid to help companies prosper.