In my previous blogs I focused so far on giving examples of various accounting tasks and duties in order to describe complexity of accounting. In this blog I would like to add one more very important factor which will help illustrate how diverse is accounting. This crucial factor will be a size of the company.
There is a major difference between accounting tasks in a small business and a large corporation. In the first one the accountants are able to participate in most of financial aspects of the business. The accounting functions will vary depending if this is a month-end or not. And for example an accountant in the small firm can be involved in daily invoicing, recording different transactions, reviewing unpaid bills or even payroll. During the month-end accountants in the small firms will be involved in the reconciliation bank account, review of sub ledgers and in the entire process of financial statements preparation.
Accounting in a large company is very specialized. In general accounting functions are separated into different departments (for example accounts payable department, fixed assets team or accounts receivable department, G/L, etc.). Segregation of the departments (silos) is typically based on the various functions of the accounting. Working for large firm gives the accountant great opportunity to learn new skills and become almost a specialist in a specific area.
There are major differences in accounting jobs at small and large companies. In my opinion the biggest difference is the visibility of accounting processes and the level of participation in the financial statements preparation. In large companies accountants are assigned to many specialized tasks in specific typically very small area which become the only area they are focused on. From my perspective working for a small or medium size company is the optimal choice where I have opportunity to expand my accounting knowledge by actively assisting in month-end processes as well as to expand my experience by being involved in various tasks during the month.