Accounting job involves way more than just tax preparation – part I

There is a common perception of the accounting as a filed mainly relating to the tax preparation. Many people think about accountants as the people who are crunching numbers all day long especially during the tax period. Yes, this is partially true. But what accountants do when the tax season is over? In fact accountants oversee various functions of the business.

The primary responsibility of the accountants is to prepare and examine financial records. The main task is to ensure that the records are accurate.  In other words accountants examine the financial operations of the business and help create plans of action for its efficient financial well-being.  The responsibilities and the nature of the accounting work depends highly on the size of the business as well the type of the business.

In small businesses (where the accounting team may consist of 2 to 3 accountants) the accountants are responsible for the entire accounting system and procedures. Due to the volume of the transactions accountants in smaller businesses may have a bigger picture of the financial operations of the business.  The bigger the company gets the accounting jobs become more specific and these jobs are very often more tedious.

The main areas of the accounting jobs are:

  1. Cash Collections
  2. Cash payments (disbursements)
  3. Payroll
  4. Inventory
  5. Property accounting

In addition to that, accountants have many other tasks in other areas. For example they verify and reconcile contracts, orders, and vouchers, and prepares various reports to justify the figures in the contracts. Accountants are also responsible for the preparation of numerous analyses such as profits and losses or revenue and expenditure analysis to track different trends and make appropriate recommendations to the upper management. Accountants also prepare and review budgets to ensure expenditure control within appropriate budget levels. Finally, accountants are involved in completing audits therefore their job often involves interaction with internal and external auditors.

The above examples illustrate the variety of responsibilities the accountants have. It also describes the variety of opportunities of the accountants making the accounting one of the most promising career and the accounting job one of the highly demanded profession.

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