A bachelor’s degree is required and some companies encourage experience from an internship.Lead/senior accountants are responsible for performing audits and preparing financial statements, as well as improving internal controls and providing direction and assignments for staff accountants.
Refer to the Compensation section below for more information about compensation ranges for Public Accountants.
Job Types Entry-level accountants prepare and review financial statements, perform financial reporting, administer A/R and A/P functions, and assist management with budgeting and planning.
They also need to stay up to date on tax code and regulations which changes every year.
It is not uncommon for tax accountants to eventually open their own practices.
Education A bachelor’s or master’s degree in accounting, finance or a related field is required for public accountants.
Many universities offer a five-year program to obtain both bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as provide hands-on experience through internships.A personal financial planner will assist with this, so they need to have a strong knowledge of tax law, insurance, and investing.Building a customer base is one of the biggest challenges for personal financial planners, but it is also the most important since they are often times self employed.Federal, state, and local governments all need to hire accountants to create budgets, track costs, analyze publicly funded programs, and make sure money is collected and spent according to the law.The government also hires auditors to help maintain records and audit private businesses and individuals regulated or taxed by them.There are different sizes of firms, but the Big Four accounting firms hire hundreds of new graduates every year.Public accountants learn to navigate all different businesses, including government and nonprofits.Some of the crimes a forensic accountant helps investigate include embezzlement, securities fraud, money laundering, and bankruptcies.A tax accountant generally prepares annual and quarterly taxes for individuals and companies.Many companies encourage obtaining the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA), and/or Certified Internal Auditor (CIA).Students who get their CPA certification can work at public accounting firms.