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.

What responsibilities are common for Accountant jobs?
  • 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
What are the typical qualifications for Accountant jobs?
  • 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
3.5 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.5 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does an Accountant make near United States?

Confident
$72,596 /yr
Total Pay
$68,235
 /yr

Base Pay

+
$4,361
 /yr

Additional Pay

$72,596

 / yr
$48K$110K
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
See More Insights

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.

Accountant
$72,596/yr
Senior Accountant
$94,929/yr
Accountant

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
19%
2 - 4
43%
5 - 7
5%
8+
33%
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Accountant Insights

Read what Accountant professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Leeds United
Kiosk Staff
Aug 17, 2021

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

SKS Business ServicesSKS Business Services
Accountant
Jul 19, 2021

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

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

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

MVB Audit and Advisory
Accountant
Feb 9, 2023

“Strives for the best Not just a number Good and quality client relationships Quality training Friendly well”

Supporting StrategiesSupporting Strategies
Accounting Associate
Jun 8, 2021

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

Third Eye Blind ProductionsThird Eye Blind Productions
Admin & Accounting Assistant
Sep 30, 2022

“The management is very helpful and I personally enjoy working in such a fun and chill environment!”

Relaxo FootwearRelaxo Footwear
Accountant
Mar 6, 2022

“It's a good career opportunity just to show that you have worked in MNC & nothing else is good.”

Polk County Sheriff - FloridaPolk County Sheriff - Florida
Accounting Assistant
Feb 1, 2022

“I have undergone some major life changes in the last few years and my peers have been amazing.”

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Accountant Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of accountants

Accountants spend their day recording the financial data of a company or individual. They also prepare tax returns and conduct risk analyses and financial forecasts. They must ensure the accuracy of all transactions.

Accountancy is a good career for those who enjoy working with numbers, and it's a very stable career. The hours and working environment are generally good, although tax deadlines can mean longer hours at times.

Yes, successful accountants get paid reasonably well. The average base pay of an accountant in the United States is $72,596 per year. The most experienced and skilled accountants can make up to $90,635 per year.

Working as an accountant can be challenging at times. They must ensure that all financial transactions are correct and legally compliant. They can also experience more pressure as financial and tax deadlines approach.

Related Careers

Management Accountant
$131,275
38% skills overlap
Cost Accountant
$77,326
63% skills overlap
Accounting Manager
$100,721
Project Accountant
$74,982
50% skills overlap

Accountant Jobs