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4 minute read

Could Accounting Be for You? Here Are 6 Accountant Responsibilities to Prepare For

Thinking about becoming an accountant? Find out what responsibilities await and how you can refine your skillset to stand out in the job market.

Accounting is a stellar career choice for people seeking a stable job with top-notch benefits. Featuring outstanding job security, career growth, a solid salary and the ability to work across essentially all industries, undertaking this qualification is a wise decision. With the sector experiencing exceptional growth, now is the perfect time to get involved.

So, what do you need to stand out? It helps to have dependable mathematical and financial skills. Yet developing soft skills in communication and attention to detail ensures you play a crucial role in your employer’s success. Here, we look at an account’s responsibilities to help you understand whether this career makes sense for your goals.

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1. Delivering financial statements

Almost every accounting job description will involve the preparation of financial statements. With these outlining the company’s current financial position and business activities, management relies upon this information to make informed decisions. Typically, three reports matter most: income statements, cash flow statements, and balance sheets.

Together, these reports explore the company’s financial health and delve into its operations to highlight efficient and underperforming areas. Meanwhile, these are also important for determining its economic outlook and performance compared to competitors. This way, the organisation’s management and stakeholders clearly understand their financial stability.

2. Reviewing employee expenses

Employees can generate massive expenses in a large-scale business. Accountants are responsible for reviewing expenses submitted by team members to ensure they abide by company policies. With businesses reimbursing employees for mobile phone usage and transport costs, accountants must confirm these charges are reported accurately.

There are countless examples of employees misusing company funds – mistakenly or otherwise – leading to the business losing money. However, a diligent accountant will notice these discrepancies and rectify them, helping to protect the company and the employee against problematic situations. This everyday task requires meticulous attention and strong communication.

3. Preparing budget forecasts

Businesses need to know whether they’re heading in the right direction. The accounting department is central to decision-making by delivering data-driven estimates regarding future revenue and income. Upper management will use this information to make educated judgements about budget allocations in the months and years ahead.

These forecasts are crucial for how a business approaches its short- and long-term future. Management uses this data to assess its position after significant events, such as when it loses a client or a supply chain issue occurs. As such, accountants need to keep these statements updated at least every quarter to reflect the latest operations.

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4. Keeping up with financial regulations

Financial regulations are constantly changing, meaning accountants must remain up to date on the latest rules and legislation to avoid mishaps. With government websites and regulatory bodies releasing frequent updates, the accounting department must factor this new information into the company’s procedures.

There are also opportunities to learn through classes and industry-related events, ensuring you get knowledgeable advice from accounting experts. In addition, you must remain informed about evolutions in accounting software and best practices to ensure your employer benefits from a modern approach.

5. Preparation of tax returns

Every business must complete a tax return. This requires an accountant to report earnings and outgoing costs while determining how these impact tax contributions. This can get remarkably complex in a large-scale business, with teams of internal or external accountants needed to get the job done right.

If you decide to pursue a career in accounting, you might work in the company’s internal department or via a third party who gets hired to take care of an organisation’s needs. Alternatively, you might specialise in small- and medium-sized businesses where the obligations are often more straightforward.

6. Communication with stakeholders

Proficiency in maths isn’t enough to be a standout accountant. You also need refined soft skills to communicate with stakeholders. While many people will use your reports to make crucial financial decisions, not everyone will fully understand them. It’s your job to convey what each report means.

Along with internal stakeholders, accountants often communicate with external parties, such as regulatory bodies and tax authorities. With outstanding written and verbal communication, you can work effectively with these partners to deliver a streamlined accounting experience.

As you’re deciding if the accounting field is right for you, you could start off with a part-time role. Once you’re certain, you can follow these ways to convert your part-time job to a full-time one.

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