What do you think of when you hear the word “accountant?” Do visions of men in suits with calculators and briefcases come to mind? While this may be true for some accountants, there are actually many different types of accountants as nearly every industry requires one.
Here are just 4 types of accounting jobs explained.
Imagine that you’re watching your favorite crime drama. The victim is found dead, and the detective begins to put together the pieces of who did it. They look at the financials and realize that the victim had been embezzling money from their company. This is where a forensic accountant comes in.
Forensic accountants are trained to follow the money to solve financial crimes. They use their skills in auditing, investigative accounting, and financial analysis to detect fraud and other illegal activities. Thus, forensic accountants often work with law enforcement agencies, attorneys, and insurance companies.
Filing taxes is a necessary evil for every working institution and individual, from memory care facilities to solo massage therapists.
Navigating taxation is not the easiest thing, however, and the job of a tax accountant is to help individuals and businesses to prepare their taxes. They use their knowledge of tax laws to make sure that their clients are compliant while paying only the correct amount of taxes.
For example, let’s say you own a small business. A tax accountant would prepare your taxes in a way that makes sure you’re taking advantage of all the small business deductions and credits that you’re entitled to.
Tax accountants often work for accounting firms, but they can also work for the government, large corporations, and even individuals.
A cost accountant is primarily responsible for keeping track of the costs associated with producing a product or providing a service. They work with financial data to create reports that show how well a company is performing and where it can improve. This information is then used by managers to make decisions about pricing, production, and other areas of the business.
To illustrate, say you own a bakery. A cost accountant would keep track of the costs of flour, sugar, eggs, and other ingredients that are used to make your products. They would also track the costs of labor, utilities, and rent for your store. This information can then be used by you to determine how much you need to charge for your products to make a profit.
Say you want to invest in a new company. An investment accountant would research the financial history of the company and provide you with information about its overall financial health. They would look at things like the company’s debt, cash flow, and prospects.
This information will be invaluable in helping you decide if investing in the company is a good idea or not.
Investment accountants often work for banks, insurance companies, charities, and other financial institutions.
There are many different types of accountants with a wide range of responsibilities. So, the next time you hear someone say “accountant,” don’t think of just one person in a suit. Think of the many different people who use their financial expertise to help make the world go round.