BUSINESS ACCOUNTANT: Roles, Education and Salaries In 2023

Business accountant
U-Rock

The first step in selecting a business accountant is determining what you want your accountant to do for you. Some accountants will conduct bookkeeping, while others will focus on larger corporate chores. What matters most is that the accountant understands your company’s goals and how they can assist you in reaching them. The organization of your bookkeeping partly determines the cost of hiring an accountant. There must first be reliable inputs to get good results.

What Does a Business Accountant Do?

A business accountant manages a company’s money by gathering, verifying, documenting, analyzing, and presenting financial data. An accountant’s primary responsibilities in a smaller organization may include financial data gathering, entry, and report production. Accounting firms of medium to large size may hire an accountant to act as an adviser and financial interpreter, presenting the company’s financial facts to persons both inside and outside the company. The accountant may interact with third parties such as vendors, customers, and financial institutions. A business accountant also can be anything from a simple bookkeeper to a strategic counsel who interprets financial data for senior business decision-makers.

What Is an Accountant for a Business Called?

Contrary to popular belief, an accounting career can entail far more varied labor than compiling stacks of receipts or dealing with tax returns all day. If filling out tax forms doesn’t appeal to you, we have good news: accounting has grown, and you won’t just calculate people’s deductions (although managing tax returns is still a significant role for most accountant positions). This profession is expanding, and it offers interested persons the option to work in various intriguing industries, each with its own earning possibilities. Consider the following types of accountants who specialize in areas other than taxation.

#1. Staff Accountant

A staff accountant is ideal for someone with a bachelor’s degree in accounting who desires a range of jobs. Staff accountants often report to a CPA and are responsible for preparing financial reports and analyzing financial data. A staff accountant may also be entrusted with managing accounts payable and receivable, preparing a budget, and reconciling bank accounts, depending on the firm’s size. Staff accountants generally endeavor to verify that the organization complies with financial regulations that apply to their specific industry. As staff accountant gains experience in a particular business, they may be asked to generate financial forecasts.

Some recommended college courses are personal financial accounting, corporate taxation, risk analysis, and business law. A staff accountant’s average income is $50,098, according to PayScale.com. In addition, they could be eligible for profit-sharing and incentive opportunities.

#2. Investment Accountants

An investment accountant is another fantastic accounting job option outside of taxation. An investment accountant works in the financial industry, typically for a brokerage firm or asset management organization. They must be familiar with the organization’s investment prospects and accounting fundamentals (including how various assets and investments may affect a client’s taxes). It is frequently the investment accountant’s role to guarantee that the business complies with state and federal regulations that affect the industry. They may also be able to assist the company in improving its financial plan.

Individuals who want to be investment accountants should study economics, financial management, financial accounting, cost accounting, auditing, corporate accounting, and taxation. It’s also crucial to check the state’s laws to see if they need a license to work for an investment company. The average income for an investment accountant is $61,918 per year, according to PayScale.com. They may be eligible for incentives and profit sharing as well.

#3. Certified Public Accountant

Certified public accountants (CPAs) handle various tasks beyond federal and state tax returns. A CPA may supervise an organization’s staff accountants in numerous industries. A CPA is generally regarded as an organization’s financial counsel because of their extended, concentrated education that necessitated the passing of specialized exams. They may also be in charge of audits or evaluations. CPAs can also specialize in areas such as forensic accounting (which will be discussed below).

General accounting, computerized accounting, cost accounting, taxation, company statistics, and financial management are all recommended college courses. It is critical to note that a CPA must pass a licensing exam and complete their academic degree. A CPA’s average pay is $65,397, according to PayScale.com. Bonuses and profit sharing may be available to them. CPAs specializing in certain areas or as expert witnesses may make significantly more money.

#4. Project Accountants

Accountants that work on specific projects are known as project accountants. They may be a long-term employee or a contractor brought in particularly to manage one specific purpose, depending on the business for which they are engaged. Of course, a solid working relationship for a single project can lead to both recurring business and referrals. Project accountants are in charge of anything related to the project. This includes, but is not limited to, producing invoices, collecting on invoices, authorizing expenses, approving billable hours provided by others, organizing and maintaining project budgets, and assisting in the completion of the project by the deadline.

Individuals who want to be project accountants should study interpersonal communications, human resources, cost accounting, auditing, taxation, corporate accounting, risk management, and managerial accounting. If the project accountant intends to start their own business, they will benefit from pursuing business courses. A project accountant’s average income is $56,857, according to PayScale.com. They may be entitled to bonuses as well.

#5. Management Accountant

A management accountant examines an organization’s financial situation and how it may affect the company. The management account may provide specific advice on improving the firm’s financial health. Budget, external financial reporting, risk management, and profitability evaluations are all responsibilities of management accountants. A management accountant must also have the interpersonal and professional abilities necessary to communicate information to executives effectively.

Individuals who want to work as management accountants should learn about risk management, managerial accounting, cost accounting, auditing, corporate finance, taxation, and interpersonal interactions. After finishing a bachelor’s degree, individuals must take and pass the certified management accountant (CMA) exam. The average earnings for a management accountant are $59,405, according to PayScale.com. They may be entitled to incentives and profit sharing as well.

#6. Cost Accountants

Like a project accountant, a cost accountant’s purpose is to help assure cost efficiency. On the other hand, a cost accountant is frequently employed on a project basis by firms that need help managing their supply chain profitability and budgets. Labor costs, material costs, transportation costs, production expenses, and other supply chain costs are all examined by cost accountants. Their efforts are intended to find areas that might be made more efficient.

Individuals who want to be cost accountants should study cost accounting, auditing, corporate accounting, risk management, supply chain management, and managerial accounting. The average income for a cost accountant is $55,710, as reported by PayScale.com. They may be eligible for profit sharing and bonuses as well.

#7. Forensic Accountant

A forensic accountant analyzes financial records for errors, omissions, fraud, and compliance with state and federal regulations. Forensic accountants can work for firms specializing in this form of accounting, as self-employed individuals, in the legal industry, or for the government. In addition to evaluating financial records to guarantee accuracy, forensic accountants must conduct additional research and investigate the data supplied. Because they are competent at unraveling and explaining complex financial issues and enormous sums of money, those with this specialty are highly demanded to act as expert witnesses in litigation.

Individuals who want to become forensic accountants should study auditing, cost, risk management, forensic accounting, managerial accounting, and taxes. The majority of forensic accountants go on to become CPAs or certified fraud examiners (CFEs). According to PayScale.com, the average forensic accountant’s pay is $66,311. Most forensic accountants’ salaries increase with more experience and a CPA or CFE.

#8. Auditor

Auditors guarantee that firms record their financial information appropriately. Many sectors require firms to do at least one external audit every year conducted by someone who is not an employee. Auditors examine financial statements, account books, accounting systems, and fiscal records to ensure that the company complies with all financial regulations. They also make recommendations to the organization if issues need to be fixed or suggestions to prevent future concerns.

Individuals who aspire to become auditors should take auditing, risk management, forensic accounting, managerial accounting, corporate finance, and corporate accounting courses. After completing their degree program, they may pursue certification as an auditor. An auditor’s average salary is $55,748 per year, according to PayScale.com.

Is It Worth It Getting an Accountant for a Small Business?

In some cases, hiring an accountant may be worthwhile since they have knowledge and expertise that you and your bookkeeper do not. For example, if your tax issue becomes an audit, you’ll need a business accountant – most likely a certified public accountant (CPA). CPAs are state-certified to have current knowledge of tax regulations and processes and any related legislation — the expertise that can improve your entire tax picture. Hiring a business accountant to handle genuinely consequential jobs where a mistake or omission may have serious consequences is advisable. Among the duties that could benefit from accountant input are:

  • Meeting government requirements and communicating with them: tax filings, legal/compliance documentation, audits.
  • Creating yearly financial statements, financial statements, and quarterly financial reports.
  • Creating the big picture: a regular breakdown and analysis of the company’s financial conditions.
  • Gathering and analyzing financial data in preparation for financing proposals.
  • Weighing financial options for firm expansion.

Why You Need a Business Accountant?

When you think of the services an accountant may give, tax filings and bookkeeping are probably the first things that come to mind. However, as small business owners anticipate a broader range of services, accountants increasingly provide several financial and consulting services to help you enhance profitability and develop your organization. Accountants can assist small business owners with the following tasks:

  • Deciding on a business structure (i.e., sole proprietorship, LLC)
  • Budgeting, forecasting, and cash flow management
  • Processing of payroll
  • Tax Preparation
  • Business advising.
  • Accounts payable and receivables.
  • Employee benefits and human resources.
  • Software Suggestions

Is Business Accounting Hard?

Since it is not apparent accounting can be complex, students frequently struggle with accounting ideas and regulations. The workload is also challenging for students. However, accounting does not have to be difficult if you are comfortable with numbers, can think logically, and understand the accounting structure, ideas, laws, and how they are governed. Most students struggle with undergraduate accounting because it is filled with language and concepts that are new and difficult to grasp when compared to other business courses. Accounting difficulty is determined not only by the syllabus but also by your ability to understand accounting principles.

Furthermore, if you attend and pay attention in class and keep up with your studies, you shouldn’t have too much trouble coping. Accounting can be complex in college if you are lazy. It combines several distinct disciplines, and you must be familiar with various aspects of the firm. To help your clients stay in compliance, you should also have a solid grasp of legal jargon and relevant laws.

Conclusion

You can start looking for prospects after you know what your small business accountant wants. That will help you financially, not only with taxes but also with the growth of your business, so you need to speak with someone face to face. Because every organization is unique, there is no simple answer to how much an accountant and their services should cost. Prices vary depending on where you live and whether you hire a conventional accountant or a CPA. 

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