Generally, an accountant is someone who is responsible for applying accounting principles and procedures to analyze financial information, prepare accurate and timely financial reports and statements and ensure appropriate accounting control procedures.

The accounting principles are rules decided by the regulatory body on accounting practices within a region, for eg. Chartered Institute of Management Accountants in the United Kingdom.
Types of Accountants

Financial Accountants
Tax Accountants
Public Accountants
Management Accountants

Levels of Accounting Professionals

Junior Accountant
Senior Accountant
Staff Accountant
Chief Accountant
Accountant General
Accounting Clerk

Skill Set Requirements for an Accountant

Accounting is a number-centric profession, which has a lot of implications. Firstly, the accountant needs to pay great attention to detail and accuracy, because the wrong calculation of a single-digit can upset the final tally of an entire document. Secondly, such an individual needs to be very well-planned and organized, so that all the information required can always be at hand.

Because accountants often serve as buffers between management, public, government agencies such as the tax authority, they need to have very strong communication skills, written and verbal. The clarity with which they transfer information regarding an individual account or organization matters a lot.

Sometimes the job isn’t so easy, and hence problem-solving skills are put to the test. Maybe a number went wrong, or maybe an entire document is missing, such situations require a lot of patience and diligence. Also, stress tolerance can get one far into the profession, as well as time-management skills.
Duties and Responsibilities of an Accountant

Even though there are quite a lot of niche jobs in the profession, such as the CPA job description, or financial analyst job description, or even chief accountant job description, there are a couple of duties and responsibilities that are relative to every accountant resume.

Firstly, the accountant job description entails compiling and analyzing financial information, which helps prepare financial statements, including monthly and annual accounts. Secondly, maintaining the actual financial records in compliance with the accounting standards and principles laid out. Also, all the work has to be completed within financial deadlines. One of the most important aspects of the job is to ensure accurate and timely monthly, quarterly and year-end closing.

The key to the job is obviously resolving discrepancies and irregularities in the finances of an individual or firm, as they appear. That requires effectively establishing and monitoring the implementation of accounting control procedures. Other than this, the accountant monitors and resolves any taxation issues that might arise, as well as continuously managing budgetary and forecast activities.

In terms of the financial statements, he needs to ensure accurate recording of all revenues and expenses, so as to aid the preparation of the Trial Balance, Profit & Loss Account, Balance Sheet etc. The accountant also needs to perform a management-oriented role by analyzing financial information to recommend or develop efficient use of resources and procedures, as well as provide strategic recommendations and maintain solutions to business and financial problems.
Different Lines of the Profession

Because accountants perform a variety of roles, quite a few job niches have formed over the past 2 decades or so, as accounting procedures have become more streamlined. Some of them are as follows:
Public Accountants

A public accountant is the most mainstream type of accounting work. It involves traditional accounting such as auditing, tax, and consulting activities for clients, which may be a corporation, government, nonprofit organization, and even individuals.

Specialties in public accounting are often chosen e.g. one might choose to concentrate on tax matters, such as advising companies about the tax advantages and disadvantages of certain business decisions and preparing individual income tax returns, whilst another might choose areas such as compensation or employee health care benefits etc.
Management Accountants

Another accounting job description is that of a management accountant, the field is also known as cost, managerial, industrial, corporate, or private accounting. Management accountants record and analyze the financial information of the companies for which they work.

The management accountant job description includes responsibilities such as budgeting, performance evaluation, cost management, and asset management. Management accountants are often a part of executive teams involved in strategic planning of the enterprise.

Author's Bio: 

Omar. S has posted this article. www.writeawriting.com is the place to read more about the description for the job of an accountant.