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When most people think of accounting, what comes to mind is usually basic information that's not particularly interesting or beneficial. But there's a lot more to accounting than just the basics.
Computers have changed the way accountants and auditors do their job. Accountants can use special software packages to do transactions in basic formats for financial records. Using software they can organize data in financial analysis. This greatly reduces the amount of tedious manual work of recordkeeping and data management. Accountants can use computers to receive their clients' information by using the internet. Because of this accountants and auditors can utilize these computer skills in correcting problems with software or in developing specific software for data management and bookkeeping. This allows accountants also to perform more technical duties such as analyzing and devising budgets.
Nowadays, many accountants are also taking on the role of a personal financial advisor. They help their clients with their personal budgets. They can help them manage their assets and investments so they can plan for retirement. It is almost like having a personal fitness coach but instead of getting your body in shape they help you get your finances in shape.
With the help of accountants and auditors our Nation’s firms are run more efficiently. The public records are kept more accurately, and they can help them to pay their taxes correctly and on time. Accountants and auditors can offer services which include budget analysis, financial and investment planning, computer software for recordkeeping and limited legal services.
Once you begin to move beyond basic background information, you begin to realize that there's more to accounting than you may have first thought. Specific job duties vary widely among the four major fields of accounting: public, management, and government accounting and internal auditing.
Are you looking for some inside information on accounting? Here's an up-to-date report from accounting experts who should know.
Some public accountants specialize in forensic accounting—investigating and interpreting white-collar crimes such as securities fraud and embezzlement, bankruptcies and contract disputes, and sometimes criminal financial transactions by organized criminals in money laundering. Forensic accountants combine their knowledge of accounting and finance with law and investigative techniques in order to determine whether an activity is illegal. Law enforcement personnel and lawyers often work closely with forensic accountants during investigations and many times they appear as expert witnesses during trials.
The only way to keep up with the latest about accounting is to constantly stay on the lookout for new information. If you read everything you find about accounting, it won't take long for you to become an influential authority.
Because of the internet many self-employed accountants may be able to do part of their work at home. Public or government accountants and auditors may have to travel frequently to perform audits at branches for their firms, clients’ places of business, or government facilities.
Most accountants and auditors usually work a standard 40-hour week, but self-employed accountants may work longer if they have many clients. Tax specialists often work long hours during the tax season.
Because of recent accounting scandals, new Federal legislation restricts the nonauditing services that public accountants can provide to clients. If an accounting firm audits a client’s financial statements, that same firm cannot provide advice on human resources, investments, technical, or legal matters, although accountants may still advise on tax issues, such as establishing a tax shelter.
As you can see there are many different accounting positions in public, private, and government areas.
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