An accountant is a professional who renders accounting services. The services include analysing, interpreting, communicating financial information for decision making.
In the accounting Profession, there are seven major types of accountants. They include: financial accountant, cost accountant, forensic accountant, management accountants, government accountants, auditor, tax accountant, etc.
All the various types of accountants have the same goal, which is to interpret financial information so that the users can make decision. The person who practices accounting is an accountant.
In this article, we will explain the seven types of accountants and their responsibilities in a business.
1. Financial Accountant
The main concern of financial accountants change financial information into external reports. Financial accountants give the financial report of a company, managers, board of directors, government, etc. These reports are produced for both internal and external use in the form of financial statement. The internal users are managers, directors, etc while the external users are government agencies, the general public, etc. The financial statement reflects on both the past performance and present position of a business organization. The financial statements are based on a set of standards called GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles).
2. Cost Accountant
Cost accountants apply the various accounting techniques to monitor and control costs. Cost accountants are also saddled with the responsibilities of forecasting the cost of producing goods both present and in the future using the past cost, inflation, government policies as tools. They are very important to the organization especially manufacturing organizations. Cost accountants help in the area of budgeting, they report directly to the management of the firm.
3. Forensic Accountant
Forensic accounting has to do with the reconstruction a financial information with an incomplete available financial record. Forensic accountants act as witnesses in courts of law in both in civil and criminal disputes that require assessing the financial effects of a loss or when a financial fraud is detected in a company's books of account.
4. Tax Accountant
Tax accountants are very important in an organization. They are responsible for ensuring that the company comply with tax regulations, filings and also plan tax so as to reduce a company’s tax burden. Tax accountants make adjustment in the financial statements which was prepared under the financial accounting. The information in the financial statement is used to estimate the tax liability of the company and make planning.
An auditor is a type of accountants who examines the financial records and activities of an organization to ensure compliance with the established policies and procedures. They are concerned with crosschecking the company’s transactions in order to identify weaknesses, fraud, mismanagement, etc by the accountant of the firm. There are two types of auditors: They are internal auditors and external auditors. Internal auditors are employees of the firm, they have their office space in the company while external auditors are not staffs of the company. External auditors are mainly on contract, to examine the accuracy and fair view of a company's books of account. Both the internal and external auditors report their findings to the management who will take necessary actions to ensure accuracy in the organization.
6. Management Accountant
Management accountant are concerned with the process of gathering accounting information for internal use by the management of the company. They analyze financial information for companies, and are directly involved in the company’s plan and budget. They are saddled with the responsibilities of drafting reports which will be seen only by the company’s management.
7. Government Accountant
Government Accountants are public accountants who work for government agencies, departments and parastatals or businesses depending on the government’s regulations. Government accountants take care of the financial position and performance of ministries and agencies.