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Are All Accountants the Same?

In answer to the question, are all accountants the same, the answer is no...Not really anyway. You see, there are several types of accountants and though they all require an accounting degree to work as certified accountants there are different types of accounting that they can branch off to outside of the general accountant that most are familiar with. To understand all of this a little better here is a breakdown of the most common types of accountants.

The Most Common Types of Accountants Are As Follows:

General Accountant: General accountants can work in a variety of capacities, from doing payroll and accounts payables for a company to working in a tax office.

Bookkeeper: A bookkeeper does just what they’re name suggests; they keep the financial books and papers in order such as incoming and outgoing checks, invoices and ledgers. This is what you would call an en try level accounting position, but bookkeepers are more commonly used by companies than any other type of accountant.

Controller: A controller pretty much runs the show in an accounting department just as the name suggests. They are usually in charge of managing a company’s cash flow.

Comptroller: Not to be mistaken with the controller, a comptroller’s job is to audit government accounts.

Certified Public Accountant: A certified public accountant (CPA) is a licensed accountant who has the authority to validate financial information with the ability to audit financial reports and statements and to confirm their accuracy. They can work in a variety of fields and are the most commonly used type of accountant by the general public and businesses as well as government bodies. They work independently or as a part of an accounting firm.

Certified Management Accountant: Also known as a cost accountant, a CMA works as an inventory cost accountant for larger businesses.

Chief Financial Officer: The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) generally heads the financial department of a large corporation. This is considered an executive position and the CFO can be in charge of managing everyone on a financial team from auditors to collectors.

Internal Auditor: The internal auditor is responsible for keeping an eye on the inside activities of an organization to ensure that everything is on the up and up.

Forensic Accountant: The forensic accountant is the accountant who investigates things like financial fraud, money laundering and embezzlement. They tend to work closely with or for the law.

So as you can see there are many different types of accountants and from these types any one of them can branch out into other areas of specialty such as taxes, government accounting and more. As mentioned earlier, the type of accountant that most people are familiar with is the certified public accountant whose services are most commonly sought by the general public for all types of accounting needs. Regardless of your needs when it comes to accounting you’re bound to find one that can help you or your organization with your endeavour. Remember that accountants are able to specialize in other areas therefore making it easier to find one that fits your needs.