What Do Accountants Do? A Look at Life Behind the Ledger

School of Business Blog

There are certain connotations many pair with the idea of working as an accountant. The mere mention of the word accounting in conversation likely triggers images of endless spreadsheets and complex equations, or extended hours trapped behind a desk during tax season and the influx of phone calls from loved ones (or even just distant acquaintances) seeking financial advice.
While many might jump to the conclusion that this is a dull career, accountants would beg to differ! In fact, most consider their jobs to be anything but boring, pointing toward the exciting opportunity they have to get a behind-the-scenes look at how an organization functions. It’s as if accountants are fluent in a language that allows them to understand the business culture as a whole.
It may also surprise you to learn that accountants have an array of areas in which they can specialize. If you’re intrigued by the industry but not quite ready to commit to a career, you can sleep easy knowing that a career in accounting offers several options.
If you’re the least bit curious about this multifaceted career, then you’re in the right place. We’ve compiled all of the need-to-know facts about working as an accountant—everything from daily duties and career outlook to salary info and the various specialties you can pursue in your accounting career. Read on to see if it all adds up to the right career path for you.
What exactly does an accountant do?
In general, accountants compile, analyze, verify and prepare financial records for their department or organization as a whole, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).1 In layman’s terms, they work with financial documents to ensure lawful, efficient and compliant business practices.
In addition to preparing and analyzing financial data, accountants are also expected to explain their findings in written reports …

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