Believe it or not, accounting history stretches back to 5000 B.C and ancient Mesopotamia. Yes, accounting and its various principles have been in use since then to track the financial activities of any organization. The objective here is to track financial data, facilitate financial transactions, and maintain the same records.
The question of “what is accountant job?” may be a broad-based one. But, it certainly highlights the importance of accounting in economics and why it has been in continuous use since ancient Mesopotamia.
Accounting was mostly used to keep track of financial transactions in an empire and record the expenditures incurred and any monetary payment that’s well past its due date.
Today, in the 21st century, the job description of an accountant may not have changed much except that it has expanded to include new responsibilities. Companies and businesses worldwide hire accountants.
Their job is mainly to maintain records, provide companies with timely financial statements, review the ledger balance, and even provide the company’s CEO with a profit and loss statement. That’s reason enough to check out the various roles and responsibilities of an accountant today.
● Maintain records:
Generally, when it comes to “what is accountant job,” most people would tell you that it is primarily used to collect financial data while recording the same. They would not be incorrect, for that is part of an accountant’s responsibilities in an organization.
But that is also what a bookkeeper does, to maintain records. He maintains a record of every financial transaction that takes place. To put it simply, every accountant can double as a bookkeeper, but not all bookkeepers can do the same as accountants. Companies require accountants primarily, for this reason, that is to record and maintain all financial transactions and to ensure that the company in question complies with the nation’s tax laws, etc.
● To help prepare and maintain financial reports:
Financial reports are critical to any business organization. By reviewing a financial report, others can determine if the organization is healthy or not.
For example, you must have come across companies planning to become public. One of the first things most companies would do is hire an external accountant auditor to go over their books. After which, he has to prepare an independent financial report.
This is a necessary step in evaluating the company’s viability, and only after assessing the same, the IPO would be listed in the stock markets. As you can see, maintaining financial reports and ensuring that they report accurate financial data, one that is up to date, is a critical part of an accountant’s job.
Every country in the world has its own set of tax laws and regulations. It is the accountant’s responsibility to keep himself updated with the latest tax laws and regulations in his country. He needs to ensure that the company’s activities are in line with the nation’s tax laws and comply with the same.
He also must ensure that the company makes the requisite tax payments on time. Few companies seek to move their assets elsewhere while under-declaring their tax returns. The accountant must be objective and ensure that such shady activities are tracked, recorded, and even reported to the relevant authorities.
● Offering guidance:
While some may view this as strictly not part of an accountant’s responsibilities, companies have started consulting their accountants, especially when it comes to profit maximization. Accountants can offer advice on how to cut back on prices, reverse losses, and even how to expand profit-making lines and thereby accruing more profit to the company.
These are some of the varied responsibilities of an accountant these days. So naturally, it will vary from one company to the other, but the broad definition listed above should apply to all