What Does a Financial Accountant Do?

Financial accounting can refer to any type of accounting done by a business professional that isn't management accounting. Financial accountants work in various fields, such as private business, government and the nonprofit sector. Financial accountants may also work as certified public accountants.

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Financial Accountant: Job Duties

A financial accountant who is part of the accounting department at an organization often keeps records of financial statements, supervises tax payments and maintains accounts. Financial accountants may work extensively with technology to compute, maintain and classify financial records. Financial accountants may also be responsible for reconciling billing vouchers and using software applications to make financial statements public, when applicable.

Financial accountants may also be responsible for dealing with statistics and transactions as they pertain to equipment management, travel accounting, accounts payable and other finances, depending on the site at which the accountant works.

What Does a Financial CPA Do?

Financial accountants who work for a certified public accounting (CPA) firm generally work as outside consultants for various companies, keeping their financial records in order. Between the first of the year and April 15, financial accountants at CPA firms help individuals organize and file their taxes for the federal, state and local governments, as well as figure out how much money, if any, they're owed by the government.

In addition to these duties, some CPAs and other public accountants specialize in working with the government to detect white-collar crimes through financial statements and transactions. This is otherwise known as forensic accounting. These accountants may also serve as expert witnesses during trials involving white-collar crime.

Financial Accounting Office

Often businesses may have financial accounting offices, in which financial accountants and others take responsibility for the following:

  • All tax reporting issues, including sales tax returns and 1099 withholding
  • Processing inventory
  • Administering programs within an entity, such as travel or entertainment allowances

Salary and Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accountants and auditors will have a predicted 13% job growth in the years 2012-2022. The BLS also mentioned in 2012 that these workers earned $63,550 as a median annual wage.

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