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An accountant is a qualified individual who has received thorough theoretical and practical training in the majority, if not all, of accounting's functions.

To qualify as an accountant, one must first acquire a professional accounting certificate from a professional accounting body such as the Association of Chartered Accountants (ACCA), the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN).

General Functions Of An Accountant.

1. Designing an accounting information system that is suitable for an organization's accounting needs.

2. Preparation of financial statements that are easily understood by every stakeholder of the business.

3. Preparation and verification of tax returns for taxable entities

4. Advising firms on tax-related issues.

5. Preparation of feasibility studies for individuals and corporations so that they can select the most viable investment choice from a variety of options. 

6. Analyzing and interpreting the contents of an organization's financial statements in order for stakeholders to make informed decisions about the organization's activities.

7. Providing auditing services to all types of business

8. Put in place the essential controls to prevent or reduce the perpetuation of financial fraud by employees.

Types Of Accountants

1. Financial accountant: This is the accountant who provides information about the effect of past transactions on the fortunes of an organization.

To record their transactions, financial accountants use generally accepted accounting standards.

Financial accountants usually provide information to both internal and external stakeholders of the business.

2. Management accountant: This provides information about the effect of estimated expenditures and receipts on the company's performance and growth.

Management accountants are usually forward-looking and may not use generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP)

Management accountants often give information that is solely useful to internal corporate stakeholders such as managers and employees.

3. Auditor: This specialized in the accounting function of examining, scrutinizing and controlling the financial activities of an organisation.

An auditor's primary responsibility is to check the accuracy of financial records and ensure that they comply with applicable rules and regulations.

Auditors can be bifurcated into internal and external auditors

  • Internal auditors: These are auditors who are an employee of the business. They responsible to the organization's management.
  • External auditors: These are auditor that are external to the business. TYpically, external auditors are usually a firm of chartered auditors. External auditors are typically appointed by a company shareholder and are not accountable to management, but rather to the shareholders.

4. Tax accountant: This is an accountant specializes in federal, state, and municipal tax laws, rules, and regulations, as well as their calculation.

A tax accountant is usually an expert in the preparation of tax returns. A tax return is a statement that shows an individual's or organization's taxable profit and tax due over a period of time.

Tax accountants are usually well-versed in tax regulations and are good at providing advice on tax-related matters such as tax avoidance, tax deferment, and so on.

5. Forensic accountant: This is an accountant that specializes in unravelling the causes of the financial problems of an organisation, using certain accounting, financial and legal procedures and techniques.

During investigations, financial accountants collaborate closely with law enforcement agents and lawyers, and they may even testify as expert witnesses in court.

They are primarily responsible for determining whether or not a corporation has engaged in financial misconduct.

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