The Different Types of Accountants Explained

The Different Types of Accountants Explained

Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 4% increase in accountant careers from 2019 to 2029. They estimate an average of 125,700 open accountant jobs per year during that period.

Those numbers show promise for the accounting profession. They give hope to anyone becoming an accountant or in need of accounting services. Both need an understanding of different types of accountants.

Let’s take a look at accounting facts to know no matter your desire.

What Does an Accountant Do?

Accountants manage individual and business finances and report on income and expenses. They report on transactions that reflect a person’s or company’s monetary health. Many business decisions rely on the accuracy of an accountant’s budget assessment.

Duties of an accountant include but are not limited to:

  • Issuing invoices and collecting payments
  • Reconciling finances
  • Reporting taxes
  • Tracking assets and liabilities
  • Managing payroll processes

Not sure what you want to do? Continue reading to learn several options for a career in accounting.

Types of Accountants

The extent of an accountant’s duties depends on their level of expertise. This is where understanding various types of accountants matters.

Staff Accountants

The most common accounting job is that of a staff accountant. Their essential job includes payroll, account reconciliation, and bookkeeping. Some companies demand their prospects have a Professional Bookkeeper (PB) certification.

Staff accountants often seek Universal Accounting’s PB designation to prove their expertise. It’s helpful when starting or advancing your career. Attaining PB status makes you more marketable to different companies.

Annual base salary: $54,701


One type of Public Accountant is an auditor. External auditors provide independent reviews of a company’s financial records. They ensure accounting records adhere to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

Internal auditors provide ongoing monitoring of business practices affecting financial stability. Their skills improve the company’s profitability.

Annual base salary: $62,944

Tax Accountant

The Different Types of Accountants Explained

A tax accountant’s responsibility may sound simple but it’s not. They provide tax preparation services to individuals and businesses. They’re familiar with tax laws and can help save you money.

Tax accountants ensure compliance when filing your taxes. Mistakes on federal and state income taxes could prove costly.

Annual base salary: $63,624

Certified Public Accountant

A CPA holds a license to perform accounting duties for the public. Becoming a CPA requires an accounting degree and field experience. It also requires passing the CPA exam.

The CPA designation demonstrates financial skills and knowledge beyond that of an accountant. To remain a CPA, accounting professionals must fulfill continuing education requirements. The 40 hours of training every year keeps CPAs informed of the latest process techniques.

Annual base salary: $80,627

How to Become an Accountant

Protecting the financial health of a company takes unique skills and experience. But don’t feel intimidated by the requirements. Focus your attention on completing one step at a time:

  1. Get your bachelor’s degree
  2. Discover your specialty
  3. Gain real-life experience

From there you can decide if becoming a CPA is of interest to you.

Choosing an Accounting Profession

Of these types of accountants, which would you become or hire? The outlook for accountants suggests no shortage of options either way. Get started on your accountant career today.

Explore our website for more advice to help you make informed life decisions.


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