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What Is an Accountant?

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Definition: An accountant creates and analyzes financial reports as well as designs and manages the financial systems bookkeepers use to record transactions. The duties of an accountant vary widely depending on specialization, which might be auditing or tax preparation.

A certified public accountant (CPA) has legal certification in the U.S. However, not all accountants are CPAs. There are other types of certifications, such as certified internal auditors (CIAs) and certified management accountants (CMAs), as well as accountants with no legal certifications.

An accountant may work for an accounting firm, governmental agency, corporation, non-profit or as an independent consultant. Accountants usually work in an office setting but may work from home.

Also Known As: CPA, certified public accountant, management accountant, public accountant

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