An accountant is a person who is engaged in accounting activities. A person in this position should have a higher level of formal accounting training than a bookkeeper, usually a four-year or five-year college degree. Because of this extra training, an accountant is expected to engage in the following activities that may be considered too difficult for a bookkeeper:
- Analyzing financial statements
- Calculating variances
- Conducting auditing activities
- Conducting cost analysis
- Creating journal entries
- Preparing tax schedules
- Setting up accounting processes
Accountants may be employed within a company, completing business transactions, setting up processes, and creating financial statements. Alternatively, they can be employed as auditors, either as internal auditors or by outside audit firms.
Given the complexity of modern business systems and the need to ensure that they produce accurate financial statements, accountants form a large part of the administrative staff of an organization.