NamesCertified Public Accountant (Accounts Officer), Chartered Certified Accountants, Chartered Accountant, Chartered Management Accountant, Cost and Management Accountants, Certified Management Accountants, etc.
Occupation type
Activity sectors
CompetenciesCorporate law, taxation, audit, finance, insolvency, management, mathematics, analytical skills and critical thinking skills
Education required
In some countries Bachelor's degree or master's degree is needed, see professional requirements
Fields of
private corporations,
financial industry,
Related jobs

An accountant is a practitioner of accounting or accountancy. Accountants who have demonstrated competency through their professional associations' certification exams are certified to use titles such as Chartered Accountant, Chartered Certified Accountant or Certified Public Accountant, or Registered Public Accountant. Such professionals are granted certain responsibilities by statute, such as the ability to certify an organization's financial statements, and may be held liable for professional misconduct. Non-qualified accountants may be employed by a qualified accountant, or may work independently without statutory privileges and obligations.

Cahan & Sun (2015)[1] used archival study to find out that accountants' personal characteristics may exert a very significant impact during the audit process and further influence audit fees and audit quality. Practitioners have been portrayed in popular culture by the stereotype of the humorless, introspective bean-counter.[2][3] It has been suggested that the stereotype has an influence on those attracted to the profession with many new entrants underestimating the importance of communication skills and overestimating the importance of numeracy in the role.[4]

An accountant may either be hired for a firm that requires accounting services on a continuous basis, or may belong to an accounting firm that provides accounting consulting services to other firms. The Big Four auditors are the largest employers of accountants worldwide. However, most accountants are employed in commerce, industry, and the public sector.[5]

  1. ^ Cahan, Steven F.; Sun, Jerry (2014-08-11). "The Effect of Audit Experience on Audit Fees and Audit Quality". Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance. 30 (1): 78–100. doi:10.1177/0148558x14544503. S2CID 154369246.
  2. ^ Friedman, A. L., & Lyne, S. R. (2001). The beancounter stereotype: towards a general model of stereotype generation. Critical perspectives on accounting, 12(4), 423-451.
  3. ^ Jeacle, I., Miley, F., & Read, A. (2012). Jokes in popular culture: the characterisation of the accountant. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal.
  4. ^ "Written Communication Apprehension Experienced by First-Year Undergraduate Accounting Students". INTED2023 Proceedings. 17th Annual International Technology, Education and Development Conference. Vol. 1. Valencia, Spain. March 2023. pp. 1082–1091. doi:10.21125/inted.2023.0322.
  5. ^ For example, in 2009 in Ontario, Canada, national firms employ 4,425 Chartered Accountants, which is less than 50% of the members in public practice.(Chartered Accountants in National Firms in Ontario, Canada Archived July 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine) As total membership is 33,146, the national firms employ about 13% of all Chartered Accountants in Ontario. (Ontario Chartered Accountants demographics Archived July 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine) Most of the members are employed in industry, with the majority in small and medium sized enterprises.

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