Accountant


Accountant
Accountant
Fuggerkontor.jpg
Occupation
Names Accountant
qualified accountant
professional accountant
chartered accountant
Activity sectors business
Description
Competencies management skills
Education required see professional requirements
Accountancy
Key concepts
Accountant · Accounting period · Bookkeeping · Cash and accrual basis · Cash flow management · Chart of accounts · Journal  · Special journals · Constant Item Purchasing Power Accounting · Cost of goods sold · Credit terms · Debits and credits · Double-entry system · Mark-to-market accounting · FIFO & LIFO · GAAP / IFRS · General ledger · Goodwill · Historical cost · Matching principle · Revenue recognition · Trial balance
Fields of accounting
Cost · Financial · Forensic · Fund · Management · Tax
Financial statements
Statement of financial position · Statement of cash flows · Statement of changes in equity · Statement of comprehensive income · Notes · MD&A · XBRL
Auditing
Auditor's report · Financial audit · GAAS / ISA · Internal audit · Sarbanes–Oxley Act
Accounting qualifications
CA · CPA · CCA · CGA · CMA · CAT · CFA  · CIIA  · ACCA  · CIA  · CTP · ICAEW · CIMA  · IPA  · ICAN  ·
This box: view · talk · edit

An accountant is a practitioner of accountancy (UK) or accounting (US), which is the measurement, disclosure or provision of assurance about financial information that helps managers, investors, tax authorities and others make decisions about allocating resources.

The Big Four auditors are the largest employers of accountants worldwide. However, most accountants are employed in commerce and industry.[1]

Contents

British Commonwealth

In the Commonwealth of Nations, which includes the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong pre 1997 and several dozen other states, commonly recognised accounting qualifications are Chartered Accountant (CA or ACA), Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA), Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA) and International Accountant (AAIA). Other qualifications in particular countries include Certified Public Accountant (CPA - Ireland and CPA - Hong Kong), Certified Management Accountant (CMA - Canada), Certified General Accountant (CGA - Canada), Certified Practising Accountant (CPA - Australia) and members of the IPA (Australia), and Certified Public Practising Accountant (CPPA - New Zealand).

Excepting the Association of Certified Public Accountants, each of the above bodies admits members only after passing examinations and undergoing a period of relevant work experience. Once admitted, members are expected to comply with ethical guidelines and gain appropriate professional experience.

Chartered, Chartered Certified, Chartered Public Finance, and International Accountants engaging in practice (i.e. selling services to the public rather than acting as an employee) must gain a "practising certificate" by meeting further requirements such as purchasing adequate insurance and undergoing inspections.

The ICAEW, ICAS, ICAI, ACCA, AIA and CIPFA are six statutory RQB Qualification Bodies in the UK. A member of one them may also become a Registered Auditor in accordance with the Companies Act, providing they can demonstrate the necessary professional ability in that area and submit to regular inspection. It is illegal for any individual or firm that is not a Registered Auditor to perform a company audit.

All six RQBs are listed under EU mutual recognition directives to practise in 27 EU member states and individually entered into agreement with the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA).

Further restrictions apply to accountants who carry out insolvency work.

In addition to the bodies above, technical qualifications are offered by the Association of Accounting Technicians, ACCA and AIA, which are respectively called AAT Technician, CAT (Certified Accounting Technician) and IAT (International Accounting Technician).

Australia

In Australia, there are three recognised professional accounting bodies: the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA), CPA Australia (CPA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia (ICAA).

Canada

In Canada, there are four recognized accounting bodies: the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CA) and the provincial and territorial CA Institutes, the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA), the Society of Management Accountants of Canada, also known as the Certified Management Accountants (CMA) and the Society of Professional Accountants of Canada (RPA). CA and CGA were created by Acts of Parliament in 1902 and 1913 respectively, CMA was established in 1920 and RPA in 1938.

The CA program is the most focused on public accounting and most candidates obtain auditing experience from public accounting firms, although recent changes allow candidates to obtain their experience requirements in industry at companies that have been accredited for training CAs; the CGA program takes a general approach allowing candidates to focus in their own financial career choices; the CMA program focuses in management accounting, but also provides a general approach to financial accounting and tax. The CA and CMA programs require a candidate to obtain a degree as a program entry requirement. The CGA program requires a degree as an exit requirement prior to certification.

Auditing and Public Accounting are regulated by the provinces. In British Columbia, Ontario and Prince Edward Island, CAs and CGAs have equal status regarding public accounting and auditing; In the rest of Canada, CAs, CMAs, and CGAs are considered equivalents pursuant to provincial and territorial legislation. However, in practice, most public accounting and auditing in Canada is performed by CAs.

As of 2006, the Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA or FCCA) is also recognized by the Canadian government as an eligible qualification to audit federal government institutions in Canada. Furthermore, The Canadian branch of ACCA is pursuing recognition for statutory audit purposes in the province of Ontario under the province's Public Accounting Act of 2004.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, there are two local accountancy bodies the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA) and the New Zealand Association of Certified Public Accountants (NZACPA) the operating name of New Zealand Association of Accountants Inc (NZAA).

To audit public companies an individual must be a member of either the NZICA or an otherwise gazetted body. Chartered Certified Accountant (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants or FCCA) qualification has also been gazetted under ). An ACCA member can practice as long as they hold an ACCA public practice certificate (with audit qualification) in their country of origin.

Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, a Chartered Accountant must be a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (designatory letters ACA or FCA), therefore it is the sole local accountancy body. To audit public companies an individual must be a member of the ICASL. In Pakistan there is a big concept of doing acca, ca, acma and higher qualification about accountancy.

Austria

In Austria the accountancy profession is regulated by the Bilanzbuchhaltungsgesetz 2006 (BibuG - Management Accountancy Law).

Bangladesh

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the accountancy industry is regulated by the HKICPA under the Professional Accountants Ordinance (Chapter 50, Laws of Hong Kong). The Auditing industry for limited companies is regulated under the Companies Ordinance (Chapter 32, Laws of Hong Kong), and other Ordinances such as the Securities and Futures Ordinance, the Listing Rules, etc.

HKICPA terminated all recognition of oversea bodies in 2005 for accreditation under Professional Accountants Ordinance. In general, all British RQBs except for CIPFA were re-accredited. Please refer to HKICPA for latest recognition.

Removal of requirement for a qualified accountant in the Listing Rules of Hong Kong
In November 2008, the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited has removed the requirement for a qualified accountant from the Listing Rules but expanded the Code Provisions in the Code on Corporate Governance Practices regarding internal controls to make specific references to the responsibility of the directors to conduct an annual review of the adequacy of staffing of the financial reporting function and the oversight role of the audit committee.

Portugal

In Portugal, there are two accountancy qualifications: the Técnicos Oficiais de Contas (TOC), responsible for producing accounting and tax information, and the Revisor Oficial de Contas (ROC), more related to auditing practices. The TOC certification is exclusively awarded by the professional organization Ordem dos Técnicos Oficiais de Contas (OTOC), and the certification to become an auditor is awarded by another professional organization, the Ordem dos Revisores Oficiais de Contas (OROC).[3] In general, accountants or auditors accredited by OTOC or OROC are individuals with university graduation diplomas in business management, economics, mathematics or law who, after further studies, applied for an exam and received the certification to be a TOC or ROC. That certification is only received after a 1-year (TOC) or 3-years (ROC) internship. Any citizen having a polytechnic degree as accounting technician is also entitled to apply for the exam and certification at the OTOC.[4]

United States

In the United States, legally practicing accountants are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), and other non-statutory accountants are Certified Internal Auditors (CIAs), Certified Management Accountants (CMAs) and Accredited Business Accountants (ABAs). The difference between these certifications is primarily the legal status and the types of services provided, although individuals may earn more than one certification. Additionally, much accounting work is performed by uncertified individuals, who may be working under the supervision of a certified accountant. However, as noted above the majority of accountants work in the private sector or may offer their services without the need for certification.

A CPA is licensed by the state of their residence to provide auditing services to the public, although most CPA firms also offer accounting, tax, litigation support, and other financial advisory services. The requirements for receiving the CPA license varies from state to state, although the passage of the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination is required by all states. This examination is designed and graded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

A CIA is granted a certificate from the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), provided that the candidate passed a rigorous examination of four parts. A CIA mostly provides their services directly to their employer rather than the public.

A CMA is granted a certificate from the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), provided that the candidate passed a rigorous examination of two parts and meet the practical experience requirement from the IMA. A CMA mostly provides their services directly to their employers rather than the public. A CMA can also provide their services to the public, but to an extent much lesser than that of a CPA.

An ABA is granted accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation (ACAT), provided that the candidate passed the eight-hour Comprehensive Examination for Accreditation in Accounting which tests proficiency in financial accounting, reporting, statement preparation, taxation, business consulting services, business law, and ethics. An ABA specializes in the needs of small-to-mid-size businesses and in financial services to individuals and families. In states where use of the word "accountant” is not permitted by non state licensed individuals, the practitioner may use Accredited Business Adviser.

Public Accountants. In certain states, state law grants State Public Accountant to practice accountancy and taxation (except for audit).

The United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are about one million persons[5] employed as accountants and auditors in the U.S.

U.S. tax law grants accountants a limited form of accountant-client privilege.

See also

References

  1. ^ 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) As total membership is 33,146, the national firms employ about 13% of all Chartered Accountants in Ontario. (Ontario Chartered Accountants demographics) Most of the members are employed in industry, with the majority in small and medium sized enterprises.
  2. ^ Institute of Professional Accountants
  3. ^ OROC official site; Access 2008
  4. ^ OTOC official site
  5. ^ BLS.gov

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • accountant — I noun bookkeeper, calculator, certified public accountant, chartered accountant, clerk, reckoner, recorder, registrar, statistician II index comptroller Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • accountant — Under Title 11 U.S.C. Section 101: (1) The term accountant means accountant authorized under applicable law to practice public accounting, and includes professional accounting association, corporation, or partnership, if so authorized. United… …   Glossary of Bankruptcy

  • Accountant — Ac*count ant, n. [Cf. F. accomptant, OF. acontant, p. pr.] 1. One who renders account; one accountable. [1913 Webster] 2. A reckoner. [1913 Webster] 3. One who is skilled in, keeps, or adjusts, accounts; an officer in a public office, who has… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • accountant — [n] person who maintains financial accounts of a business actuary, analyst, auditor, bookkeeper, calculator, cashier, clerk, comptroller, CPA, examiner, public accountant, reckoner, teller; concepts 348,353 …   New thesaurus

  • accountant — [ə kount′ nt] n. a person whose work is to inspect, keep, or adjust accounts: see CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT …   English World dictionary

  • Accountant — Ac*count ant, a. Accountable. [Obs.] Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • accountant — (n.) mid 15c., accounting officer, one who renders accounts, from O.Fr. acuntant (Mod.Fr. accomptant), from prp. of accompter (see ACCOUNT (Cf. account)). Sense of professional maker of accounts is recorded from 1530s. The word also was an… …   Etymology dictionary

  • accountant — auditor, *bookkeeper …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • accountant — ► NOUN ▪ a person who keeps or inspects financial accounts …   English terms dictionary

  • accountant — a qualified person who is skilled at managing and analysing business financial records. Glossary of Business Terms * * * accountant ac‧coun‧tant [əˈkaʊntnt] noun [countable] a professional person whose job is to keep and check the financial… …   Financial and business terms


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.