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What an accountant does . . .
If a company is running smoothly, you can thank its accounting department, the people who take care of tracking expenses and income, making sure payments are received and made and completing an assortment of other financial tasks.
There are many kinds of jobs within the accounting world, including financial advisors, accountants, and fiscal clerks. Each of them performs unique duties in regard to recording and monitoring the finances of a group or organization. Most people in the accounting world have a strong aptitude for mathematics and a careful eye for detail.
- Jobs for accountants are expected to grow 22% between 2004 and 2014 nationally. In Maryland, the growth over those years is targeted at 15%.
- People talk about accountants keeping a company’s “books” even though they use a computer program to do so. Ledgers, or books to keep financial records, were the standard way of keeping track of expenses and income in the past.
A accountant typically has:
These skills and abilities:
Strong communication and language skills, self-motivation, sense of professionalism, conflict resolution skills, strong customer service and mathematics skills
- Strong background in mathematics, especially arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus and statistics, and their applications
- An understanding of economic and accounting principles and practices, and ways to analyze and report financial data
- How to use computers and software such as spreadsheets to track income, expenditures, and budgets
- An understanding of maritime operations at a port facility
Mathematics courses in high school and college can be combined with on-the-job experience and training.
This position usually requires at least a high school diploma, but in exceptional cases, experience can be substituted for a diploma. A college degree is helpful but not required. College courses in accounting or business are recommended.