Summary Report for:
13-2011.01 - Accountants
Analyze financial information and prepare financial reports to determine or maintain record of assets, liabilities, profit and loss, tax liability, or other financial activities within an organization.
Sample of reported job titles: Accountant, Accounting Manager, Accounting Officer, Accounting Supervisor, Business Analyst, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Cost Accountant, Financial Reporting Accountant, General Accountant, Staff Accountant
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Prepare, examine, or analyze accounting records, financial statements, or other financial reports to assess accuracy, completeness, and conformance to reporting and procedural standards.
- Report to management regarding the finances of establishment.
- Establish tables of accounts and assign entries to proper accounts.
- Develop, implement, modify, and document recordkeeping and accounting systems, making use of current computer technology.
- Compute taxes owed and prepare tax returns, ensuring compliance with payment, reporting, or other tax requirements.
- Maintain or examine the records of government agencies.
- Advise clients in areas such as compensation, employee health care benefits, the design of accounting or data processing systems, or long-range tax or estate plans.
- Develop, maintain, and analyze budgets, preparing periodic reports that compare budgeted costs to actual costs.
- Provide internal and external auditing services for businesses or individuals.
- Analyze business operations, trends, costs, revenues, financial commitments, and obligations to project future revenues and expenses or to provide advice.
- Advise management about issues such as resource utilization, tax strategies, and the assumptions underlying budget forecasts.
- Represent clients before taxing authorities and provide support during litigation involving financial issues.
- Prepare forms and manuals for accounting and bookkeeping personnel and direct their work activities.
- Appraise, evaluate, and inventory real property and equipment, recording information such as the description, value, and location of property.
- Survey operations to ascertain accounting needs and to recommend, develop, or maintain solutions to business and financial problems.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Desktop calculator — 10-key calculators
- Desktop computers
- Laser fax machine — Laser facsimile machines
- Notebook computers
- Personal computers
- Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers — Personal digital assistants PDA
- Photocopiers — Photocopying equipment
- Tablet computers
Technology used in this occupation:
- Accounting software — ATX Total Accounting Office; Intuit QuickBooks software; Sage CPAClient Checkbook; Summit Software Summit Biofuels Accounting (see all 41 examples)
- Business intelligence and data analysis software — IBM Cognos Business Intelligence
- Compliance software — ACCUCert software; FLS eDP PAYROLLtax; Intrax ProcedureNet; Paisley Cardmap (see all 8 examples)
- Computer aided manufacturing CAM software
- Customer relationship management CRM software — Blackbaud The Raiser's Edge
- Data base reporting software — ADP Super Report Writer; SAP BusinessObjects Crystal Reports
- Data base user interface and query software — Best Software CPAPayroll; Microsoft Access; Sage 50 Accounting; Structured query language SQL (see all 8 examples)
- Development environment software — eXtensible Business Reporting Language XBRL
- Document management software — Accutrac software; Document management system software; OmniRIM software; Sage CPADocument Manager
- Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise application integration software — SAP BusinessObjects Data Integrator
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — AcornSystems Corporate Performance Management; Microsoft Great Plains Solomon; Oracle PeopleSoft; Sage Platinum for Windows PFW (see all 18 examples)
- Financial analysis software — Brentmark Estate Planning Quickview; Cartesis Magnitude iAnalysis; MethodWare ProAudit Advisor; Paisley AutoAudit (see all 19 examples)
- Human resources software — CPSI EHR System; Sage Abra HRMS
- Inventory management software — AIM Asset Management Software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Operating system software — Microsoft Windows
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Tax preparation software — ATX Total Tax Office; CCH ProSystem fx TAX; Orrtax Software IntelliTax Classic; Thomson GoSystem Tax (see all 23 examples)
- Time accounting software — Payroll software
- Transaction server software — Tumbleweed SecureTransport
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
- Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Detailed Work Activities
- Supervise employees.
- Calculate tax information.
- Examine financial records or processes.
- Appraise property values.
- Examine financial records.
- Identify opportunities to improve operational efficiency.
- Prepare financial documents, reports, or budgets.
- Advise others on financial matters.
- Maintain data in information systems or databases.
- Develop business or financial information systems.
- Analyze business or financial data.
- Evaluate condition of properties.
- Prepare financial documents.
- Monitor inventories of products or materials.
- Report information to managers or other personnel.
- Analyze budgetary or accounting data.
- Advise others on human resources topics.
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 81% responded “Extremely important.”
- Telephone — 81% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 78% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 79% responded “Extremely important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 91% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 71% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 73% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 49% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 42% responded “Some freedom.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 45% responded “Extremely important.”
- Contact With Others — 42% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 36% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 36% responded “Important results.”
- Letters and Memos — 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Time Pressure — 49% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 48% responded “40 hours.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 28% responded “More than half the time.”
- Degree of Automation — 41% responded “Highly automated.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 36% responded “Important.”
- Level of Competition — 32% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 31% responded “High responsibility.”
|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:
Interest code: CE
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wages data collected from Accountants and Auditors.
Employment data collected from Accountants and Auditors.
Industry data collected from Accountants and Auditors.
|Median wages (2014)||$31.70 hourly, $65,940 annual|
|Employment (2012)||1,275,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Average (8% to 14%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||544,200|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Accountants and Auditors . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.