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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, General Accountant, Project Accountant, Staff Accountant

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Tasks  |  Technology Skills  |  Tools Used  |  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

Tasks

  • Develop, maintain, and analyze budgets, preparing periodic reports that compare budgeted costs to actual costs.
  • Prepare, examine, or analyze accounting records, financial statements, or other financial reports to assess accuracy, completeness, and conformance to reporting and procedural standards.
  • Review accounts for discrepancies and reconcile differences.
  • Prepare adjusting journal entries.
  • Establish tables of accounts and assign entries to proper accounts.
  • Analyze business operations, trends, costs, revenues, financial commitments, and obligations to project future revenues and expenses or to provide advice.
  • Report to management regarding the finances of establishment.
  • Develop, implement, modify, and document recordkeeping and accounting systems, making use of current computer technology.
  • Advise management about issues such as resource utilization, tax strategies, and the assumptions underlying budget forecasts.
  • Maintain or examine the records of government agencies.
  • Compute taxes owed and prepare tax returns, ensuring compliance with payment, reporting, or other tax requirements.
  • 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.
  • Represent clients before taxing authorities and provide support during litigation involving financial issues.
  • Provide internal and external auditing services for businesses or individuals.
  • 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.

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Technology Skills

  • Accounting software — Fund accounting software Hot technology ; Intuit QuickBooks Hot technology ; Intuit QuickBooks Premier; Sage 50 Accounting (see all 41 examples)
  • Business intelligence and data analysis software — IBM Cognos Impromptu Hot technology ; Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition Hot technology ; Qlik Tech QlikView Hot technology
  • Compliance software — ACCUCert; FLS eDP PAYROLLtax; Intrax ProcedureNet; Paisley Cardmap (see all 8 examples)
  • Customer relationship management CRM software — Blackbaud The Raiser's Edge Hot technology
  • Data base reporting software — ADP Super Report Writer; SAP Crystal Reports Hot technology
  • Data base user interface and query software — Best Software CPAPayroll; FileMaker Pro; Microsoft Access Hot technology ; Yardi Systems Yardi Enterprise (see all 9 examples)
  • Desktop publishing software — Microsoft Publisher
  • Development environment software — eXtensible Business Reporting Language XBRL; Microsoft Visual Basic Hot technology
  • Document management software — Document management system software; Iron Mountain Accutrac Records Management Software; OmniRIM Records Management Suite; Sage CPADocument Manager
  • Electronic mail software — IBM Notes Hot technology ; Microsoft Outlook Hot technology
  • Enterprise application integration software — SAP BusinessObjects Data Integrator
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software Hot technology — Microsoft Dynamics GP Hot technology ; NetSuite ERP Hot technology ; Oracle PeopleSoft Financials; SAP Business Objects (see all 19 examples)
  • Enterprise system management software — IBM Power Systems software Hot technology
  • Financial analysis software — Brentmark Estate Planning Quickview; Cartesis Magnitude iAnalysis; Delphi Technology Hot technology ; Oracle E-Business Suite Financials Hot technology (see all 19 examples)
  • Human resources software — ADP Workforce Now Hot technology ; CPSI EHR System; Human resource management software HRMS Hot technology ; Sage Abra HRMS
  • Information retrieval or search software — LexisNexis
  • Inventory management software — Asset management software
  • Medical software — Epic Systems Hot technology ; Healthcare common procedure coding system HCPCS Hot technology ; Medical condition coding software Hot technology ; MEDITECH software Hot technology (see all 5 examples)
  • Object or component oriented development software — Swift Hot technology
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office Hot technology
  • Operating system software — Microsoft Windows Hot technology
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology
  • Project management software — Microsoft SharePoint Hot technology
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Tax preparation software — ATX Total Tax Office; CCH ProSystem fx TAX; Intuit Lacerte; Orrtax Software IntelliTax Classic (see all 23 examples)
  • Time accounting software — Payroll software
  • Transaction server software — Tumbleweed SecureTransport
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word Hot technology

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Tools Used

  • Desktop calculator — 10-key calculators
  • Desktop computers
  • Laser fax machine — Laser facsimile machines
  • Notebook computers
  • Personal computers
  • Photocopiers — Photocopying equipment
  • Scanners
  • Tablet computers

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Knowledge

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • 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.

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Skills

  • 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.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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Abilities

  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • 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).
  • Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • 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).
  • 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).
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.

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Work Activities

  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  • 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.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • 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.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Examine financial records or processes.
  • Maintain data in information systems or databases.
  • Analyze business or financial data.
  • Examine financial records.
  • Prepare financial documents.
  • Analyze budgetary or accounting data.
  • Analyze financial information.
  • Conduct financial or regulatory audits.
  • Calculate tax information.
  • Prepare financial documents, reports, or budgets.
  • Advise others on human resources topics.
  • Report information to managers or other personnel.
  • Develop business or financial information systems.
  • Advise others on financial matters.
  • Supervise employees.
  • Appraise property values.
  • Evaluate condition of properties.
  • Monitor inventories of products or materials.
  • Identify opportunities to improve operational efficiency.

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 99% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 92% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Telephone — 89% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 91% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 77% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Contact With Others — 71% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 58% responded “Every day.”
  • Time Pressure — 64% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 52% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 66% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 70% responded “Very important results.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 61% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 53% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 48% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 56% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 43% responded “40 hours.”
  • Letters and Memos — 41% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 29% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Degree of Automation — 46% responded “Highly automated.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 29% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 29% responded “Never.”

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Job Zone

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, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
42   Bachelor's degree
39   Some college, no degree
14   Associate's degree

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Licenses Apprenticeship.gov

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Interests

Interest code: CE   Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.

  • 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.

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Work Styles

  • 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.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • 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.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • 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.

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Work Values

  • 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.

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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 (2017) $33.34 hourly, $69,350 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2016) 1,398,000 employees
Projected growth (2016-2026) Faster than average (10% to 14%) Faster than average (10% to 14%)
Projected job openings (2016-2026) 141,800
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2016)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2017 wage data external site and 2016-2026 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2016-2026). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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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.

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