Perhaps the most annoying thing accountants experience is the
presumption that they all do taxes. Sure tax experts are needed
professionals, and the area of accounting expertise involved and
deserves respect, but assuming all with the title are tax experts is
like thinking that all Air Force personnel fly planes.
Those who specialize in forensics are key in investigating fraud,
embezzlement, contract disputes, and money laundering. Cases like this
will need legal counsel as well, but accountants in this field are
trained to comb the books and records of the suspecting business to find
clues that illegal things are taking place.
There are also those who keep track of inventory for businesses. This is
certainly a big and important job for cooperations like big chain
department stores or any businesses that keep inventory and stock. A
bookkeeper is basically an entry level accountant, and this
professional, though he may have a bit of tax knowledge, he in fact does
not do taxes. Some in this career field work solely in payroll or in
accruals and adjustments while others are budget experts.
There many areas of expertise. They may be better at math, unafraid of
numbers, and willing to do their own taxes, but they do not do
yours.Another well known term in the field of accounting is the
abbreviation CPA. This stands for certified public accountant, and you
guessed it, not all are CPAs either. The CPA is an exam that those in
the field take to augment their credentials, but just passing the test
does not a CPA make. The term is earned by a combination of testing, on
the job training (OJT), and professional hours logged and maintained. In
addition to their regular jobs, professionals who add these letters to
their monikers can also attest validity of financial information and
audit financial statements for the declaration of accuracy.
Some who use these letters, though they imply working for the public,
may work internally in organizations in a kind of CEO (chief executive
officer) or CFO (chief financial officer). This is called the private
sector. Much like lawyers are not abreast to each and every type of law
but may be able to direct you to the professional that you need for your
situation, you can ask someone who is an accountant for advice, but
that may not be his or her expertise, and unless it his lifes work, he
most certainly does not want to do your taxes.
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