Accounting is the use of a system of terms, formulas, and other record-keeping devices that allows businesses to calculate, track, and compare their financial growth, or recession in some cases. While basic accounting functions can be handled by a bookkeeper, advanced accounting is typically handled by qualified accountants who possess designations such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the United States, or Chartered Accountant (CA), Certified General Accountant (CGA) or Certified Management Accountant (CMA) in Canada.
In general, an accountant performs vital functions to businesses, as well as individuals, of all types by offering a very wide array of business and accounting services, including public, management and government accounting, as well as internal auditing.
As bookkeeping involves making a financial record of business transactions, it is true to say that the role of bookkeeping is encompassed within the scope of accounting, and the bookkeeping system used by a business would form part of the accounting system.
An accountant job description may include, in addition to educational and technological requirements, strong interpersonal and communication skills, simply due to the fact that most accountants work on teams with others from different backgrounds, and will need the ability to communicate accounting and financial information clearly and concisely.
In some cases, those with associate’s degrees, as well as bookkeepers and accounting clerks who meet the education and experience requirements set by their employers, get junior accounting positions and advance to accountant positions by showing their accounting skills on the job.