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What Are the Most Common Types of Accountants?

Most people think that accountants are all the same, but there are actually many different types of professional accountants.

If you are interested in becoming an accountant, it’s important to know which type of accounting jobs best fits you. By knowing what each type of accountant does, you can choose one that will be a good fit for your skill sets.

Keep reading for a complete list of the most common types of accountants and some examples of how they work with their clients.

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Public Accountant or Auditor

Public accountants work for companies that do taxes. They review financial statements with the company to make sure they are correct. They also prepare taxes for the company.

Sometimes, they represent people in court cases. They are lawyers or judges who help out with tax issues in lawsuits about bankruptcy, estrangement, or fraud.

Management Accountant

Management accountants work for companies and organizations to help them make sound financial decisions. They prepare reports that track revenue, costs, and other key indicators, as well as forecasting future trends.

In some cases, they might also be responsible for strategic planning and budgeting. Management accountants typically work in-house for their employer, but may also do contract work for outside clients.

Tax Accountant

Tax accountants are responsible for preparing and filing tax returns for individuals and businesses. They must stay up-to-date on all the latest tax laws and regulations to ensure that their clients pay the minimum amount of taxes required by law.

Some tax accountants also offer consulting services to prepare clients for an audit or represent them in court if they do not agree with a proposed assessment.

Forensic Accountant

Forensic accountants like to ask questions and use their accounting knowledge to find out if someone did something wrong. They can work for corporations, lawyers, or anyone else who needs them.

Most forensic accountants hold a master’s degree along with certification as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Accounting Clerk

Accounting clerks help higher-level accountants with paperwork and auditing. Sometimes they answer the phone and take care of other things like filing.

Accounting clerks need a degree in accounting. Some employers want someone with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and some want Associate’s Degree.

Payroll Clerk

Payroll clerks help companies stay compliant with tax laws by preparing and submitting forms related to employee earnings and benefits. They might also be responsible for making sure employees get paid on time and accurately.

A high school diploma is typically all that is required to get started as a payroll clerk, although some employers may require prior experience working in accounting or finance. The median annual salary of a full-time accounting clerk is $37k.

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Project Accountant

Project accountants are employed by consulting firms or construction companies to oversee the financial aspects of projects for clients. They might be responsible for making sure that budgets are not exceeded, payments are made on time, and all relevant tax laws are followed.

Project accountants must have at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance, as well as several years of experience working in an office setting.


Bookkeepers record all transactions that happen with money. They write in the company’s records when people come in and buy stuff, when they get paid, and when they pay bills. Bookkeepers know about federal taxes because it is one of the first things you do before you file taxes to the IRS every year.

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically all that is required to find a job as a bookkeeper, although some employers may prefer hiring someone who has at least an Associate’s degree. The median salary for full-time accounting clerks is $35k annually.

Accountant Assistant

Accountant assistants work under the supervision of accountants and provide support by performing routine tasks such as gathering client data, looking up information in filing systems, and preparing invoices and checks. They also answer phone calls, schedule meetings, and perform other administrative duties.

These professionals usually need at least an Associate’s degree in accounting or finance to get started in this field.

Additionally, accountant assistants must have strong computer skills since most of their work is done on the computer. The median pay for a bookkeeper is $33k annually.

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Financial Advisor

Financial advisors help their clients grow and manage their personal or corporate finances. They might advise clients on how to invest money, which insurance policies to buy, managing tax burdens, or how to save for retirement.

Since financial advisors generally manage large sums of money on a day-to-day basis, they must have a bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting, as well as several years of experience working with investments. The median salary for full-time financial advisors is $103k per year.

Investment Accountant

Investment accountants work for investment firms and are responsible for preparing financial statements, managing investments, and ensuring compliance with securities regulations. They must have at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance, as well as several years of experience working in an office setting. The median salary for full-time accounting clerks is $37k per year.

Government Accountant

Government accountants prepare and examine financial records for federal, state, and local governments. They might be responsible for maintaining budget records, preparing financial reports, or ensuring that all tax laws are followed.

A government accountant must have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field, as well as several years of experience working in government or public accounting. The median salary for full-time accounting clerks is $37k per year.

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Want More Help Understanding the Different Types of Accountants?

When you are thinking about getting an accountant or building accounting careers, it is good to know the types of accountants and what you can expect from them. We hope that this article has helped you to learn more about the different types of accountants so that you can find one for your business needs!

Don’t forget to check out our blog if you want even more tips and tricks on how to be successful in small business management!

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