Accountants do various business and accounting services for their clients. Some of their main duties are keeping public records accurate, making sure their clients’ taxes are paid on time, and more. These clients can be governments, corporations, nonprofit organizations, or individuals. Accountants also prepare and verify financial documents for their clients. Some accountants focus on taxes, others concentrate in assets, others in health care benefits, and other accountants specialize in other areas.

Accountants often work in offices although self-employed accountants may work partly or fully at home. They usually work 40 hours per week but those who have more clients may work longer hours. Public accountants usually have their own businesses or work for public accounting firms.

Aspiring accountants should have great skill and passion for mathematics. They should also have proficient skills in analysis, interpretation of facts and figures, communication, computer, auditing, and people. Most accountant positions require a bachelor’s degree in accounting or in a related field of study. A master’s degree in accounting, business administration, or any other related field is a plus. Previous experience is also highly valued.

In 1999, fresh college graduates in accounting received starting offers that average on $34,500. Master’s degree candidates received a slightly higher offer at $36,800. Generally, accountants with 1 year experience earn around $26,000-$36,250 while senior accountants earned $34,750-$51,000. Directors of accounting earn about $56,250-$91,000 a year. An accountant’s salary largely depends on his or her level of education, experience, credentials, size of firm, and location of firm.