accountant

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Related to Accountants: Chartered Accountants

Accountant

A person who has the requisite skill and experience in establishing and maintaining accurate financial records for an individual or a business. The duties of an accountant may include designing and controlling systems of records, auditing books, and preparing financial statements. An accountant may give tax advice and prepare tax returns.

A public accountant renders accounting or auditing services for a number of employees, each of whom pays the accountant a fee for services rendered. He or she does more than just bookkeeping but does not generally have all the qualifications of a certified public accountant.

A certified public accountant is one who has earned a license in his or her state that attests to a high degree of skill, training, and experience. In addition to passing an accounting examination, a candidate must have the proper business experience, education, and moral character in order to qualify for the license. The letters CPA are commonly used and generally recognized to be the abbreviation for the title Certified Public Accountant.

The practice of accounting is a highly skilled and technical profession that affects public welfare. It is entirely appropriate for the state to regulate the profession by means of a licensing system for accountants. Some states do not permit anyone to practice accounting except certified public accountants, but other states use the title to recognize the more distinguished skills of a CPA while permitting others to practice as public accountants. All states limit the use of the title and the initials to those who are licensed as certified public accountants.

All accountants are held to high standards of skill in issuing professional opinions. They can be sued for Malpractice if performance of their duties falls below standards for the profession.

accountant

noun bookkeeper, calculator, certified public accountant, chartered accountant, clerk, reckoner, recorder, registrar, statistician
See also: comptroller

ACCOUNTANT. This word has several significations: 1. One who is versed in accounts; 2. A person or officer appointed to keep the accounts of a public company; 3. He who renders to another or to a court a just and detailed statement of the administration of property which he holds as trustee, executor, administrator or guardian. Vide 16 Vin. Ab. 155.

References in periodicals archive ?
The second context in which accountants may encounter privilege is when they prepare materials, such as reports, in preparation for litigation.
If those accountants don't agree, which is often the case, the likelihood of a trial increases.
Concluding that the purpose of the statutory provision was to put lawyers and accountants on the same footing in rendering tax advice and services and that a lawyer's assistance in preparing a tax return was not legal advice, the court held that the privilege could not apply when an accountant provide the same type of tax advice.
With the changing real estate market in New York, DeMeola says accountants are also helping companies decide whether to enter or leave the market, as well as predicting trends and the next hot areas for development.
To help accountants re-launch their practices, a directory listing that promotes the accountant's practice on Google, Yahoo, AOL, MSN, and the Internet's additional portals is also being made available.
Yet whatever the career path next-generation accountants choose, the certified public accountant (CPA) credential remains a key requirement for advancement.
The proposed standard, Continuing Professional Development: A Program of Lifelong Learning and Continuing Development of Professional Competence, prescribes mandatory continuing professional development for all professional accountants, including those working for accounting firms, corporations, small or medium enterprises, public sector organizations or in other environments.
The final rules, which take effect on October 1, 2003, establish procedures under which the agencies can, for good cause, remove, suspend, or bar an accountant or firm from performing audit and attestation services for insured depository institutions with assets of $500 million or more.
John Crompton of Caldwell Crompton chartered accountants says that communication is the key to building a good relationship with your accountant.
Courts have always held accountants liable to their clients for negligence.
Local accountants expect business to jump during the coming tax season as puzzled taxpayers turn to them for help in deciphering the complex new rules and regulations.
Investigators traditionally underuse forensic accountants in white-collar crime cases.