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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.


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 ?
In March 2013, the IESBA published Changes to the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants Addressing Conflicts of Interest, a final pronouncement that provides more comprehensive guidance of situations that could possibly involve a conflict of interest.
The introduction of professional experts: Clients, employers and other beneficiary should easily identity professional accountants.
The recognition and obedience to voluntary ethical standards are professional obligations and duties owed by professional accountants to their clients, the government and professional colleagues.
As a member of IFAC, IMA will contribute to the organization's mission of strengthening the accounting profession through global initiatives, including IFAC's Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Committee.
These plans highlight how CIMA is meeting the IFAC's Statements of Member Obligations (SMOs)--global accounting standards to set a benchmark performance in professional accountants.
WINNIPEG, March 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Knowledge Bureau, a leading national financial education institute, has formed a strategic educational partnership with the Registered Professional Accountants Association of Canada (RPAC) to be the association's exclusive provider of certification, diploma and designation programming for the professional development of its members and their staff.
According to press release issued here on Thursday, the Chairman of the Professional Accountants In Business (PAIB) Committee of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), Roger Tabor will give the Conference keynote in Karachi whereas Mr.
Recognizing the critical role that professional accountants in business play in these areas, the International Federation of Accountants' (IFAC) Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Committee has issued draft new guidance to assist companies and their professional accountants in developing and implementing a code of conduct.
By participating in the IFAC KnowledgeNet for Professional Accountants in Business, the AICPA expands the range of relevant and timely materials currently available through its Financial Management Center (www.
The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants, an independent standard-setting board within IFAC, revised the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants by updating the definition of a network firm, which is required to be independent of an audit client of another firm within the network.
Chaired by John Lacey, a CPA and professor of accounting at California State University, Long Beach, the Committee on the Future of California's Professional Accountants includes former SEC commissioners Aulana Peters and Harold Williams and ethics expert Michael Josephson.

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