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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 ?
Our report, Ethics and trust in a digital age, published in August 2017, is our compelling look at the perceived importance of ethical behaviour in a rapidly evolving digital era, and the challenges that technological advancement puts on the professional accountant.
If individual professional accountants comply with the standards set out in these codes of ethics in spirit as well as letter, then in ICAEW's view, they are fulfilling their individual public interest obligation.
The basic objective of the new IESBA standard is to clarify the circumstances when professional accountants aren't constrained by their ethical responsibility of confidentiality.
The quality of services: Being sure of the fact that the services of professional accountants is done with the highest quality.
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.
The mobilization for the Second World War and the war itself gave professional accountants a forum for rendering services to the government that "demonstrated convincingly the importance of their expertise" (p.
OPI was built and is managed by experienced professional accountants, most of whom are former Big Four accounting firm partners and managers.
From September 12 to October 22, the Institute of Professional Accountants and Auditors of Russia held the annual All-Russian competition "Best Accountant of Russia - 2017", which this year was held under the auspices of "20 Years of the IPA of Russia".
The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) is updating its Code of Ethics to provide more guidance for professional accountants in business.
Students and members of ICMA Pakistan will benefit from the global recognition of ACCA and access to international job market of professional accountants, whereas ACCA students and members in Pakistan will be able to develop skills which are more technically aligned with local corporate and tax legislation.
The IESBA is an international organization that aims to issue high-quality ethical standards and other similar pronouncements for professional accountants globally.

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