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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 ?
Table 14: France accountancy market category segmentation: $ billion, 2012 53
Suzanne Tait, Chartered Management Accountant will support Keith with the delivery of the accountancy services.
I have known Chris for many years and his management accountancy expertise will enhance the range of work we are able to offer our clients".
Said Vicky: "Solutions Accountancy and Bookkeeping has grown steadily over a number of years as a result of our dedication to servicing clients with a positive 'how can we help' attitude.
NIU alum and Brilliant CEO Jim Wong, CPA (Inactive) says, "It's a privilege to award these young individuals with resources to support their accountancy studies.
Kerry Sheerman, accountancy and finance manager, added: "Over the course of six years in consultancy roles both here and in the United Arab Emirates, Kate has continually honed her interpersonal skills in conjunction with an aptitude for thorough candidate care.
Anderson Barrowcliff LLP was formed in 2001 upon the merger of two long-standing Teesside accountancy practices, with roots going back more than 100 years.
Neil Lewis, Red Recruitment's Cardiff director, said: "Jan's career history spans more than 20 years of accountancy experience having worked for an international plc at senior levels in both South Wales and the Midlands before setting up her own accountancy recruitment business.
Colin Gallick, CEO at Invu , comments, "Launching the Automated Accounting Initiative highlights our continuing dedication to the accountancy sector and our commitment to drive paperless processing.
The bench observed that the July directive forecloses, shuts out and precludes not only a large but the most valuable segment - the public practice accountancy firms - of the relevant market for the non-ICAP students.
The show cause notice further states that such a foreclosure of the relevant market may further result in the creation of barriers for undertakings seeking entry in the market for provision of accountancy services in Pakistan in general, thereby preventing, restricting or reducing competition in such a market in violation of the law.
The Accountancy Partnership offers a variety of services for people looking to solve their accountancy needs, from the traditional to all the latest online accounting technology.

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