AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING

Financial accounting professionals are responsible for the public reporting of a company or organization's financial status. This work involves collecting and maintaining data, detecting trends, and forecasting future needs. In addition, financial accountants prepare detailed statements and communicate financial information to company leaders and audiences that do not have an extensive accounting background.

Auditing and managerial accounting are related to financial accounting but differ in several ways. Auditors usually work with companies to review the reports created by financial accounting offices. Management accountants are primarily focused on providing the accounting services, and communication within a company, such as accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll.

Anyone interested in a financial accounting career will want to gain a solid understanding of several industry standards. The Generally Accepted Accounting Principles are a widely-accepted set of guidelines that assist with reporting procedures. The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) help accountants create consistent and comparable financial statements for businesses across the globe. Skills with multiple types of financial reports are also required, including the ability to create accurate balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and cash flow forecasts.

  • CAREER WITH FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING- Financial accountants work in a wide range of industries, from corporate to nonprofits, and their responsibilities vary based on the type and size of the organization. Primary duties include preparing financial statements and reports, advising company leaders on investment practices and strategies, communicating a company's financial status with external audiences, and staying current on the latest economic trends affecting financial decisions. The following career profiles provide examples of financial accounting roles at all levels of employment.

  • Financial Analyst-
  • Financial analysts evaluate how bonds and stocks perform and use that information to provide investment advice to businesses and individuals. This position typically reports to a senior accountant or financial manager. Similar job titles include investment analyst, securities analyst, risk analyst, and portfolio manager.
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  • Responsibilities
  •    • Assess the performance of investments
  •    • Advise senior managers and clients on investment decisions
  •    • Maintain awareness of economic, social and political factors affecting financial decisions in the company or client's industry
  •    • Provide detailed data analysis and reports that track financial trends and forecast future needs.

  • Financial Accountant-
  • Through detailed record-keeping and data analysis, financial accountants assist organizations with investing and improving overall financial practices. Working as a member of an accounting or financial team within an organization, financial accountants help managers track current trends and forecast future needs. They often report to a senior accountant or financial manager.

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  • Responsibilities
  •    •Maintain financial records
  •    •Assist with tax filings in accordance with related laws and regulations
  •    •Prepare monthly, quarterly and annual financial statements
  •    •Collect, analyze and report financial data
  •    •Assist with budgeting and auditing tasks

  • Controller-Controller positions are found in businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies; they usually report to the chief financial officer or another senior executive. The range of a controller's responsibilities varies widely based on the size of the company and its accounting office. The duties and expectations are similar to those with job titles such as finance manager, director of accounting, financial controller, and comptroller.
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  •    •Oversee all accounting functions, such as accounts payable and accounts receivable
  •    •Maintain and monitor financial data related to investments
  •    •Establish internal accounting policies and procedures
  •    •Create financial reports and statements
  •    •Ensure compliance with tax requirements
  •    •Manage a team that may include accountants and assistants
  • Financial Manager-
  • Financial managers are tasked with coordinating a variety of accounting functions within an organization, most importantly maintaining the general ledger of profits, losses, assets, and liabilities. Financial managers often report financing directors, chief financial officers, and other senior executive positions. The responsibilities of accounting managers, financial analysis managers, and financial planning managers are similar to those found in financial management roles.
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  • Responsibilities
  •    •Advise senior company leaders and clients on financial goals and decisions
  •    •Create financial reports, statements, and projections
  •    •Ensure compliance with financial laws and regulations
  •    •Manage projects and functions of a team of accountants and assistants
  •    •Communicate complex financial analyses to company leaders and external audiences