Accountants use their education and experience to create or examine the accuracy of financial statements. Accountants ensure all financial records and statements are in line with laws, regulations, and generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). These records and statements may include the balance sheet, the profit and loss statement, the cash-flow statement, and tax returns.
Accountants also document business financial transactions over time. They compile the information needed to prepare entries for company accounts, such as the general ledger. This information is used to make weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual closing statements and cost accounting reports. Accountants must also resolve any discrepancies or irregularities they find in records, statements, or documented transactions. They typically observe established accounting control procedures through an accounting system or software program.
Accountants are often assigned other finance-related tasks in addition to analyzing financial records and statements. Other job duties include monitoring the efficiency of accounting control procedures or software programs. Accountants help to ensure that procedures and programs are up to date with federal and state regulations.