Accountant

Last updated
Occupation
NamesCertified Public Accountant, Chartered Certified Accountants, Chartered Accountant, Chartered Management Accountant,Cost and Management Accountants, Certified Management Accountants, etc.
Occupation type
Profession
Activity sectors
Business
Description
CompetenciesCorporate law, taxation, audit, finance, insolvency, management, mathematics, analytical skills and critical thinking skills
Education required
In some countries Bachelor's degree or master's degree is needed, see professional requirements
Fields of
employment
private corporations,
financial industry,
government
Related jobs
bookkeeper

An accountant is a practitioner of accounting or accountancy. Accountants who have demonstrated competency through their professional associations' certification exams are certified to use titles such as Chartered Accountant, Chartered Certified Accountant or Certified Public Accountant. Such professionals are granted certain responsibilities by statute, such as the ability to certify an organization's financial statements, and may be held liable for professional misconduct. Non-qualified accountants may be employed by a qualified accountant, or may work independently without statutory privileges and obligations.

Contents

Cahan & Sun (2015) [1] used archival study to find out that accountants’ personal characteristics may exert a very significant impact during the audit process and further influence audit fees and audit quality.

The Big Four auditors are the largest employers of accountants worldwide. However, most accountants are employed in commerce, industry, and the public sector. [2]

Commonwealth of Nations

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Accountant at work

In the Commonwealth of Nations, which include the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong pre-1997, and several other states, commonly recognised accounting qualifications are Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA), Chartered Accountant (CA or ACA), Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA) and International Accountant (AAIA). Other qualifications in particular countries include Certified Public Accountant (CPA – Ireland and CPA – Hong Kong), Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA – Canada), Certified Management Accountant (CMA – Australia) (CMA – Sri Lanka), Certified Practising Accountant (CPA – Australia) and members of the Institute of Public Accountants (Australia), and Certified Public Practising Accountant (CPPA – New Zealand).

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) received its Royal Charter in 1854 and is the world's first professional body of accountants. [3]

United Kingdom and Ireland

Excepting the Association of Certified Public Accountants, each of the above bodies admits members only after passing examinations and undergoing a period of relevant work experience. Once admitted, members are expected to comply with ethical guidelines and gain appropriate professional experience.

Chartered, Chartered Certified, Chartered Public Finance, and International Accountants engaging in practice (i.e. selling services to the public rather than acting as an employee) must gain a "practising certificate" by meeting further requirements such as purchasing adequate insurance and undergoing inspections.

The ICAEW, ICAS, ICAI, ACCA and AAPA are five Recognised Supervisory Bodies (RSB) in the UK. A member of one of them may also become a Statutory Auditor in accordance with the Companies Act, providing they can demonstrate the necessary professional ability in that area and submit to regular inspection. It is illegal for any individual or firm that is not a Statutory Auditor to perform a company audit. [6] [7]

The ICAEW, ICAS, ICAI, ACCA, AIA and CIPFA are six recognised qualifying bodies statutory (RQB) in the UK. A member of one of them may also become a Statutory Auditor in accordance with the Companies Act, providing they are a member of one of the five Recognised Supervisory Bodies RSB mentioned above.

All six RQBs are listed under EU mutual recognition directives to practise in 27 EU member states and individually entered into agreement with the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA).

Further restrictions apply to accountants who carry out insolvency work.

In addition to the bodies above, technical qualifications are offered by the Association of Accounting Technicians, ACCA and AIA, which are respectively called AAT Technician, CAT (Certified Accounting Technician) and IAT (International Accounting Technician).

United States

In the United States, licensed accountants are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), and in certain states, Public Accountants (PAs). Unlicensed accountants may be Certified Internal Auditors (CIAs) and Certified Management Accountants (CMAs). The difference between these certifications is primarily the legal status and the types of services provided, although individuals may earn more than one certification. Additionally, much accounting work is performed by uncertified individuals, who may be working under the supervision of a certified accountant. As noted above, the majority of accountants work in the private sector or may offer their services without the need for certification.

The training time required for accountancy certification in the US requires specific guidelines:

A CPA is licensed by a state to provide auditing services to the public. Many CPA firms also offer accounting, tax, litigation support, and other financial advisory services. The requirements for receiving the CPA license vary from state to state, although the passage of the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination is required by all states. This examination is designed and graded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

A PA (sometimes referred to as LPA—Licensed Public Accountant) is licensed by the state to practice accountancy to the same extent as are CPAs, although in some states PAs are not permitted to perform audits or reviews (notably Iowa, Minnesota, Oregon, & South Carolina). A PA's ability to practice out of state is very limited due to most states having phased out the PA designation. While most states no longer accept new PA license applicants, four states still accept PA applicants for practice privileges within the state. As with the CPA, the requirements for receiving the PA license vary from state to state. Most states require a passage of either two or three (out of four) sections of the CPA exam or passage of the Comprehensive Examination for Accreditation in Accounting which is administered and graded by the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation (ACAT).

A certified internal auditor (CIA) is granted a certificate from the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), provided that the candidate has passed a four-part examination. One of the four parts is waived if the candidate has already passed the CPA Exam. A CIA typically provides services directly to an employer rather than to the public.

A person holding the Certificate in Management Accounting (CMA) is granted the certificate by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), provided that the candidate has passed an examination of two parts and has met the practical experience requirement of the IMA. A CMA provides services directly to employers rather than to the public. A CMA can also provide services to the public, but to an extent much lesser than that of a CPA.

An Enrolled Agent (EA) is a federally authorized tax practitioner empowered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Enrolled agent status is the highest credential awarded by the IRS, unlimited rights of representation. [8] The EA credential is recognized across all 50 U.S. states. Candidates must pass a three-part exam (called the Special Enrollment Examination) covering the subjects of individual tax, business tax, and client representation, or must have worked at the IRS for five consecutive years in a position which regularly engaged in these areas.

The United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are about one million persons [9] employed as accountants and auditors in the U.S.

U.S. tax laws grant CPAs and EAs a form of accountant–client privilege.

Non-certified accountants

Australia

In Australia, there are three legally recognised local professional accounting bodies which all enjoy the same recognition and can be considered as "qualified accountant": the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA), CPA Australia (CPA) and the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ). Other international bodies such as ACCA (The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) enjoy recognition for the purposes of supporting their members in their careers. For instance, ACCA has achieved recognition by the Tax Practitioner Board, as Tax and BAS agents, in 2010.

Canada

In Canada, a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) must be a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (designatory letters CPA).

Up to 2013, there were three nationally recognized accounting designations in Canada: Chartered Accountant (CA), Certified General Accountant (CGA), and Certified Management Accountants (CMA). The national CA and CGA bodies were created by Acts of Parliament in 1902 and 1913 respectively, The national CMA organization was established under the Canada Corporations Act in 1920.

In January 2012, following eight months of member and stakeholder consultation, the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA), the Society of Management Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada) and Certified General Accountants of Canada (CGA-Canada) issued A Framework for Uniting the Canadian Accounting Profession under a new Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) was established by CICA and CMA Canada on January 1, 2013, under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, to support Canadian provincial accounting bodies that were unifying under the CPA banner. CGA-Canada integrated with CPA Canada on October 1, 2014, completing the unification of Canada's accounting profession at the national level.

All recognized national and provincial accounting bodies in Canada have now unified under the CPA banner. The Canadian CPA designation is held by more than 200,000 members in Canada and around the world.

Japan

In Japan, a certified public accountant must be a member of the Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants (JICPA). It is the sole professional accountancy organization in Japan.

India

Chartered accountancy is offered in India by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), the second largest accounting body in the world. This Institute was established in 1949 under the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 for the regulation of the profession of chartered accountants in India.

The ICAI set up the Accountancy Museum of India in 2009, the third museum of accounting in the world. It is located at ICAI's office in Noida.A Cost and Management Accountant is registered as a member under the Institute of Cost Accountants of India(ICMAI) previously known as (ICWAI) which is a statutory body constituted under the Cost and Works Accountants Act 1959 enacted by the Parliament of India, it is also the second largest Management Accountancy body in the world. The members of the Institute are widely recognized as Cost and Management Accountants (FCMA, ACMA). [10]

Indonesia

Under Public Accountants Law ( UU 5/2011), the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Indonesia (IAPI) is the professional organization having the authority to issue CPA designation which is the statutory requirements for obtaining public accountant license from the government.

Pakistan

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) offers chartered accountant studies in Pakistan. ICAP was established under The Chartered Accountants Ordinance, 1961 as a self-regulatory body.

The Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan (ICMAP) offers accountant studies in Pakistan. ICMAP was established under The Cost and Management Accountants Act, 1966.

Pakistan Institute of Public Finance Accountants (PIPFA) is an autonomous body recognized mainly in the government sector and established under license from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan by the authority given under section 42 of the Companies Ordinance, 1984.

The body is co-sponsored by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan, the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan and the Auditor General of Pakistan.PIPFA has more than 5,000 members and a number of them are members of ICAP and ICMAP.

The institute was established to produce a second tier of accounting professionals in Pakistan

Bangladesh

Chartered accountancy is governed in Bangladesh by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB).

And The Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Bangladesh (ICMAB) offers management accountant studies in Bangladesh.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, there are two local accountancy bodies the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) and the New Zealand Association of Certified Public Accountants (NZACPA) the operating name of New Zealand Association of Accountants Inc (NZAA).

To audit public companies an individual must be a member of either the CAANZ or an otherwise gazetted body. Chartered Certified Accountant (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants or FCCA) qualification has also been gazetted under. An ACCA member can practice as long as they hold an ACCA public practice certificate (with audit qualification) in their country of origin.

Singapore

In Singapore, a public accountant must be a member of any professional accountancy body in Singapore. [11] Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) is the sole local accountancy body, therefore the public accountant must be a member of the ISCA. [12]

Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, a chartered accountant must be a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (designatory letters ACA or FCA). It is the sole local accountancy body, therefore to audit public companies an individual must be a member of the ICASL. A Certified management account also must be a member of the Institute of Management Accountants of Sri Lanka (designatory letters ACMA or FCMA).

Austria

In Austria, the accountancy profession is regulated by the Bilanzbuchhaltungsgesetz 2006 (BibuG – Management Accountancy Law).[ citation needed ]

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the accountancy industry is regulated by Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants HKICPA under the Professional Accountants Ordinance (Chapter 50, Laws of Hong Kong). The auditing industry for limited companies is regulated under the Companies Ordinance (Chapter 32, Laws of Hong Kong), and other ordinances such as the securities and futures ordinance, the listing rules, etc.

HKICPA terminated all recognition of overshare bodies in 2005 for accreditation under professional accountants ordinance. In general, all British RQBs except for CIPFA were re-accredited. Please refer to HKICPA for latest recognition.

Portugal

In Portugal, there are two accountancy qualifications: the Técnicos Oficiais de Contas (TOC), responsible for producing accounting and tax information, and the Revisor Oficial de Contas (ROC), more related to auditing practices. The TOC certification is exclusively awarded by the professional organization Ordem dos Técnicos Oficiais de Contas (OTOC), and the certification to become an auditor is awarded by another professional organization, the Ordem dos Revisores Oficiais de Contas (OROC). [13] In general, accountants or auditors accredited by OTOC or OROC are individuals with university graduation diplomas in business management, economics, mathematics or law who, after further studies, applied for an exam and received the certification to be a TOC or ROC. That certification is only received after a one-year (TOC) or three-year (ROC) internship. Any citizen having a polytechnic degree as a bookkeeper is also entitled to apply for the exam and certification at the OTOC. [14]

See also

Related Research Articles

The International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) was founded in June 1973 in London and was replaced by International Accounting Standards Board on 1 April 2001. It was responsible for developing the International Accounting Standards and promoting the use and application of these standards.

Certified Public Accountant Title of qualified accountants in many countries

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is the title of qualified accountants in numerous countries in the English-speaking world. It is generally equivalent to the title of chartered accountant in other English-speaking countries. In the United States, the CPA is a license to provide accounting services to the public. It is awarded by each of the 50 states for practice in that state. Additionally, almost every state has passed mobility laws to allow CPAs from other states to practice in their state. State licensing requirements vary, but the minimum standard requirements include passing the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination, 150 semester units of college education, and one year of accounting related experience.

Forensic accounting accounting of engagements from disputes or litigation which have or are expected to happen

Forensic accounting, forensic accountancy or financial forensics is the specialty practice area of accounting that describes engagements that result from actual or anticipated disputes or litigation. "Forensic" means "suitable for use in a court of law", and it is to that standard and potential outcome that forensic accountants generally have to work. It uses accounting. auditing and investigative skills to run an investigations for any case of theft and fraud. Forensic accountants, also referred to as forensic auditors or investigative auditors, often have to give expert evidence at the eventual trial. Their job is to catch the criminals of theft and fraud who appear at firms. All of the larger accounting firms, as well as many medium-sized and boutique firms and various police and government agencies have specialist forensic accounting departments. Within these groups, there may be further sub-specializations: some forensic accountants may, for example, just specialize in insurance claims, personal injury claims, fraud, anti-money-laundering, construction, or royalty audits.

Chartered accountant occupation

Chartered accountants were the first accountants to form a professional accounting body, initially established in Scotland in 1854. The Edinburgh Society of Accountants (1854), the Glasgow Institute of Accountants and Actuaries (1854) and the Aberdeen Society of Accountants (1867) were each granted a royal charter almost from their inception. The title is an internationally recognised professional designation; the certified public accountant designation is generally equivalent to it. Women were able to become chartered accountants only following the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 after which, in 1920, Mary Harris Smith was recognised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and became the first woman chartered accountant in the world.

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants qualification body for professional accountants

Founded in 1904, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants(ACCA) is the global professional accounting body offering the Chartered Certified Accountant qualification (ACCA). ACCA's headquarters are in London with principal administrative office in Glasgow. ACCA works through a network of over 104 offices and centres in 52 countries - with 323 Approved Learning Partners (ALP) and more than 7,300 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide employee development.

Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy organization

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) is a professional institute for accountants working in the public services, national audit agencies, in major accountancy firms, and in other bodies where public money needs to be managed. It has 14,000 members. It is the only UK professional accountancy body to specialise in public services. Its qualifications include a professional qualification for public sector accountants as well as a postgraduate diploma for people already working in management.

Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants

The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA) is the professional accounting body of Hong Kong.

Institute of Chartered Accountants of India Indian professional body of accounting

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is the national professional accounting body of India. It was established on 1 July 1949 as a statutory body under the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 enacted by the Parliament to regulate the profession of Chartered Accountancy in India. ICAI is the second largest professional Accounting & Finance body in the world. ICAI is the only licensing cum regulating body of the financial audit and accountancy profession in India. It recommends the accounting standards to be followed by companies in India to National Financial Reporting Authority and sets the accounting standards to be followed by other types of organisations. ICAI is solely responsible for setting the Standards on Auditing (SAs) to be followed in the audit of financial statements in India. It also issues other technical standards like Standards on Internal Audit (SIA), Corporate Affairs Standards (CAS) etc. to be followed by practicing Chartered Accountants. It works closely with the Government of India, Reserve Bank of India and the Securities and Exchange Board of India in formulating and enforcing such standards.

The Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI), previously known as The Institute of Cost & Works Accountants of India (ICWAI), is a premier statutory professional accountancy body in India with the objects of promoting, regulating and developing the profession of Cost & Management Accountancy. It is the only licensing cum regulating body of Cost & Management Accountancy profession in India. It recommends the Cost Accounting Standards to be followed by companies in India to which statutory maintenance of cost records applicable. ICAI is solely responsible for setting the auditing and assurance standards for statutory Cost Audit to be followed in the Audit of cost statements in India. It also issues other technical guidelines on several aspects like Internal Audit, Management Accounting etc. to be followed by practising Cost Accountants while discharging their services. It works closely with the industries, various departments of Government of India, State governments in India and other Regulating Authorities in India e.g. Reserve Bank of India, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, Securities and Exchange Board of India etc. on several aspects of performance, cost optimisation and reporting.

The Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies (CCAB) is an umbrella group of chartered professional bodies of British qualified chartered accountants.

Chartered Certified Accountant postnominal initials

Chartered Certified Accountant is a protected designation awarded by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). The Association is UK based and was historically an organisation of British qualified accountants; however it is now a global body for professional accountants with 208,000 qualified members allowed to use the designation and 503,000 students globally. Support offices/centres exist over 100 countries.

British qualified accountants are full voting members of United Kingdom professional bodies that evaluate individual experience and test competencies for accountants.

Accountancy in Hong Kong is regulated by the HKICPA under the Professional Accountants Ordinance. The auditing industry for limited companies is regulated under the Companies Ordinance, and other Ordinances such as the Securities and Futures Ordinance, the Listing Rules, etc.

The Association of International Accountants (AIA) is a professional accountancy body. It was founded in the UK in 1928 and since that date has promoted the concept of ‘international accounting’ to create a global network of accountants in over 85 countries worldwide.

Pakistan Institute of Public Finance Accountants

Pakistan Institute of Public Finance Accountants (PIPFA) is an autonomous body recognized mainly in the government sector and established under license from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan by the authority given under section 42 of the Companies Ordinance, 1984.

Chartered Professional Accountant A professional designation in Canada which united the three accounting designations there

Chartered Professional Accountant is the professional designation which united the three Canadian accounting designations that previously existed:

CPA Ireland, formerly the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland, is one of the main Irish accountancy bodies, with 5,000 members and students.

Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka

The Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka, is a professional body offering qualification in management accountancy in Sri Lanka.

The Accounting in Sri Lanka is regulated under the several legal regulations. There are several professional accountancy body in the country. The Sri Lanka Accounting and Auditing Standards Monitoring Board (SLAASMB) is the audit oversight entity, while the Auditor General of Sri Lanka has audit oversight over government all entities.

References

  1. Cahan, Steven F.; Sun, Jerry (2014-08-11). "The Effect of Audit Experience on Audit Fees and Audit Quality". Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance. 30 (1): 78–100. doi:10.1177/0148558x14544503.
  2. For example, in 2009 in Ontario, Canada, national firms employ 4,425 Chartered Accountants, which is less than 50% of the members in public practice.(Chartered Accountants in National Firms in Ontario, Canada Archived July 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine ) As total membership is 33,146, the national firms employ about 13% of all Chartered Accountants in Ontario. (Ontario Chartered Accountants demographics Archived July 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine ) Most of the members are employed in industry, with the majority in small and medium sized enterprises.
  3. Perks, R.W.(1993): Accounting and Society. Chapman & Hall (London); ISBN   0-412-47330-5. p.16
  4. Accountants Institute
  5. United Kingdom, Intellectual Property Office, Concept House, Cardiff Road, Newport, NP10 8QQ. "Intellectual Property Office". www.ipo.gov.uk. Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  6. "Recognised Supervisory Body List". www.AuditRegister.org.uk. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  7. team, FRC web. "FRC". www.FRC.org.uk. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  8. Enrolled Agent Information, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Dep't of the Treasury, at .
  9. "Accountants and Auditors". www.BLS.gov. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  10. "ICWAI Act on MCA website" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-07-30.
  11. "Registering as a Public Accountant : Chapters – ACRA". www.ACRA.gov.sg. Archived from the original on 3 August 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  12. "Professional Requirements for Registration as Public Accountants : Chapters – ACRA". www.ACRA.gov.sg. Archived from the original on 3 August 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  13. Seara.com. "Ordem dos Revisores Oficiais de Contas". www.OROC.pt. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  14. OTOC official site