Four main types of accountants are available to serve the accounting needs of individuals, large organizations, small businesses, and government agencies. These types of accounting include corporate, forensic, government, and public.
- Corporate accountants maintain and file financial information for corporations. The focus is on keeping the corporation in legal compliance with tax laws and financial reporting requirements.
- Forensic accountants gather and recreate financial data that isn’t readily available. These accountants might do that as part of a criminal investigation or if key financial information has been lost and needs to be recovered for legal reasons.
- Government accountants work for government agencies, such as the IRS or a state tax department. They might also be found working in government offices in positions such as city treasurer or county auditor.
- Public accountants are the accountants most likely to work with individuals or smaller businesses. These accountants manage financial statements, file tax returns, and record financial transactions. Preparing and filing tax returns are tasks these accountants might do for individuals. For companies, these accountants might handle payroll or bookkeeping besides preparing tax information for reporting purposes.