Government Accountants and Auditors

Last updated January 01, 2015

How does the government spend taxpayer money? Ask a government accountant or auditor. They help create budgets, track costs, and analyze publicly funded programs, making sure money is both collected and spent as required by law.

If you’re to succeed in this career, you’ll need to understand the complexities of the nation’s many tax laws inside and out. Though you may not gain popularity points as an auditor for the Internal Revenue Service, you’ll have the satisfaction of playing a crucial role in the country’s smooth functioning.

Government accountants and auditors maintain and examine the records of government agencies. They also audit private businesses and individuals whose activities are regulated or taxed.

Did You Know?

As a government accountant or auditor you might work for the FBI, evaluating financial information uncovered in criminal investigations.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Prepare, examine, and analyze accounting records, financial statements, and other financial reports
  • Work on budgets
  • Examine financial data for signs of fraud, tax evasion, and other illegal activity
  • Use accounting software
  • Create and present reports

It Helps To Be...

Conscientious, analytical, good at math, and able to work with business systems and computers. Accountants and auditors must also be good at working with people and communicating the results of their work.

Make High School Count

  • Take four years of math, including calculus.
  • Learn about the history and structure of government in civics classes.
  • Sign up for accounting and economics classes.
  • Take full advantage of English and speech classes to sharpen your communication and presentation skills.
  • Build strong computer skills.
  • Practice accounting skills by saving money, creating a budget, and sticking to it.
  • Run for the office of class treasurer.

Did You Know?

You can become a certified government financial manager after you've worked for two years with a federal, state, or local agency.