Public Accountants

Last updated January 01, 2015

Every business is required by law to file paperwork with the government. That includes the tax statements they turn in to the Internal Revenue Service. As a public accountant, you may create and file such reports.

On the other hand, you can specialize in external audits. In that case, you’ll examine a company's financial statements and reporting procedures to ensure truth and accuracy.

Public accountants provide a broad range of accounting, auditing, tax, and consulting services to their clients, who may be corporations, governments, nonprofits, or individuals.

Did You Know?

If you want to start your own accounting business, you’ll need to pass a series of tough tests to become a certified public accountant (CPA).

Are You Ready To...?

  • Prepare tax returns
  • Prepare, examine, and analyze accounting records, financial statements, and other financial reports
  • Examine business operations, trends, costs, and profits
  • Study financial data for signs of fraud and other illegal activity
  • Help businesses design accounting systems
  • Use accounting software
  • Create and present reports

It Helps To Be...

Good at math and problem solving, conscientious, attentive to details, and analytical. It also helps to be knowledgeable about business systems and computers and have excellent communication skills.

Make High School Count

  • Take four years of math, including calculus.
  • 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.
  • Learn about the business world in Junior Achievement or a similar group.

Did You Know?

As a new grad, you’ll most likely start your accounting career as an associate or staff accountant at a public accounting firm.