A short look at what accountants do…and why they matter!
Protectors of truth
Accountants are guardians of truth and accuracy in everything from the financial statements of publicly traded companies to the Academy Awards.
Investors, banks, the IRS and many others rely on financial statements. They rely on accountants who review and assess those financial statements and attest that they were prepared properly. Those assessments, or audits, are conducted annually for many government agencies, charities and businesses.
In the mid-1930s, to counter allegations the annual Academy Awards were rigged, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences hired an accounting firm to oversee the counting of ballots and attest to the accuracy of their results. That continues to this day.
When an audit, criminal case, internal investigation or lawsuit turns up something suspicious, accountants are often brought in as detectives. They examine documents and financial statements, review digital information and reconstruct what really happened – even if someone tried to hide it.
Accountants who specialize in this type of work are called forensic accountants. Some are employed by law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, helping track down criminals and international terrorists. Others work in private business, called in when a company suspects embezzlement or other wrongdoing.
It’s hard to imagine a segment of society or an organization that doesn’t rely on accountants and the information they produce and protect.
The movement of capital and goods around the world — the entire modern economy — relies on accurate financial information. Accountants play a unique role in ensuring we can all trust the financial information we get.
From the halls of Congress to the chamber of commerce, from corporate boardroom to a charity ball, you’ll find accountants everywhere. And that makes it a great career option, with lots of choices and flexibility and a strong, secure future.