Renewed PDF Reading Experience Ever | Save 60% on UPDF and Get Free Gift Learn more

What is an Accountant? Find the Benefits Associated in Detailed Guide

Ever wondered what accountants really do or how to become a CPA? Join us on an enlightening journey as we unveil the secrets of what an accountant does and guide you toward CPA excellence. We'll explore the steps to how to become a chartered accountant while also addressing the burning question of how long it takes to achieve your goals.

Along the way, we'll delve into the what are the Big 4 accounting firms and their significant presence in the industry. Get ready to unravel the mysteries and unlock your potential in the captivating world of accounting.

At the end of the article, we introduce an awesome PDF editor - UPDF, which can help accountants deal with invoices, financial reports, and more. Let's get started!


What is an Accountant?

What is an accountant? Well, they are financial superheroes who possess a great talent for understanding numbers. Accountants are the masters of financial management, meticulously tracking, analyzing, and interpreting financial data. They ensure that books are balanced, taxes are paid, and budgets are managed.

Types of Accountants and What Does an Accountant Do?

What does an accountant do? That's a question often asked, and rightly so! Accountants are financial experts who fulfill various roles in the dynamic realm of finance. Let's delve into the different types of accountants and explore their distinct responsibilities and contributions.

Public Accountant

Public accountants work in public accounting firms or as independent practitioners, offering a range of services to clients. They are well-versed in auditing financial statements to ensure accuracy, reliability, and compliance with accounting standards.

Additionally, public accountants provide tax planning and preparation services, assisting individuals and businesses in optimizing their tax obligations.

Management Accountant

Management accountants, also known as cost accountants, work within organizations to provide financial insights and support decision-making. They track and analyze expenses, identify cost-saving opportunities, and evaluate performance metrics to ensure optimal resource allocation. Their role is vital in strategic planning, as they provide financial data and analysis to guide key business decisions.

Government Accountant

Government accountants are employed in various government entities, such as federal, state, or local agencies. They play a crucial role in guaranteeing the responsible management of public funds. Government accountants prepare and analyze financial reports, manage budgets, and monitor expenditures to ensure compliance with financial regulations. They also provide financial guidance to government officials, assisting in the allocation of resources and the development of financial policies.

Forensic Accountant

Forensic accountants specialize in investigating financial crimes and disputes. They use their accounting expertise to detect and prevent fraud, often collaborating with law enforcement agencies, attorneys, and insurance companies. Forensic accountants analyze financial records, trace funds, and identify irregularities or suspicious activities. They may also serve as expert witnesses in legal proceedings, presenting their findings in a clear and concise manner.

Internal Auditor

Internal auditors play a crucial role in assessing an organization's internal controls and processes. They examine financial operations to ensure compliance, identify areas of risk, and recommend improvements to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.

Internal auditors provide independent evaluations of an organization's financial systems, uncovering potential weaknesses and helping mitigate risks. They play a vital role in promoting transparency, safeguarding assets, and ensuring ethical conduct within the organization.

CPA (Certified Public Accountant)

So, what is a CPA? A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a designation awarded to accountants who meet specific education, experience, and examination requirements. CPAs have a comprehensive understanding of accounting principles and are authorized to provide auditing, tax, and consulting services to the public.

They serve as trusted advisors, guiding clients through complex financial matters and ensuring adherence to legal and professional standards. CPAs often specialize in areas such as tax planning, financial analysis, or business consulting, leveraging their expertise to provide valuable insights and strategic guidance.

How Long Does it Take to Become an Accountant?

How long does it take to become an accountant? It's a question that crosses the minds of many aspiring number enthusiasts as they embark on their financial journey. While the exact duration can vary based on personal circumstances and educational choices, let's explore the typical timeline to becoming a qualified accountant.

First and foremost, earning a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field is usually the starting point. This undergraduate program generally takes about four years to complete. During this time, students dive into the world of accounting, mastering the principles, taxation, auditing, and financial management.

For those aiming to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), the timeline may vary depending on the jurisdiction. Typically, it entails meeting education requirements (around 150 semester hours in most states), gaining relevant work experience, and passing the CPA exam. This process generally takes about one to two years, depending on one's dedication and commitment.

Remember, the exact timeframe can differ based on individual circumstances and career choices. However, with passion, dedication, and a hunger for knowledge, you can successfully navigate the path to how to become an accountant and unleash your financial prowess.

What are the Big 4 Accounting Firms?

When it comes to the leading players in the accounting world, the Big 4 accounting firms stand out prominently. These four firms have solidified their positions as industry leaders, providing a wide range of professional services to clients worldwide.


Deloitte is renowned for its expertise in audit and assurance, tax consulting, risk management, and financial advisory services. They serve a diverse clientele, including multinational corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC):

PwC offers an extensive array of services, including auditing, tax consulting, and business advisory solutions. With their global presence and in-depth industry knowledge, they assist clients in navigating complex financial challenges and maximizing opportunities for growth.

Ernst & Young (EY):

EY is recognized for its proficiency in assurance, tax, transaction, and advisory services. They work closely with clients to help them address evolving market dynamics, manage risks, and achieve long-term success in today's competitive business landscape.


KPMG excels in audit, tax, and advisory services, catering to clients across various sectors. They provide strategic insights, innovative solutions, and specialized expertise to support organizations in making informed decisions and driving sustainable growth.

These Big 4 accounting firms boast global networks, vast resources, and a deep pool of talented professionals.

How to Become a Chartered Accountant?

Ready to embark on the path to how to become a chartered accountant (CA)? Let's explore the steps and requirements that will help you fulfill your ambition of attaining this prestigious designation.

Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree

Start by earning a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field. This educational foundation will provide you with essential knowledge in accounting principles, financial reporting, taxation, and auditing.

Step 2: Gain Practical Experience

To become a CA, practical experience is crucial. Look for internships or entry-level positions in accounting firms or organizations. This hands-on experience will deepen your understanding of real-world financial practices.

Step 3: Enroll in a CA Program

Join a recognized Chartered Accountant program that offers comprehensive coursework and training. These programs provide specialized education, focusing on advanced accounting concepts, financial analysis, and business strategy.

Step 4: Complete the CA Exams

Prepare for and successfully pass the rigorous series of CA exams. These examinations assess your proficiency in various accounting areas, including auditing, taxation, financial reporting, and business management.

Step 5: Fulfill Experience Requirements

Accumulate the required practical experience mandated by the CA licensing body. This typically involves working under the guidance of a qualified CA for a specified period, allowing you to apply your theoretical understanding in real-world scenarios.

Step 6: Professional Development

Commit to lifelong learning and professional development to stay updated with accounting standards and industry developments. Engage in continuing education programs, workshops, and seminars to enhance your skills and knowledge.

What Are the Must-Have Software for an Accountant?

As technology continues to revolutionize the accounting profession, having the right software is essential for accountants to thrive in today's digital landscape. Here are some must-have software solutions that can enhance efficiency and accuracy in accounting tasks.

1. Microsoft Excel

No accounting software list is complete without mentioning Microsoft Excel. Excel is a powerful tool for data analysis, budgeting, financial modeling, and creating customized spreadsheets. Its versatility and familiarity make it a go-to software for many accountants.


UPDF is an innovative PDF editing software transforming document management for accountants and professionals. With UPDF, accountants can effortlessly merge, split, compress, and convert PDF files, streamlining document handling. It simplifies organization by merging multiple documents into a single PDF, extracting specific sections, and compressing PDF files for efficient storage and sharing. It also offers seamless conversion to various formats like Word and Excel.

edit bill in UPDF

With robust security measures, it ensures the confidentiality of sensitive financial information. It empowers accountants with efficient and secure document management, saving time and enhancing productivity in their accounting workflows.

3. Billing and Invoicing Software

Accountants often deal with billing and invoicing processes. Utilizing specialized software streamlines these tasks, automating invoicing, tracking payments, and generating financial reports. Popular options include QuickBooks, Xero, and FreshBooks.

4. Accounting Software

Dedicated accounting software like Intuit QuickBooks, Sage, or Xero offers comprehensive features for managing financial transactions, bookkeeping, payroll, and tax compliance. These software solutions provide efficient workflows and accurate financial reporting.

Wrap Up!

An accountant plays a vital role in managing financial records, analyzing data, and ensuring compliance. How to become a CPA requires dedication, education, and passing the CPA exams.

Alongside professional qualifications, mastering the art of financial mastery is essential for success in this field. To streamline document management and enhance efficiency, consider leveraging UPDF software, which enables merging, splitting, compressing, converting, editing, annotating, and doing tons of other tasks with PDF files with ease. So, here's the chance to purchase UPDF as it has 54% off!


We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Continued use of this website indicates your acceptance of our privacy policy.