Accountants help to ensure that firms are run more efficiently, particularly from a financial point of view; that a country's public records are kept accurately; and that taxes are paid properly and on time. An accountant's job is to compile, analyze, and evaluate financial information. This includes the completion of entries into accounts, such as general ledger accounts used for documenting business transactions. 

Accountants detail assets, liabilities, and capital in order to prepare a balance sheet, profit and loss statements, and other reports for the individual company employing them. The accountant's pivotal role in business is the reason why they rise fairly quickly to senior management positions. Chartered accountants, because of their rigorous training, are most in demand. Accounting graduates with lower qualifications will probably work as accounting officers and will not usually rise to the same levels of seniority.

Computers are rapidly changing the nature of the work of most accountants. With the aid of special software packages, accountants summarize transactions in standard formats for financial records and organize data in special formats for financial analysis. These accounting packages greatly reduce the amount of tedious manual work associated with data and record-keeping. Personal and laptop computers enable accountants to be more mobile and to use their clients' computer systems to extract information from large mainframe computers. As a result of these trends, a growing number of accountants have extensive computer skills and specialize in correcting problems with software or in developing software to meet unique data needs.

Accountants can either specialize (see below) or become generalists such as Financial Managers.

Fields of Specialization include:

Accounting: "Pure" accounting work comprises the preparation of financial statements, the giving of advice about accounting systems, budgets, cash flow and the improvement of profit margins.

Cost Accounting: This is the field of calculation of expenses and the implementation and development of cost-accounting measures.

Tax Specialist: A tax specialist gives advice concerning tax matters, such as the determination and legal saving of tax.

Computer Science: This field especially comprises the development and implementing of programs for electronic information processing, the planning of financial models and the giving of advice regarding hard- and software purchases.

Planning & Management: Planning is an important management function. Planning macro- and micro-level, long- and short-term forecasts, feasibility studies and the financial planning of new projects must be carried out continuously. Management also includes administration, secretarial, financial and various other facets of business management.

Accountants use the following types of equipment and materials: computers, telephones, fax machines, financial reports, accounts, stationery, e-mail and the Internet.

Accountants usually work in comfortable office environments. When self-employed, they could work from home and would only need to travel to clients' business premises and offices.


  • registered firms of practising chartered accountants

  • in commerce and all kinds of industries

  • universities and colleges as lecturers

Accountants can also start their own private practice firms. Because accountants also have a lot of business knowledge, many of them start their own businesses.

Getting Started

  • arrange to speak to accountants in your area and ask permission to observe them at work

  • if possible, try to get part-time work with a firm of accountants or auditors - even if only for a couple of days and even if unpaid


Abm University College, Academic City College, Accra, Accra Polytechnic, Adventist University of Central Africa, AFDA, Afda Botswana, Africa Nazarene University, Alliance International University, Almond Institute(formerly Graduate School of Governance and Leadership), Archbishop James University College, Arthur Portland College, BA ISAGO University College, Bindura University of Science Education, Boland TVET College, Boston City Campus & Business College, Botho University, Botswana Accountancy College, Botswana College of Distance and Open Learning, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Catholic Institute of Business and Technology, Catholic University College of Ghana, Catholic University of Eastern African, Catholic University of Rwanda, Cavendish University, Central University of Technology, Christian Service University College, College of Cape Town , Cornerstone Institute, CTI Education Group, CTU, Damelin, Daystar University, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, DMI-St.Eugene University, Dominion University College, Durban Computer College, Durban University of Technology , Egerton University, Embu University College, Evangelical Presbyterian University College, Fountainhead Christian College, Gaborone Academy of Education, Garden City University College, Ghana Baptist University College, Ghana Christian University College, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, Ghana Technology University College, Gideon Roberts University, Great Zimbabwe University, Gretsa University, Helderberg College NPC, Heritage Christian College, ICESA City Campus, Imperial School Of Business and Science, Institute of Applied Sciences, Institute of Development Management, International School of Business and Technology (Isbat), International Training College ? Lingua (ITCL), International University of Management, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Tanzania), KAAF University College, Kabarak University, Kaimosi Friends University College, KCA University, Kenneth Kaunda Metropolitan University, Kenya Highlands Evangelical University, Kenya Methodist University, Kenyatta University, Kepler Kigali, Kibabii University, Kigali Independent University, Kirinyaga University College, Kisii University, Knutsford University College, Koforidua Polytechnic, Kumasi Polytechnic, Kwame Nkrumah University, Kyambogo University, Laikipia University, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Lira University, Lukenya University, Lyceum College, Maasai Mara University, Machakos University College, Management College of Southern Africa (MANCOSA), Management University of Africa, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Marist International University College, Maseno University, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Mauritius Institute of Training and Development, Meru University of Science and Technology, Methodist University College Ghana, Middlesex University Mauritius, Milpark Education, Moi University, Monash South Africa, Monitronic Success College, Motheo TVET College, Mount Kenya University, Multimedia University of Kenya, Mulungushi University, Murang'a University of Technology, Mzumbe University, Namibia University of Science and Technology, National University of Lesotho, Nelson Mandela University, Nile Institute of Management Studies Arua, North-West University, Open University of Tanzania, Oval International Computer Education, Pan Africa Christian University, Pearson Institute of Higher Education, Pentecost University College, Production Management Institute of Southern Africa, Pwani University College, Regent Business School, Regent University College of Science & Technology, Richfield Graduate Institute of Technology, Rongo University College, Rosebank College, Rusangu University, Scott Christian University, Sol Plaatjies University, Solusi University, South African School of Motion Picture, South Eastern Kenya University, St Paul's University, St. Augustine University of Tanzania, Stefano Moshi Memorial University College, Strathmore University, Swaziland College of Technology, Team University, Technical University of Kenya, Technical University of Mombasa, The Co-Operative University, The East African University, Tom Mboya University College, Trinity University, Triumphant College, Tshwane University of Technology, Tumaini University Makumira, Uganda Catholic Management and Training Institute, Uganda Martyrs University, Umma University, United States International University, Université des Mascareignes, University for Development Studies, University of Botswana, University of Cape Coast, University of Cape Town, University of Dar Es Salaam, University of Eastern Africa Baraton, University of Education Winneba, University of Eldoret, University of Fort Hare, University of Johannesburg, University of Kabianga, University of Kigali, University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Limpopo, University of Lusaka, University of Malawi (The Polytechnic), University of Mauritius, University of Nairobi, University of Namibia, University of Pretoria, University of Professional Studies (Upsa), University of Rwanda, University of South Africa, University of Stellenbosch, University of Swaziland, University of Technology and Arts of Byumba, University of Technology Mauritius, University of the Free State, University of the Western Cape, University of the Witwatersrand, University of Tourism, Technology and Business Studies, University of Zambia, University of Zululand, Vaal University of Technology, Valley View University, Varsity College, Walter Sisulu University, Web-Info-Net Institute of Technology, YMCA Comprehensive Institute, Zambia Catholic University, Zenith University College, Zimbabwe Open University

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