By DeVry University
October 23, 2023
5 min read
October 23, 2023
5 min read
Considering a career in accounting? You may have already discovered how broad and multi-faceted this occupation truly is, and that may leave you wondering what aspect of accounting would make the best fit for you.
In this discussion, we’ll explore the scope and characteristics of public vs. private accounting; focusing on their key differences, typical duties and responsibilities, work environment and educational requirements.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA): Even though certified public accountants are associated principally with work in public accounting, private accounting professionals sometimes pursue CPA designation and licensing to help boost their careers. This entails meeting the requirements set by their state Board of Accountancy, sitting for and passing the CPA Exam1, then applying for licensure and maintaining the license.
Bookkeeper: Working typically in private accounting, bookkeepers maintain an organization’s financial records and make sure the books are balanced and error-free. They may also receive, document and handle cash and checks from customers. They then process payroll, receive invoices or prepare reports based on the company’s financial transactions for management to use in decision-making.
Auditor: Working in either public or private accounting environments, auditors are responsible for checking the accuracy of financial reports. Internal auditors check the books of the companies they work for, while external auditors, who are often CPAs, work for third-party organizations like banks or insurance companies.
Senior Accountant: Working with other members of a senior management team that may include the company’s Chief Financial Officer, senior accountants are responsible for preparing and recording assets, revenue, expense and liability entries to the general ledger. They also conduct monthly and quarterly account reconciliation reports and analyze financial statements for discrepancies.
1Credits and degrees earned from this institution do not automatically qualify the holder to participate in professional licensing exams to practice certain professions. Persons interested in practicing a regulated profession must contact the appropriate state regulatory agency for their field of interest. For instance, typically 150 credit hours or education are required to meet state regulatory agency education requirements for CPA licensure.
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In New York, DeVry University operates as DeVry College of New York. DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), www.hlcommission.org. The University’s Keller Graduate School of Management is included in this accreditation. DeVry is certified to operate by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Arlington Campus: 1400 Crystal Dr., Ste. 120, Arlington, VA 22202. DeVry University is authorized for operation as a postsecondary educational institution by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, www.tn.gov/thec. Lisle Campus: 4225 Naperville Rd, Suite 400, Lisle, IL 60532. Unresolved complaints may be reported to the Illinois Board of Higher Education through the online compliant system https://complaints.ibhe.org/. View DeVry University’s complaint process https://www.devry.edu/compliance/student-complaint-procedure.html Program availability varies by location. In site-based programs, students will be required to take a substantial amount of coursework online to complete their program.
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