Accountants are found in almost every business to ensure financial records are kept properly and taxes are paid in accordance to local, state and federal regulations. Accountants’ responsibilities can vary, based on the size of the organization they work for. Salaries for accountants are generally similar in small and large organizations.
In small businesses, an accountant generally handles all accounting responsibilities and oversees bookkeepers or accounting clerks. They keep track of all financial records and prepare reports for executives in the organization. They may suggest ways to cut spending and improve the company’s overall financial status. In small organizations, accountants stay abreast of new tax laws to ensure the organization is adhering to regulations and receiving available tax credits. Accountants typically report directly to a chief financial officer or chief executive officer in a small organization.
In large businesses, accounting responsibilities are similar, but generally broken down into business sectors or accounting procedures, depending on what the business does. Because many large businesses have different business sectors, accountants may be responsible for a single or multiple business sectors to maintain specific financial information. Accounting information related to taxes may differ for specific business sectors such as manufacturing, operations, distribution and sales. Sectors may be separate by product type such as prescription and retail pharmaceuticals. Many of these organizations often seek accountants that are skilled in specific industries and knowledgeable of specific business sectors.
The salary of an accountant can vary based on their level of experience, but generally are in the same range for small and large organizations. Salaries generally range from $30,000 to $63,000 per year, based on PayScale’s salary survey in 2012. Salaries were slightly higher for accountants who worked for large organizations with over 50,000 employees. Organizations with under nine employees paid the lowest wages ranging from $29,000 to $55,000 per year.