Accountants prepare, develop, analyze, evaluate, and verify financial documents. They disseminate information that their clients need to ensure that their businesses are run efficiently and that they comply with the terms of their contracts. The typical view of the accountant as the “bean counter” has changed and accounting has become more consulting-oriented.
Public accounting firms range in size from local (Martin Hood Friese; Sikich; Frost, Ruthenberg & Rothblatt) and regional firms (BDO, Crowe Horwath, Grant Thornton, RSM, Plante Moran) to large international firms (Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers).
Private accounting roles are typically with corporate offices, government agencies, or non-profit organizations
Many public accounting firms offer consulting services, helping clients review particular business needs; restructure their financial reporting, organizational hierarchy, expenses, risk, evaluation and analysis of information; make recommendations; and implement changes in any area of a business. Many accounting consultants specialize in a certain industry or clientele. Accounting consultants are quick problem solvers, creative thinkers, very fast learners, and have honed math and analytical skills. Intern duties include helping clients get the best deals done at the appropriate price, negotiating terms of a deal, implementing or changing new technologies necessary to run the business, reducing risk and enabling smooth post-deal integration.