Q:

What is the difference between private and public accounting?

A:

Quick Answer

Private accountants work inside companies managing their accounts while public accountants work outside companies or for the government as advisers. Private accountants work for only one company as an employee. Public accountants provide consulting and auditing services for many companies.

Continue Reading
What is the difference between private and public accounting?
Credit: Image Source Image Source Getty Images

Full Answer

Private accountants serve as bookkeepers for their employers. They set up accounts, give financial advice, complete tax forms, ensure legal requirements are met and supervise other employees working on the company finances. Some private accountants work on a freelance basis for one company only. Private accountants that work for a corporation are referred to as corporate accountants.

Public accountants often work for independent accounting firms. They provide companies with third-party oversight to ensure company finances are handled properly. Independent financial audits by public accountants provide investors with valuable information about a company's financial practices. Public accountants also provide tax and other financial consulting services to outside firms. Some public accountants work independently providing outside services to many companies on a freelance basis. Other public accountants work for government agencies delving into the legal side of finances.

Public accountants usually pursue certification as CPAs. This designation shows a high level of knowledge about accounting, auditing practices, legal requirements and related ethics. All CPA licensed accountants pass an exam demonstrating their knowledge and regularly complete continuing education requirements.

Learn more about Accounting

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is an accounts assistant?

    A:

    An accounts assistant, also called an accounting assistant, is an entry-level position that includes working with payroll, accounts receivable, accounts payable and inventory. These positions can be in corporations, small businesses or partnerships.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some basic accounting courses?

    A:

    There are several types of basic accounting courses, including courses in financial accounting, managerial accounting, accounts payable and accounts receivable. Colleges such as Kutztown University of Pennsylvania offer several online basic accounting courses, such as Creating a Profit and Loss Statement and Preparing a Balance Sheet. Basic industry oriented accounting courses include Introduction to Financial Management and Accounting offered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Corporate Finance for Healthcare Administrators offered at the University of Michigan.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is an accounting voucher?

    A:

    An accounting or accounts payable voucher is a document used as an internal control mechanism in the invoicing process. The voucher is filled out after a three-way match of the invoice, purchase order and receiving report.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is an accounts payable aging report?

    A:

    An accounts payable aging report is an accounting detail that lists the due dates of payments that a company owes to vendors. It helps a company plan how it will use available cash by revealing which invoices have been outstanding for the longest time.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore