What Are the Different Fields of Accounting?

The different fields of accounting include management accounting, government accounting, or auditing, public accounting and internal auditing. Accountants in these fields may be Certified Public Accountants, Certified Management Accountants, Certified Financial Managers, Certified Internal Auditors, Certified Fraud Examiners, Enrolled Agents, Certified Government Financial Managers or Certified Financial Planners.

Management accountants typically work in teams, and they provide the executives of companies with financial advice. They also provide the information that is published in the company's annual reports for shareholders.

Government accountants do accounting work for government agencies, and they may work for local, state or federal departments. In some cases, government accountants work for the Internal Revenue Service, and in that role, they audit businesses and individuals on behalf of the government.

Public accounting is a relatively broad field. It includes accountants who specialize in tax preparation as well as accountants who provide accounting, tax or auditing services for governments, businesses or individuals. Many of the accountants in this field are CPAs, or Certified Public Accountants, but many of them have other certifications instead.

Internal auditors can also be called forensic accountants. Accountants in this field investigate the financial records of companies or other entities in an attempt to find or prevent fraud or inaccuracies.