8 Different types of Accountants

Many students/people are interested in an accountancy career but do know the different types of accountant roles to consider. As accountancy spans various sectors, it is important to be aware of the various accounting fields, and the different types of accountants and their duties. Each type of Accountant provides services to meet the needs specific to different organizations.

Here are 8 types of Accountants:

Types of accountants

1. Forensic Accountant

Forensic Accountants blend accounting, auditing, and investigation skills to review accounting systems and practices related to criminal and legal investigations. As a Forensic Accountant, you will be required to investigate financial statements and trace money movements to understand a particular situation. Being a Forensic Accountant requires a high level of attention, meticulous record keeping, and sometimes, testimony in court.

Through forensic accounting, businesses can minimize and safeguard unnecessary losses, increase efficiency, and reduce the risk of exploitation.

Duties of a Forensic Accountant include:

  • Collecting accounting records and assessing transactions to find misreported and unethical actions (e.g. kickbacks, misappropriation of assets, and embezzlement).
  • Assessing contracts and royalty agreements to identify abuse and fraud.
  • Collecting financial information related to civil and criminal disputes and providing legal professionals and authorities with materials at hearings, arbitrations, and trials.
  • Creating a criminal hypothesis based on the findings and presenting the findings of the investigation to the appropriate personnel.
  • Clearly and professionally presenting evidence of financial irregularities to court members.
  • Recommending actionable steps to address and prevent future fraud incidents.
  • Any other duties as required.

“The word accounting comes from the word accountability.
If you are going to be rich, you need to be accountable for your money.”
– Robert Kiyosaki –


2. Financial Accountant

A financial accountant is responsible for running the accounting and financial activities of an organization. As a financial accountant, you will be required to compile, analyze, and produce financial information for other departments and other organizations’ stakeholders to make budgeting and investment decisions. The financial statements must comply with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The various financial statements prepared include:

  • Profit and loss account,
  • Cash flow statement,
  • Statement of financial position, and
  • Statement of changes in equity.

Through financial accounting, organizations can:

  1. Ensure compliance with statutory requirements.
  2. Safeguard the interests of various stakeholders, while meeting their objectives.
  3. Measure the business’s profit and loss for a particular period, as well as its assets and liabilities.
  4. Represent a faithful representation of transactions and events undertaken by the business.

Duties of a financial accountant include:

  • Preparing the monthly, quarterly, and annual financial statements (i.e. profit and loss, cash flow statements, and balance sheet reports).
  • Statutory reporting, budgeting, and preparation of board reports.
  • Coordinating internal and external audits, and filing income tax returns and annual returns.
  • Ensuring all accounting transactions comply with IFRS and resolving any accounting discrepancies.
  • Performing month-end and year-end close processes and coordinating the processing of audit adjustments.
  • Managing and developing other accountancy staff.
  • Supervising the management and accounting of the company’s assets.
  • Other duties as required.
"Creativity is great,but not in accounting."
– Charles Scott -

3. Management Accountant

Whereas a financial accountant focuses on a company’s external financial processes (i.e. long-term growth financial strategies), a management accountant focuses on its internal financial processes (i.e. short-term growth financial strategies). Management accountants are therefore an important part of a management’s decision-making process.

Duties of a Management Accountant include:

  • Preparing an accounting system covering costs, sales forecasts, production and profit planning, and allocation of resources.
  • Capital budgeting and short-term financial planning, as well as controlling and forecasting income and expenditure.
  • Assisting in the control of a company’s performance through the use of accounting ratios, standard costing, budget control, cost-cutting initiatives, revenue, and funds flow statements, and assessment of returns on investment and capital expenditure proposals.
  • Analyzing accounting data and presenting it in a non-technical approach to aid all shareholders and senior management make informed decisions.
  • Ensuring all taxes are paid as required by the Income Tax Act to prevent penalties for late payments.
  • Accessing the impact of external factors (e.g. changes in business policies) on the business and reporting to senior management to take precautionary measures.
  • Compiling financial statement reports for management to make smart decisions.
  • Analyzing the real causes of unfavorable costs and revenue deviations and reporting to management.
  • Carrying out an economic appraisal to determine the influence of current economic conditions on the company’s operations
  • Overseeing accounting procedures and supervising junior department staff.
  • Keeping informed of regulatory requirements and best practices in management accounting.
  • Any other duties are required.
"Capital isn’t this pile of money sitting somewhere; 
it’s an
 accounting construct."
 – Bethany McLean -


4. Cost Accountant

A cost account is a professional who determines the actual costs associated with providing a service or manufacturing a product. Cost Accountants record, examine, and summarize how a company’s money is spent on processes, products, or services. Cost accounting help organizations control costs and make strategic plans to improve cost efficiency. Through cost accounting, a business can:

  1. Determine the total per unit cost of a product or a service, enabling fixing of the selling price.
  2. Show profitable and non-profitable activities, enabling the business to put to an end non-profitable activities while developing profitable ones.
  3. Compare costs over time, enabling the business to compare the costs for the same service or product over some time.

Duties of a Cost Accountant include:

  • Collecting cost information and maintaining an expense database.
  • Planning and recording variable costs (e.g. purchases of raw materials and operations costs).
  • Determining fixed costs (e.g. salaries, rent, and insurance).
  • Reviewing standard and actual costs for inaccuracies.
  • Preparing monthly, quarterly, and annual cost forecasts and budgeting reports for the company and each department.
  • Constructing data accumulation systems.
  • Analyzing and reporting profit margins and assisting in month-end and year-end closing.
  • Identifying and recommending cost-effective solutions.
  • Other duties as required.
"Whoever loves money never has enough."
 -Ecclesiastes 5:10-
5. Project Accountant

A project accountant manages expenses, billing, and budget for one or more projects. In project accounting, the Project Accountant creates a detailed plan of a project’s costs and manages them throughout the project’s execution to make sure the project is on budget. He/She works closely with the project manager to create a plan outlining all costs and schedules to monitor and track those costs during the project execution. Through project accounting, the business can:

  1. Get insight into costs, bids, and the scope of new projects.
  2. Improve resource and financial management of the organization.
  3. Stay updated on the project’s progress and profitability.
  4. Identify issues with projects quickly and reduce risks.

Duties of a project Accountant include:

  • Maintaining project-related records, including contracts and change orders.
  • Estimating labor and material costs and managing the budget for each project.
  • Reconciling all invoices from vendors and investigating all project expenses not billed to customers.
  • Delivering financial reports to management.
  • Ensuring the company’s accounts are following all financial regulations.
  • Reviewing and approving supplier invoices, project timesheets, overhead charges to be applied, and total costs related to project assets and expenses.
  • Creating and submitting government reports and tax returns related to projects.
  • Compiling information for internal and external auditors.
  • Closing out project accounts upon project completion.
  • Any other duties as required.
"Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, 
but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty."
 -Proverbs 21:5-
6. Tax Accountant

Tax accountants use their knowledge of accounting and tax law to help businesses, individuals, and tax-exempt organizations prepare and file accurate returns that meet all legal standards., thereby avoiding penalties. They can choose to work for different organizations or be self-employed. Tax accountants also perform other tax management services to clients (e.g. performing audits, developing financial plans, and offering advice on investments and asset management).

Tax Accounting tracks and keeps records of funds coming into and going out of a business.

Duties of a Tax Accountant include:

  • Examining financial statements to get a clear picture of a client’s finances and making sure all materials align with tax laws and regulations.
  • Helping their clients create budget plans and explaining how income changes can affect their tax returns.
  • Computing the taxes for their clients and preparing tax returns, as well as informing their clients of any refunds or balances owed to avoid penalties.
  • Providing their clients with timely information on tax changes and helping their clients organize their financial records.
  • Any other duties as required.
    "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's 
    and to God the things that are God's."
     -Mathew 22:21 -
7. Grant Accountant

Grant Accountants are professionals who track and report on the financial transactions related to grants. They commonly work for nonprofits, government agencies, and any other organizations that receive grants from outside sources. Their job is to ensure that all financial transactions related to grants are properly accounted for and reported by the relevant laws and regulations.

Duties of Grant Accountants include:

  • Preparing financial statements by applying accounting principles and procedures.
  • Preparing reports on the financial status of an organization by analyzing the results of audits, reviews, and financial statements.
  • Preparing financial analyses and recommendations to management regarding capital investments and long-term financial goals.
  • Organizing and maintaining accounting records such as journals, ledgers, and bank reconciliations.
  • Performing grant-related post-award functions, including budget and expense analysis, financial reporting, and reconciliations.
  • Coordinate audit process with internal and external auditors.
  • Financial Planning, Budgeting, and Grant Analysis.
  • Supporting Program Managers in the granting-making process, and ensuring grant agreements are well executed.
  • Analyzing financial transactions to ensure that they are correctly charged, and financial positions provided to funders are a true & fair representation of financial position.
  • Calculating payroll taxes and filing tax forms as per government regulations.
  • Mitigating financial risks by ensuring internal controls are put in place by providing support to the development and implementation systems and streamlining processes within the Finance function.
"Never take your eyes off the cash flow because it’s the 
lifeblood of business." 
– Sir. Richard Branson -
 8. Accounting Technicians

An Accounting Technician’s role involves a wide range of skills and duties. In, Kenya, you need an Accounting Technicians Diploma (ATD) qualification to enter this sector.

Duties of Accounting Technicians include:

  • Bookkeeping.
  • Preparing accounts, budgets, reports, and financial statements.
  • Monitoring financial transactions-daily receipts and payments.
  • Preparation of reconciliations.
  • Preparation of monthly and year-end general ledger adjusting journal entries.
  • Invoicing, Payroll processing, and tax returns.
  • Other duties as required.

This is a useful career where you can acquire valuable experience while working for an organization or being self-employed.

"Don’t ever let your business get ahead of the financial
 side ofyour business.
 Accounting, accounting, accounting. 
Know your numbers."
 – Tilman J. Fertitta -

If you want to pursue a career in accounting, you have many types to choose from. You can work in any business or government sector or be self-employed.


"Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles,
But the one who gathers by labor increases it."
Proverbs 13:11

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Types of accountants, Types of accountants, Types of accountants

Types of accountants, Types of accountants, Types of accountants

Types of accountants, Types of accountants, Types of accountants

Types of accountants, Types of accountants, Types of accountants

Types of accountants, Types of accountants, Types of accountants