Industry Overview of the Accounting Field

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Due to its crucial role in the success or failure of every firm, the accounting field is well-known. For instance, the failure of the accountants to do their responsibilities is largely responsible for Enron and WorldCom's demise (Picker et al., 2016). Given that 1.23 million Americans were engaged as accountants in private businesses, public agencies, and consulting firms in 2015, the accounting industry is enormous (Sikka, 2016). Additionally, to further highlight the size of this industry, the International Federation of Accountants estimates that there are more than 2 Million accountants worldwide (Stoner & Suwardy, 2016). It is also noteworthy to point that the accounting industry is dominated by the four large accounting firms usually referred to as the Big Four and they include; Deloitte &Touche, Ernst &Young, KPMG and Price Waterhouse Coopers (Sikka,2016).

The scope of work in the accounting field revolves around accounting, auditing, assurance and tax reporting. The accounting role is concerned with overseeing and managing the financial records of an organization while auditing refers to giving a guarantee to the stakeholders that the internal controls are effective to mitigate financial risks. Assurance refers to activities by accountants to improve the quality of information while the tax role of accountants involves preparing tax returns for corporations and individuals (Stoner & Suwardy, 2016). In light of the scope of the accounting profession, careers in this field include; accounting manager, budget analyst, forensic accountants, tax accountant, auditors, chief financial officer and payroll clerk (Picker et al., 2016).

Since accountants need to compose a variety of written documents such as audit reports, then need to have excellent writing and proofreading skills to communicate clearly to other stakeholders. Besides, accountants such as those involved in forensic investigations must be acquainted with the preparation of legal reports and documents (Farrugia, 2016). Furthermore, an accountant should be able to communicate verbally both in person and on the phone since the nature of their work requires them to meet clients in many instances (Stoner & Suwardy, 2016). Another skill that is vital for accountants is an eye for detail since it enables them to smoke out financial malpractices before the issue gets out of hand. Honesty and integrity are other essential skills for all accountants since the greatest liability any company or government can have are corrupt accountants due to the financial consequences involved.


Farrugia, M. (2016). Communication skills and accountants: perspectives from the big four accounting firms (Master's thesis, University of Malta).

Picker, R., Clark, K., Dunn, J., Kolitz, D., Livne, G., Loftus, J., & Van der Tas, L. (2016). Applying international financial reporting standards. John Wiley & Sons.

Sikka, P. (2016). Big Four Accounting Firms: Addicted to Tax Avoidance. In Pioneers of Critical Accounting (pp. 259-274). Palgrave Macmillan UK.

Stoner, G., & Suwardy, T. (2016). Thoughts from the IAAER’s 12th World Congress of Accounting Educators and Researchers.

March 02, 2023

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