An accounting expert has particular skill or knowledge in the elements of accounting. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) defines accounting as “the art of recording, classifying, and summarizing in a significant manner in terms of money, transactions, and events which are, in part at least, of financial character, and interpreting the results thereof.”
Accounting is divided into two primary functions:
(1) management accounting and
(2) financial accounting
Management accounting concentrates on reporting financial information of a business to people inside the business entity, such as employees and managers. Financial accounting concentrates on reporting financial information to people outside the business entity, such as investors, creditors, financial analysts, economists, and government agencies.
Accounting experts practice the elements of accounting by examining, auditing, and analyzing business transactions and financial statements and are sometimes referred to as “forensic accountants” due to the investigative nature of their work. Accounting experts assist primarily in preparing and reviewing documents regarding the assets, liabilities, and operating results of a business and may also prepare projections. An accounting expert is traditionally one who has earned the title of Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Furthermore, some accounting experts use their expertise to serve as expert witnesses and forensic accounting consultants in legal disputes regarding accounting matters. These accounting experts deliver reports, presentations, and testimonies for judges, attorneys, law firms, and juries in federal and state court trials and arbitrations.
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