accountant

noun
ac·​coun·​tant | \ ə-ˈkau̇n-tᵊnt How to pronounce accountant (audio) \

Definition of accountant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one that gives an account or is accountable
2 : one who is skilled in the practice of accounting or who is in charge of public or private accounts

accountant

adjective

Definition of accountant (Entry 2 of 2)

obsolete
: accountable, answerable I stand accountant for as great a sin— William Shakespeare

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Other Words from accountant

Noun

accountantship \ -​tᵊn(t)-​ˌship How to pronounce accountantship (audio) \ noun

Examples of accountant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The accountants are responsible for tracking the fees and taxes. Luke Winkie, Vox, "Anime brings in more than $19 billion a year. Its artists are earning barely enough to survive.," 2 July 2019 Stephen’s wife, Celeste (T’Nia Miller), is an ambitious accountant. Mark Dawidziak, cleveland.com, "‘Years and Years’ takes a disturbing look into the near future," 21 June 2019 Thomas is an accountant at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Milwaukee. Daniel Bice, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ex-Milwaukee County Supervisor Johnny Thomas charged with fourth-degree sexual assault, disorderly conduct," 19 June 2019 Amaya, 39, and Vinyard, 37, pursued Ghaisar, a 25-year-old accountant from McLean, down the George Washington Memorial Parkway on Nov. 17, 2017, after he had been involved in a minor fender bender minutes earlier. Washington Post, "Lawyers for Park Police officers in Bijan Ghaisar shooting say charging decision coming soon," 8 June 2019 Blakely Sanford, a tax accountant from San Diego, said the last leg of his flight home from a cruise in November was delayed multiple times before being canceled. Alison Sider, WSJ, "From Tardy to On-Time: Spirit Airlines Tries to Shed Old Image," 27 Dec. 2018 Mojgan Ghanipour, a tax accountant from San Francisco who has been working in France on and off since 1989, has advised many such clients. Yuliya Talmazan, NBC News, "‘Accidental Americans’ living abroad fight tax bill from Uncle Sam," 22 Apr. 2018 The duo had been tapped in 2017 timed to the 50th anniversary of Bonnie and Clyde, but after an envelope mix up by on-site accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the award was mistakenly given to La La Land over Moonlight. Erik Hayden, The Hollywood Reporter, "They're Back: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway to Present Oscars Best Picture," 2 Mar. 2018 His father, 17 years her senior, was an accountant, highly competent but idle, who worked briefly as Rita Hayworth’s business manager. The Economist, "James Ellroy finally has happiness in his sights," 8 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'accountant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of accountant

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for accountant

Noun

Middle English accomptaunt, accountant "official in charge of accounts," borrowed from Anglo-French acomptant, noun derivative of accountaunt, present participle of acunter, acompter "to account entry 2"

Adjective

Middle English accomptaunt, borrowed from Anglo-French accountaunt, from present participle of acunter, acompter "to account entry 2"

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Statistics for accountant

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for accountant

The first known use of accountant was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for accountant

accountant

noun

Financial Definition of accountant

What It Is

An accountant is trained to compile, inspect, interpret, and/or report financial statements and tax returns that comply with governmental and regulatory authority requirements.

How It Works

Accountants often work in a company's accounting department, at an auditing firm, or in a private practice. Regardless of where they work, an accountant's work generally revolves around recording, measuring, and presenting financial information.

In a company's accounting department, accounting functions often include billing customers, collecting payment, paying vendors and employees, reconciling bank accounts, calculating and remitting taxes, and correctly recording transactions among subsidiaries and ventures. They also include creating budgets, setting spending policies, and making or participating in major business decisions.

Audit work includes verifying a company's financial information, helping a company determine the appropriate accounting treatment for complex transactions, and providing public opinions about the quality of a company's accounting records. Accountants in private practice may provide bookkeeping services for small companies, prepare tax returns for companies and individuals, or offer consulting services for certain types of transactions or industries.

Many accountants seek certifications to evidence their attainment of certain levels of professional competence. These certifications include Certified Professional Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and Certified Internal Auditor (CIA). Some accountants also specialize in certain areas of accounting, such as tax accounting, oil and gas accounting, forensic accounting (bankruptcy), or international accounting.

Why It Matters

Although people often refer to accountants as "bean counters" who focus on the smallest details, accountants have the rare advantage of being able to understand both the details of each area of a company and the big picture. This broad and deep knowledge is why CEOs often come from the ranks of accounting and finance.

Effective accountants must be able to solve problems creatively and analyze information to gain insight into situations. They must also be able to persuasively discuss and defend their views, stay abreast of new e-commerce and software technologies, manage projects and deadlines, and have the confidence to make recommendations and policies that affect an entire organization. Above all, successful accountants are good communicators, act ethically, and rigorously follow the law and accounting rules.

It is very important to understand that not all accountants are CPAs. CPAs are licensed by the states in which they practice. To become a CPA, an accountant must complete a formal program of study at a college or university, pass the Uniform CPA Examination administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and have a certain amount of related work experience. Each state's board of accountancy determines the exact requirements in each of these three areas. In some states, only CPAs can perform certain accounting functions. The Securities and Exchange Commission also requires that only CPAs perform certain functions.

Each state board of accountancy requires its CPAs to keep current on accounting rules and practices by taking Continuing Professional Education (CPE) courses each year. Each board determines how many CPE credits a CPA in that state must obtain each year and what activities warrant these credits.

Source: Investing Answers

accountant

noun

English Language Learners Definition of accountant

: someone whose job is to keep the financial records of a business or person

accountant

noun
ac·​coun·​tant | \ ə-ˈkau̇n-tᵊnt How to pronounce accountant (audio) \

Kids Definition of accountant

: someone whose job is keeping the financial records of a person or a business

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More from Merriam-Webster on accountant

Spanish Central: Translation of accountant

Nglish: Translation of accountant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of accountant for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about accountant

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