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

Examples of accountant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Democracy advocates already control about a quarter of the seats, while other previously pro-Beijing sectors of the committee are now starting to lean toward democracy, most notably accountants and real estate lawyers. Austin Ramzy, New York Times, "Hong Kong Election Results Give Democracy Backers Big Win," 24 Nov. 2019 Others that may be less obvious include surgeon, accountant and financial analyst. Thomas Black | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Will Smart Machines Kill Jobs or Create Better Ones?," 22 Nov. 2019 Financial records are non-existent,’’ Acree said. ‘‘People who have the ability or the interest from our community can’t compete with the big boys who have accountants and attorneys and A-1 credit. BostonGlobe.com, "In addition to expunging hundreds of thousands of criminal records for marijuana arrests and convictions, the law’s architects added provisions meant to benefit communities that have been the most adversely affected by law enforcement’s efforts to combat the drug.," 5 Nov. 2019 The team includes a lawyer, investigator, accountant and compliance examiner. Max Londberg, Cincinnati.com, "More than $25K went missing from nonprofit that benefits Cincinnati schoolchildren," 1 Nov. 2019 Business and professional services, a catch-all category that includes everything from accountants and lawyers to waste management and temporary workers, added 163,000 fewer jobs under the revision. Chris Isidore, CNN, "The US economy created half a million fewer jobs last year than previously thought," 22 Aug. 2019 Written and directed by Riley Stearns, the movie stars Eisenberg as Casey Davies, a mild-mannered accountant and amateur Francophile who is shunned by most of his co-workers and has no friends besides his pet dachshund. Justin Chang, Detroit Free Press, "‘Art of Self-Defense’ takes comic aim at masculinity," 18 July 2019 Paddock, 64, a former accountant and high-stakes video poker player with homes in Reno and the southern Nevada resort community of Mesquite, killed himself before officers reached his hotel room. NBC News, "Las Vegas police release report on lessons from 2017 mass shooting that killed 58," 11 July 2019 Written and directed by Riley Stearns, the movie stars Eisenberg as Casey Davies, a mild-mannered accountant and amateur Francophile who is shunned by most of his co-workers and has no friends besides his pet dachshund. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Review: ‘The Art of Self-Defense’ takes violent comic aim at toxic masculinity," 11 July 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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Time Traveler for accountant

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for accountant

Last Updated

29 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Accountant.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/accountantships. Accessed 5 December 2019.

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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
How to pronounce accountant (audio)

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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