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What does an Accounting Analyst do?

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  • Written By: Keith Koons
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 28 October 2016
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An accounting analyst is responsible for completing many different tasks to help businesses and consumers remain profitable. One of the primary responsibilities is the study of numbers, and an analyst dedicates much of his time to understanding what makes clients profitable. This task is accomplished by comparing past and present statistics to gain insight on where each client can improve financially. Ultimately, this information is used by an accounting analyst to make future predictions on trends that involve money.

One of the most popular sectors that hire accounting analysts is the financial industry, and global businesses turn to these professionals in order to learn how to better control their finances. An accounting analyst is able to take many pages of profit and loss statements and discover where poor spending habits or waste is affecting the company's cash flow. This professional is also usually the employee responsible for finding profitable investments and banking strategies that would help the company make more money.

A good example of how an analyst makes companies more profitable can be found within a typical investment proposal. If a business was looking to purchase another company, it would need someone who could study the overall profitability. By evaluating each of its assets to determine what the entity was actually worth, the accounting analyst can determine what a fair market offer would be.

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This study does not simply involve looking at bank accounts and investments though, because businesses can incur profits and losses in many different fields. An accounting analyst could be hired to study a company's inventory and shipping invoices, for example, to find ways to reduce overhead while increasing sales and service. There could be hundreds of different factors involved in some cases, and this study may require months or even years to complete. Once all of the data is analyzed and checked for errors, the accounting analyst would prepare a report for the business owners to evaluate.

Another common task that an accounting analyst performs is the process of regional compliance. Businesses around the world have many different taxes and government expenses to pay, and an accounting analyst is usually well versed in these laws. A large part of his time is spent studying tax codes and finding ways to reduce the company's liability. Since these types of laws are constantly changing, an accounting analyst is often a lifetime student as well. Many weeks throughout the year are dedicated to seminars and certification courses that allow the professional to stay current within the field.

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