Although there are many different types of careers within accounting, all of them virtually do the same thing, and that is keep track of what the company makes and spends. As you gain more responsibilities you also acquire new titles; some sound like you do a lot but others sound like you do little or nothing. For example, an accounting clerk can be anything from a filing clerk who files accounting documents to a receptionist who does the same types of functions.
Some of the more predominant careers in accounting are, but are not limited to, Staff Accountant, Controller, and sometimes CFO.
A CFO is a Corporate Financial Officer who normally oversees the accounting department, but sometimes oversees the finance department.
A Staff Accountant is someone who normally keeps track and record of the day to day activities. This person may apply cash to invoices, may bill customers, and pay the company’s bills. These functions depend upon the size and type of company. A big company may have other clerks who do this, then give the end results to the Staff Accountant for further analysis or review. Smaller companies may have their Staff Accountant perform all of these tasks.
The Controller of the company is normally responsible for overseeing the entire accounting department as well as predicting how well the company will do based upon the history of the accounting records. The Controller also makes sure all tax information is completed according to standards, and may have the other people in the accounting department assist with this.