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Finding a Public and Private Accounting Job: Main Differences

If you wish to boost your career and reach the desired goals, we recommend you consider the accounting process, which will help you reach the desired goals. Based on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, job rates for auditors and accountants are steadily increasing. According to these factors, a hundred thousand more jobs will be available.

Suppose your goal is to enter the financial industry. In that case, you should understand the differences between private and public accounting. We recommend you to enter here, which will help you understand more about ten reasons you should start with the accounting career.

Where you decide to work can be either private or public sector, which is the most crucial choice to help you determine the career path and reach the desired goals.

Each option features specific advantages and disadvantages, while they rely on understanding the latest tax regulations, having vast accounting knowledge, and bookkeeping practices. Besides, it would help if you learned about both options to help you determine the best course of action.

Public Accounting

When you decide to work in public accounting, you can run a business that will reach many companies. At the same time, you can ensure the routine assignments that public accountants tend to perform, including:

Financial Statement Preparation

Numerous accountants must learn how to prepare financial statements for companies for the Internal Revenue Service, stockholders, and creditors. Financial statements include high-level reports that will help you summarize the entire income statement, financial status, cash flow, and balance sheets.

Financial Statement Audit

Most businesses hire public companies to audit financial statements created by other experts or professionals regularly. The main goal is to check the information on the statement for accuracy and completeness.

Tax Return

Another essential consideration an accountant must handle includes preparing tax documentation on your behalf. That way, you can find a financial expert handling tax return forms, offering specific protection.


Financial consultation can be separate from preparing records and dealing with taxes. Instead, a consultant who works in public accounting can offer advice on numerous financial topics such as auditing controls, purchasing of large equipment and expensive systems, litigation supports, financial reconstruction, and capital investments.

Professionals who can handle auditing for public companies must meet relevant requirements and register with the accounting oversight board. When it comes to public company auditing, you can expect only large firms to do it.

Private Accounting

Private or industry accountants work in-house for a specific company without dealing with other businesses and corporations. Therefore, companies decide to hire them to work exclusively for specific interests. They can hold high-end jobs such as CFOs and operate as entry-level positions in accounting departments.

Similarly, private CPAs can verify billing, perform internal audits, and set up internal systems. They run payable and receivable accounts as well as the general ledger. They can handle the process independently by overseeing coworkers, accounting clerks, and bookkeepers.

Crucial Differences Between Public and Private Accounting

Both positions or roles require a thorough understanding of finances, the latest tax regulations, bookkeeping, and managing others. At the same time, you can handle numerous audits and deal with statements throughout the process. However, they operate on different sides of the fence, meaning you should understand the difference before making up your mind.

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1.   Job Responsibilities

Public accountants deal with financial paperwork such as tax returns and statements. They can quickly review these documents and help you examine them before releasing them to the public and sending them to the IRS.

On the other hand, private experts work within a single company with an idea to prepare the relevant information and deal with other tasks.

The most common tasks they must handle include evaluating fiscal and revenue performance, managing, and developing audit trials, creating a budget, dealing with account reconciliation, reviewing journal entries, and managing accounting personnel. We are talking about tasks public accountants will not handle.

2.   Training and Education

It is vital to remember that obtaining a bachelor’s degree in accounting is essential for both private and public accountant roles. When we consider additional education, private and public accountants need a CPA license, allowing them to file reports with the SEC or the Securities and Exchange Commission.

At the same time, you can continue your education throughout your career, which is essential for maintaining a CPA license. At the same time, you can get other certifications that will help you become a more professional private accountant, including a Certified Management Account and Internal Auditor.

3.   Career

The most crucial difference between these two aspects is that private accounting means you will work for a single company. On the other hand, a public accountant can work for an agency filled with other financial experts and operate service-based, meaning as a third-party or outsourced professional.

Both accountants will start in entry-level positions. For instance, those in public accounting may reach senior positions and even become executives of a financial company. On the other hand, private personnel can become CFOs or Chief Financial Officers, positions with executive responsibilities.

4.   Work Environment

Regarding the work environment, we discuss another difference between these two career paths. Public accountants have the busiest time during the tax season. That is why you should check out this site: to learn more about different positions you can find online.

On the other hand, private accountants work differently because the busiest times are at the end of each month, while the end of the fiscal year also brings additional responsibilities. Both options can offer you peace of mind in specific periods, while private ones are steadier and have higher salaries.


It doesn’t matter which option you choose because both will help you reach the desired heights after years of working and gathering experience. When you become an expert in a particular field, you can open your own accounting agency or choose an executive position at a specific corporation. Everything depends on your ideas and plans. It is as simple as that.

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