An accountant is a practitioner of accounting or accountancy, which is the measurement, disclosure or provision of assurance about financial information that helps managers, investors, tax authorities and others make decisions about allocating resource(s).
In many jurisdictions, professional accounting bodies maintain standards of practice and evaluations for professionals. Accountants who have demonstrated competency through their professional associations' certification exams are certified to use titles such as Chartered Accountant, Chartered Certified Accountant or Certified Public Accountant. Such professionals are granted certain responsibilities by statute, such as the ability to certify an organization's financial statements, and may be held liable for professional misconduct. Non-qualified accountants may be employed by a qualified accountant, or may work independently without statutory privileges and obligations.
Cahan & Sun (2015) used archival study to find out that accountants’ personal characteristics may exert a very significant impact during the audit process and further influence audit fees and audit quality.
The Big Four auditors are the largest employers of accountants worldwide. However, most accountants are employed in commerce, industry and the public sector.