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The Main Types of Accountants: A Career Guide

Hussain Ali

When people think of prestigious occupations, accountant jobs often make the list. It’s right up there with doctors, lawyers, and similar professional jobs. However, people often have a vague idea of what an accountant does. 

In reality, there are many types of accountants, just as there are different sorts of doctors. The various kinds of accountants focus on various aspects of their profession.

If you’re looking for accountant careers, knowing the main types of accountants can be highly beneficial. So, to help you, we’ve compiled a list of the leading professions in this field. Learn more about these positions by reading our guide below!

Types of Accountants

In particular, there are three main types of accountants people aspire to be. These three include auditors, consultants, and cost accountants. We’ll explore these professions in the sections below.


Every business needs precise and accurate accounting records. To ensure their records function properly, companies hire auditors to keep their books straight.

These days, many companies hire auditors from an external accountant business. This practice saves them from hiring an employee that would then need benefits and a salary. Alternatively, a company may hire an auditor in-house.

Auditors work with clients in all spheres. They review the clients’ reports and data thoroughly, helping them evade any trouble with the IRS. An auditor will also professionally prepare tax returns.


An accounting consultant is an expert in several aspects of business. The reason for this expertise is because they work to assist you in growing your business.

What does this entail? Among other things, consultants prepare financial reports and interpret all sorts of financial information. They also help manage your organization from within, helping you navigate legal concerns and compliance.

Like auditors, consultants help prepare tax documents to avoid legal trouble. They provide tax assistance and audits, helping you stay on the right side of the line as you grow your business.

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Cost Accountants

Every business and nonprofit must hold down costs. It never helps a business to run out of money and close its operation.

However, business owners may have a hard time keeping track of all their costs. To that end, they proceed to hire a professional cost accountant. This expert examines every expense on the business’ books to ensure they don’t get out of hand.

They maintain this rigor through several means. These accountants conduct profitability analyses, prepare budgets, and document any business-related costs.

Deciding on the Type of Accountant Career

If you’re curious about becoming an accountant, these three types are usually your primary choices. So, the question becomes, how do you choose between the three?

First, examine your skillset. Do you have a thorough knowledge of IRS requirements and want to help people avoid unnecessary trouble? Or, do you want to help a business grow by examining its costs?

Whatever you enjoy, these types of accountants can probably help you do it for a living. So, do your research and decide what to choose!

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