[ELI5] What do accountants do?

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[ELI5] What do accountants do?

In: Economics

They keep track of either company or personal finances for the purpose of reporting or distribution of profits. The most common association with accountants is that they gather documents from people and prepare their tax returns, so they know how much to pay the government.
The rest of the year, accountants are keeping track of financial data from companies that hired them in order for them to know that legally they made X amount of money. Partners in the company will be issued a K-1 displaying that and they should receive a distribution of profits equal to that amount.

The are licenses professionals who deal with financials of businesses or individuals. They might track the money a business collects from customers and spends running the business. They figure out more complex financial aspects such as depreciation and amortization (how businesses spread out calculating costs of long term purchases, say a delivery truck or factory) which affects both a company’s financial reporting to owners/shareholders and also tax filing. They files taxes for businesses and individuals, calculating income, deductions, etc. that apply.