Accounting can be described as a service activity, a descriptive/analytical discipline, and an information system. As a service activity, it provides users with quantitative financial information to aid in making business-related decisions. As a descriptive, analytical discipline, it identifies those economic transactions affecting an economic entity and describes — through measurement, classification, summarization, and reporting — the impact of the transactions on the entity. As an information system, accounting communicates financial information to interested parties. Accountants are involved in one or more of these areas.
The demand for accounting graduates continues to grow as corporations develop, tax laws change, and new government regulations are introduced. All types of organizations require accounting services in their operations. Private accounting includes such areas of specialization as financial accounting, cost accounting, systems, managerial accounting, internal auditing, tax accounting, budgeting, and financial analysis. In public accounting, the major specializations include external auditing, management advisory services, tax accounting, and planning. Employers of accountants include banks, retail and wholesale businesses, manufacturers, labor unions, tax firms, pension funds, foundations, hospitals, universities, churches, government agencies, and consulting companies. Self-employed accountants may set up their own offices and work for private clients.
Description taken from Youngstown State University’s Undergraduate Bulletin.