The job of an accountant is to keep track of numbers that primarily are the result of business activity. Keeping track of day to day transactions such as sales, inventory, discounts, taxes and the like can get very detailed and if not recorded and made into some kind of sense, could cause a business to fail for lack of proper information.
In addition staying up to date on the value of assets, or that which is owned by a company, and liabilities, or that which is owed by a company is also very valuable information.
Nowadays the day to day transactions are usually captured by computer with point of sale devices in a retail operation and by invoices in various other businesses. The computer then compiles the data that is received into reports that tells the business owner how well the business is doing , is not doing, and from that information accurate business decisions can be made.
Taxes must be paid too, such as payroll taxes for employees which must be withheld from employee’s wages and sent to the government. Income taxes also have to be paid by the business on its taxable profits.
The overall health of a business entity is determined on a daily basis, and the job of the accountant is to keep track of all of the financial transactions so trends can be established. If the trends are good, they can be continued, but if they are bad, appropriate changes can be instituted. Without proper accounting procedures, a business could be in deep trouble and not even know it.
Proper accounting is really the measure of whether the business is operating in a healthy manner, or whether there are problems. A good accounting system, run by a competent accountant, can really nip a potential problem in the bud before it becomes a big problem.