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The differences between working in public accounting versus working in private accounting - Essay Example

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The differences between working in public accounting versus working in private accounting

One of the perspectives to understanding the difference between working, as an accountant, in private sector and working in the public sector is the scope of work with respect to the environment. The different stakeholders in the two sectors, the extent of need and involved scope of meeting the stakeholders’ interest form an aspect of the sectors’ distinction. Major stakeholders to the public sector accounting are the public, political personalities, and investors in government initiatives. Apart from the investors, the other stakeholders are politically motivated and may influence operations on political lines as opposed to professional perspectives. This is contrary to stakeholders in private sector accounting whose interest in the accounting process and personnel is majorly economical. Working in public sector accounting is therefore likely to present dilemmas between meeting political interest and ensuring adherence to accounting standards as opposed to working in private sector in which professional standards are the only forces (Wynne 3). The scope of operation in the public sector accounting is also more diverse than the scope of work in the private sector. ...
Organizational structure is another basis for the difference between public sector accounting and private sector accounting as the public sector is more bureaucratic, involving more formalities than the scope of accounting in the private sector. A public sector accountant is therefore, in most cases, reduced to an operational

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instrument for implementing instructions and formalities as opposed to creative personnel (Conceptual Framework Task Force 12). Accounting role in the public sector is also more diversified and therefore more demanding than the private sector’s scope. This also emanates from the wide scope of public sector accountancy and involves such roles as provision of accounting services, distribution of resources to the entity’s branches and establishment of accounting based policies to the entity’s operations. Accounting scope in the private sector however focuses on service delivery with the remaining roles left for managers and other departments within organizations (Conceptual Framework Task Force 9). Applied accounting concepts in the two sectors are another basis for the sectors’ difference. In private sector accounting, especially for the profit making enterprises, accounting for cash flow is done on an accrual basis while accounting in the public sector is done on a budgetary approach. The accrual concept recognizes values when transactions occur and does not regard cash flow. This is contrary to the accounting approach in the public sector where economic value is recognized with realized cash flow and not transactions (Bernard n.p). The forms of documents that accountants deal with and applicability of accounting concepts in the two sectors are other important bases for differentiating the professional of the two
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The difference between working in public accounting versus working in private accounting Private sector accounting and public sector accounting are the major accounting branches within which a person may chose to work. Non-profit making organizations form another branch of accounting with distinct working environment and rules…
The differences between working in public accounting versus working in private accounting
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