An accountant is a professional who performs accounting functions such as audits or financial statement analysis. This is also known as account analysis. Accountants can either be employed with accouning firms or services or a large company with an internal accounting department, or they can set up an individual practice. National professional associations give accountants certifications after meeting state-specific requirements, although non-qualified persons can still work under other accountants or independently.
The income statement, one of the four principal financial information, is a bit different for manufacturing and service companies. Generally accepted accounting principles give specific guidelines on the recording of transactions and the presentation of financial statements.