Exempt Vs. Non-Exempt Accounting Roles

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Whether in giant corporations or small businesses, accountants play a key role in looking after financial matters. They take care of the financial records, the payment of taxes and preparation of financial reports. According to the Fair Labor Standards Acts (FLSA), most jobs are not exempt from rules regarding overtime pay, and this includes most accounting jobs.

Accounting Jobs

  • Public accountants perform an array of accounting services, such as account management services for clients and bookkeeping and financial analysis for government agencies, individuals, nonprofit organizations, private businesses and public firms. Some public accountants, being certified public accountants (CPA), specialize in external auditing. Management Accountants record and analyze the financial data of a business or agency. Many CPAs can also become the CFOs (chief financial officer) of private businesses. Government accountants perform accounting duties for government agencies or private businesses under government regulations. They can also work for the IRS, assisting in the budgeting and management of government assets. Internal auditors check a company’s financial operations for any mismanagement.

Exempt Accounting Jobs

  • One of the requirements that determine whether an accountant is considered exempt or non-exempt is whether he has state certification and licensure. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, accountants like those offering services related to law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, optometry, architecture, engineering, teaching or engaged in a learned or artistic profession, must be duly certified and licensed by the state to practice. For this reason, they are exempt. They are not entitled to be paid overtime if they work for more than eight hours in a day.

Non-exempt Accounting Jobs

  • Accounting jobs are usually exempt due to the fact that accountant jobs usually have all of the characteristics of an exempt job. However, accounting jobs may also be non-exempt depending on the circumstances and the company's policy. For example, Arlington Classics Academy hires accountant clerks who have a wage status of non-exempt. Accounting jobs that involve a contract and a relationship of employer-employee are non-exempt. An individual who works for a specific company as an accountant, who has specific hours of work every week and who receives the same rate per hour he works has non-exempt status.

Exempt vs. Non–exempt Jobs

  • Exempt and non-exempt jobs both have their advantages and disadvantages. Some employees prefer non-exempt jobs for the extra take-home pay when overtime is required. Others prefer exempt jobs so they can work without pressure. For the most part, accountants work in exempt positions. Aspiring accountants must keep this in consideration as they choose their career paths.

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