Accountants may have different specializations, but they can be classified as working in only two areas: the public sector and the private sector. The former is where accountants will take their talents and expertise in working in a government agency and the latter is where they will take their knowledge and use it on private, for-profit organizations.

Outsourced Accounting Services in Malaysia typically provide accountants that can work in either setting so you will not go wrong.

In today’s article, I will delve deeper into these two areas so that you will know exactly how they operate given their individual setting.

Job Descriptions

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, private accountants are usually referred to as either management, private, corporate, and cost accountants. They help maintain tax and financial records for private entities and are responsible for different processes, including performance evaluation, cost and asset management, budgeting, and so much more.

Public accountants, on the other hand, may perform all of the things that private accountants do, albeit they do it for non-profit organizations, as well as government agencies and even public companies.

There is some that focus on specific areas such as tax matters, and others would provide oversight and consultation services on certain issues within the organization such as safeguarding the agency’s assets or focusing more on the salary and benefits of the employees.

Public accountants may either work in accounting firms and there are also some that work privately as a solo entity.

Education and Certification

It is important that any accountant in the field have proper formal education before they can get hired in accounting firms and companies. Aside from that, there are also organizations that would require possible accountants to either have a master’s degree in accounting or an MBA that focuses on accounting principles.

All of the accountants that will create and file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission are required to have a Certified Public Accountant credential– something that is given by the state’s board of accountancy.

To get this certification, the accountant must pass an exam and would be required to present other qualifications depending on the state they’re working in.

Certified Management Accountant credentials that are issued by the Institute of Management Accountants would also be required of private accountants by certain employers as well.


Public accountants may engage in further study and may specialize in certain areas related to accounting. For instance, forensic accountants could help with the investigation of white-collar crimes such as money laundering and embezzlement. This usually happens when they work side by side with law enforcement agencies.

Some accountants may also work as external auditors. They can audit the company’s financial statements and will report their unbiased and objective findings to possible investors.

Job Outlook

The BLS forecasts that the employment rate for all accountants will skyrocket in the near future. That is because of the promise of high pay and benefits, as well as better career advancement than other fields of expertise.