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Public accounting is an accounting service field that provides accounting and tax advisory services - amongst other services - to a diverse client base. Clientele can range from large corporations, non-profit entities, governmental, to local firms and individuals. Public accounting firms can be either international (such as the Big 4), regional, or local.
Being employed in the public accounting field as a public accountant means providing clients with independent/outside services. Consulting, tax advice, financial audits, IT recommendations, are services offered by the public accountant (amongst a variety of others). Accountants working in the public accounting field who are not certified are known as public accountants.