Accountants work in both private and governmental sectors and perform both micro accounting and macro accounting tasks. What was once a profession disparaged by society, accounting is fast becoming a respected and profitable career. This is especially true of those people who work for governmental agencies to help determine the statistics released in State of The Union speeches and in national economic profiles.
This type of accounting considers the total economic picture of a nation or geographical area. It is also called national accounting. Its components are states and local agencies, public corporations, financial institutions like banks and even households and individuals.
National accounting uses data obtained from local, state and national sources. These sources utilize many different styles and methods of accounting and generate reports that can be consolidated and analyzed to produce a macroeconomic profile. Terms found in this type of accounting are “national gross product,” “gross domestic product,” “national debt” and “external debt,” among others. Macro accountants use the information from the smaller component sectors to generate an economic profile that pictures the economic health of a nation or even the world. This conglomerate report is released periodically, typically quarterly or monthly.
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Of course, a major goal of national accounting is the generation of these reports. They impart an understanding of the economy and its direction. Beyond that, however, accountants involved in macroeconomics are taxed with problem-solving to achieve positive results on a large scale. Many things affect the economy, and the economy moves many cultural markers. Macro accountants look at national economic stabilization, equality in distributing wealth and products among states or countries, national education and its effects on jobs and even the availability of healthcare on a broad scale. To do this, they consider economic reports from each component, whether that is a company, a population, a state or a country. They consolidate the reports and analyze the resulting data so that economists can devise solutions to the problems pictured in the reports.
This type of “consolidation” accounting can paint an economic picture of a business sector like the automobile industry or a population, such as Native Americans. In the latter case, it would consider things like per capita incomes and household debt of many tribal entities to gauge the economic health of the native population at large. More often, however, the term refers to national and global economies. The challenges associated with that perspective are many. In general, according to a New York Times article, a country’s economic policies and problems have solutions found in basic accounting problem-solving. The solutions are often clouded by national or global politics. Economic woes in one nation often affect the investments of another. Simple adjustments are made difficult or impossible by strained relations between nations.
Micro accounting is concerned with the “small picture.” It uses different accounting tools to create the reports that reveal the economic profile of the company or organization that employs it. Macro accounting is the result that comes from combining all these individual ingredients into one palatable dish.