- Published: Monday, 27 February 2017 21:40
It can be a bit confusing for an average person to know what exactly accountants do. There are known financial tasks that the professionals do for a business but these many not be apparent for persons without a degree. Most individuals consider accounting to be a boring profession.
However, the fact is that accounting is a more vibrant career than what many people think. For any successful business, accountants play a key role. Like it is the case with good managers and top level managements, they ensure the smooth running of any organization. To be precise, it is the role of the accounting department to keep the finances of a company in order.
This involves maintaining the financial records, managing salaries and conducting audits to prevent embezzlement of funds. Careful accounting ensures that bills are paid in time, cash received is recorded and the profits of a company are shared with stockholders. In simple terms, accounting involves keeping financial records. Most people engage in accounting without knowledge. The most common form of accounting involves balancing a checkbook.
Any incoming money id added to the bank account while outgoing monies such as bill payments are deducted. After balancing your checkbook, you do not only keep what is earned and spent but you also become aware of the money remaining in your account. This helps you to decide on your future investment decisions. However, accounting for a company involves more than recording cash flows. It measures whether a company is making a profit, the cost of running the company and the value of the company at any given time.
This information can be used by the management of the company to know whether the company is making the right financial choices. Financial records such as the company balance sheet can help outside entities such as the government, potential investors, financial institutions and others to see how the company is doing. On top of reporting on the basic performance of a company, many accountants also offer specialized services. They work exclusively on taxes by offering their services as certified public accountants (CPAs).
They can also work within government agencies to investigate issues such as fraud, embezzlement and financial mismanagement. The professionals can help individuals or companies trace mismanaged or lost funds. As long as people are dealing in currency, there will always be a need for accountants. They record, report and track financial transactions and therefore, literally ensure bills are paid. This makes it possible for businesses of all sizes to make smart financial decisions.Write comment (0 Comments)
During your selection process, when you find a good accountant they’re often worth sticking with. You get to know them and they understand your business so each year you can both build on existing knowledge and relationship rather than having to start again.
But if you need to first find such an accountant, whether you’ve never had to instruct one before or it’s time for a change to who you usually use for whatever reason, then it’s important to make sure you make an informed decision about who this is rather than just the easiest option. We’ve therefore come up with 8 basic ‘checks’ to go through in your selection process to help decide who will be the best accountant for you:
An obvious one I know, but it’s the total cost you need to consider after all the little extras and unknowns. So check out if there are any additional costs or expenses due, and if they charge VAT which will be an extra 20% cost for you unless you’re VAT registered to recover this back.
You may also need to check the timing of their invoices whether all at once at the end or in phases, and how quickly they will need paying. You could even look at some form of ‘bonus’ or the final payment being dependent upon their performance, although be careful this does not come across as too picky.
Make sure you know how they are regulated, and then check it out with the regulatory body. Even if a firm of accountants are regulated by such and such a body, then still check whether the individual accountant dealing with your matter within the firm is suitably qualified as well.
Ask for some references and then check them out. Make sure these are real-life ones in a similar position to yourself, and not just general testimony-ones within marketing blurb.
Clarify how they are insured as a firm so that if there were any mistakes that caused you a loss then this insurance could cover this.
Always check the small print before you sign. Ideally get someone qualified like a solicitor to check, particularly for larger and longer term instructions, and make sure you actually understand the gist of what they’re trying to say.
The range of sizees of an accountancy firm can be vast, right from an individual accountant sole-trader to a large international firm. There are pros and cons to each type in terms of the level of service, attention given to clients, and back-up resources received, so make sure it’s clear what these are.
Check out how many branches they have and where they are. They may be regional but have numerous branches in local towns, or only a few on a national scale and a regional one happens to be in your town.
Also, check how long these have actually been integrated into the firm as often there are take overs with other firms to bolt-on numbers and appear bigger than they actually are.
Makes sure you understand what other services the firm do. Even though these may not be needed by you now, you may do in the future in which case it's worth knowing that these are available if needs be.
However, don’t assume the same firm will automatically provide say bespoke tax advice if they have just been doing your book keeping, still shop around and ask the firm for a definite quote.Write comment (0 Comments)