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What services does an Accountant provide?

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Alex, Staff Writer

Friday, 18th June 2021

Making sure the numbers add up is an integral part of running a business. As well as reporting your turnover to the government and paying any applicable tax, there are many other complex operations that need to take place, to ensure that your finances are ticking over nicely.

When it comes to all things profit, loss, payroll, tax, forecasting and the like, an accountant is who you need on speed dial. But have you ever looked at the full services that may be available to you, which could supercharge your business efforts? Here is an overview of what services an accountant provides to tell you more. 

Accounting

Accounting is the umbrella term for services relating to your financial accounts and records. Most people primarily use accountants for tracking their business expenses, ensuring their business is profitable and so that they pay the correct amount of tax.

The reason why someone would use an accountant over completing their accounts themselves is that the entire process can be very complicated. After all, with numbers - there isn’t any room for error. Plus with all the laws and regulations in place, having an expert to guide you can offer peace of mind, in addition to guiding your business through any difficult financial periods. 

There are many services such as cash flow forecasting that an accountant can use to help you build a more accurate picture of your business. Rather than only visiting your accountants once a year for your tax return, it’s always worth making full use of any other help they can provide. 

Auditing

Audit accounting is a specialism that digs deep into the financial records of a company. The company may be a public one that is having to justify its spending, especially if related to an inquiry. 

Auditing actually originated in Medieval times when royalty and noble merchants would look to root out thieves. These days, audit accounting is still used for criminal investigations, or in cases where companies or those who work within them have been suspected of being dishonest. The results of the audit are usually made public unless the purpose of the audit is related to business efficiency rather than a possible investigation. 

Auditing can also be used to identify any possible cost-saving measures for businesses of all types and sizes. This makes it a very broad service overall, with transparency or problem solving the main objectives for why an audit would need to take place. 

Management consulting

If you’re looking to start a new business or improve the health of your current one, then you’re going to need someone in the know to help you. 

Accountants provide a wide range of management consulting services, aimed at promoting business growth, identifying new opportunities, keeping up with the latest regulations and helping your business to operate more efficiently. 

What you’ll get from such a service is honesty as well as a viable plan to get your business to where it needs to be. So, if something isn’t adding up such as an expense your business cannot afford, your accountant is going to point this out. They’ll give you a clear overview of everything that’s needed to turn the situation around before it has a chance to sink your business. 

Tax filing and planning

Nobody likes paying tax, but it’s something none of us can avoid unless exempt. If you’re employed, then your taxes will normally come out of your wages. But if you’re also self-employed or run a business, then you’ll be responsible for reporting and paying your own taxes.

Arguably, tax is one of the most complicated areas of accounting seeing as there are various thresholds and regulations, meaning no two people pay the same amount of tax, even from year to year. That’s why you need a trusted accountant on your side because they’ll break everything down in a way that’s fair and accurate, taking all of that stress off your shoulders in the process. 

Tax planning also plays a huge part in making sure everything runs smoothly when it comes to paying your tax. Rather than be faced with a large tax bill you are unable to pay, your accountant can help you prepare for it well in advance, in a way that’s far more manageable than a last-minute panic. 

Additional speciality services

Depending on the specialisms offered at your accountant's, they may also offer services such as business valuations, risk assessments, public accounting as well as forensic accounting. All of which aren’t everyday services, but when called upon can be incredibly important especially if related to a legal matter, or if you are looking to sell your business. 

On that note, a common question is ‘do accountants provide financial advice?’. While accountants will advise you on the finances of your business, including any measures you need to take to promote its health or growth, they cannot tell you how to personally spend or invest your money. This is something that a financial advisor or investment broker can help with instead.  

Accountants Near Me

Are you in search of an accountant to help you crunch those numbers? Whether you’re venturing into the unknown by starting a new business, or if you need help understanding how much tax you owe, then you can find local accountants near you on Bark.

For all matters relating to tax and finance, it’s always better to ask the experts! Simply head over to our Accountants page. Let us know where you are based and what you need an accountant for. We’ll find you the best matches, so you can find the right professional for your needs.

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