Accounting looks like a reasonably straightforward career path- It’s all about number crunching. While it may be true that working with financial information is a vital part of such a job, accounting is an essential business function. It requires much more problem-solving skills than one might think. So, what are the responsibilities and roles of an accountant in modern-day business? Before we answer this question, let us look at what an accountant is in the first place.
Accountants are business professionals that keep and interpret financial records when talking in layman’s terms. However, their responsibilities stretch further than only keeping and recording financial data. Accounting is a broad field and encompasses various titles and roles within different businesses. The three main types are public accountants, government accountants, and management accountants- each of which has varying roles and responsibilities. Today, in this article, we will share the roles and responsibilities of an accountant with you and how they help businesses improve their overall financial situation. You can find some of these roles listed down below.
They Maintain Books of Accounts
An accountant has the responsibility to systematically maintain records of a business’s financial transactions to calculate its loss or net profit. It also tells him/her the business’s financial situation on a specific date and time.
The proper maintenance of books and accounts is necessary to comply with the government’s financial laws and regulations. And it is the job of an accountant to ensure nothing is out of place that might end up hurting their clients’ financial reputation and situation.
They Conduct Internal Audits
There are various companies out there that the government requires to conduct an internal audit of their finances. Such a thing ensures that all their financial transactions remain classified and summarized according to accounting policies enforced by themselves. One of the many accounting jobs includes the job of an internal auditor.
They conduct internal audits of modern-day businesses to ensure they follow their own financial and accounting policies to the absolute Tee. If they follow it, it’s all well and good; if they don’t, the management will know about the discrepancies through the auditor’s final report. They can then use this report to make changes in their financial transactions to avoid penalties.
They Help with Budgeting
Budgeting is all about planning various financial activities such as transactions, investment opportunities, profit, and loss predictions, break-even analysis, and much more. Anything that relates to the expenditure of money is present inside a company’s budget.
Accountants help companies by providing them reports and analysis on how they should spend their budget. They also help them out by providing them with advice and plans on balancing their expenses and incomes. Such a thing allows businesses to make better, more informed financial decisions and avoid going bankrupt in the future.
They Help out Companies with Their Taxes
Another role of an accountant is to know about a business’s tax liabilities. A tax accountant files a company’s tax returns, represent them in front of tax authorities, and help them settle tax liabilities under the given tax laws.
They also provide companies with tax planning advice, employee taxes, income taxes, and much more. They also help a company with its tax compliance to ensure that they aren’t subject to legal action, fines, or lawsuits. Being a tax accountant is a very complicated job.
So if you think these tax issues and accounting field are not for you, in that case, you should choose general studies. You can search online if you want to know what is general studies. In general studies, you can explore a wide array of academic subjects.
They Conduct Financial Investigations
Accountants sometimes also conduct financial investigations to find out the financial position of a company. They accomplish this through hiring external professionals, such as more accountants, or do it by themselves.
However, they usually avoid hiring a company’s internal staff and prefer external investigators. They do this because the external investigators are independent and unbiased, which helps with the final reports’ accuracy and confidentiality.
They Also Conduct External Audits
Usually, it is the job of a chartered accountant to audit the books of LCs(limited companies), firms, and many more per the law. A CA ensures that such companies prepare their financial statements according to ethically and generally accepted accounting practices, standards, principles, and legal considerations. It is known as an external audit.
They also ensure that the created financial statement does not have any errors and mistakes and accurately shows its financial position. Suppose the company deliberately leaves out information about a financial transaction. In that case, the CA must report it to the authorities to face legal action.
They Provide Advisory Services to Company Management
Some other responsibilities include providing sound financial advice and reporting internal controls to a company’s management department. An accountant can sometimes offer advice and help out the management with its MIS(management information system), evaluation of appraisal techniques, and expenditure control.
Nowadays, the accounting world is a broad one. Anyone can dive into the various job opportunities it presents with the right educational background. According to the BLS, auditors and accountants’ employment will have a growth rate of about 10 percent from 2016 to 2026. If the next step in your career pathway is to become an accountant, look at the responsibilities mentioned in this article to know what to do to prepare yourself for an accountant’s role.