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How to Choose the Best Accountant for New and Established Businesses
Accounting

How to Choose the Best Accountant for New and Established Businesses

When starting a business, you need your accountant to offer certain services, such as business...

Top 6 Must-Do Tasks to Review Your Business Performance Before EOFY
Accounting

Top 6 Must-Do Tasks to Review Your Business Performance Before EOFY

As the end of the financial year comes up, there are some tasks you must undertake. The first two:...

How to DIY with Cloud Accounting Systems
Accounting

How to DIY with Cloud Accounting Systems

Every business, regardless of their state of progress and size should keep accounting...

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Accounting

5 tips to help get your bookkeeping right from day one

For entrepreneurs, coming up with an idea and starting a new business can happen with a blink of...

Depreciation Fundamentals
Accounting

Depreciation Fundamentals

Depreciation is a concept that is often not fully understood by many business owners. Let’s start...

How to set up kpi's that suit your business best
Accounting

How to set up kpi's that suit your business best

The most effective way to find this direction is through KPIs or key performance indicators. You...

What makes a great accountant?
Accounting

What makes a great accountant?

Good accountants are not just about how well they are at crunching numbers. A great accountant...

What I learnt from spending 3 days with accountants
Accounting

What I learnt from spending 3 days with accountants

If you only do it once, don’t do it at all. How systems can transform your business. Recently I...

Are You Getting The Most Out of Your Cloud Accounting Software?
Accounting

Are You Getting The Most Out of Your Cloud Accounting Software?

Gone are the days that your accounting software is just a means to an end for sending invoices,...

Online Cloud Account Software Options for Small Businesses
Accounting

Online Cloud Account Software Options for Small Businesses

What is Online or Cloud Accounting? If you are an Australian small business owner, you no longer...

Accounting

Accounting is a broad field which is essential to the proper financial management of a business. It includes the recording of financial transactions and the sorting, retrieving, summarising, analysing and presentation of this information in ways which are useful to businesses. Accountants are trained to do these tasks effectively and precisely so that their clients can rely on their advice and so their records meet the regulatory requirements stipulated by the ATO and other government bodies.

What does an accountant actually do?

Accountants prepare and examine financial records. This may sound simple, but it covers a huge amount of complicated processes which must be executed precisely to ensure that the records are correct and useful. In addition to keeping accurate records, accountants also help to ensure the correct taxes are paid and the returns are lodged on time. Most accountants also assist their clients in minimising their tax exposure through legitimate exemptions and rebates.

On a day-to-day basis, accountants:

  • Organising and maintaining their clients’ financial records
  • Improving their clients financial practices to increase efficiency
  • Assist in creating business strategies to increase revenue and reduce expenses
  • Provide recommendations to management on best practice
  • Provide auditing services and support during a government audit
  • Examine financial statements and ensure that they are accurate and properly maintained
  • Ensure clients comply with laws and regulations in their statements, their reporting and their records
  • Assess what taxes their clients owe and assist them in preparing returns and paying on time
  • Keep accounting systems up to date

What are the different types of accountant?

Within the accounting field there are a number of roles which interact with businesses in different ways. These include:

  • Public accountants: these are the most widely known and used, and their clients typically include companies and individuals. They provide a broad range of general accounting services, including auditing, tax and financial consulting.
  • Management accountants: these accountants specialise in collecting and analysing financial information for internal use by the management of their clients’ businesses.
  • Government accountants: these accountants work for government agencies and provide them with general accounting services, but they also review private businesses and individuals when they are subject to a government audit to ensure they are complying to regulation.
  • Internal auditors: these specialists are part of an organisation’s risk management team, and they identify ways to find and eliminate waste and fraud.

What are Chartered Accountants (CA) and Certified Practice Accountants (CPA)?

All accountants must complete a bachelor’s degree in order to practice, but there are further studies available for professionals who want to refine and improve their skills and perform higher level duties. These studies lead accountants to either become Chartered Accountants or Certified Practice Accountants.

Chartered Accountants complete a course which focuses on technical processes, such as auditing and tax, which equips them to handle more complex accounting functions. Chartered Accountants have to complete difficult examinations to prove their knowledge, and their additional insight and knowledge is incredibly valuable to businesses looking to maximise the benefits of their accounting practices.

Certified Practice Accountants complete a broader course of study which focuses on a more varied base of accounting skills, such as planning, costing, marketing and more. This assists them in being more creative in their application of accounting principles and allows them to become truly collaborative partners with their clients and employers. These professionals take a bigger picture view, but have less specialised technical knowledge.