Accounting – What does it involve?

From handling your financial reporting and auditing, to dealing with business recovery and insolvency cases; no matter your business size, every business needs someone who is capable of keeping an eye on the figures and making sure your tax liabilities remain at a minimum.

Yet – what is accountancy and what does it involve?

Types of Accountancy

There are two broad bases of accountancy that you need to be aware of if you are serious about exploring a career within this niche:

  1. Management Accountants – these guys are responsible for providing businesses with internal financial information that can assist them with management decisions. This support can range from analysing their budgets and financial forecasts, to helping businesses to ‘forward plan’ and meet their financial goals.
  2. Financial Accountants – these type of accountants supply financial information externally to stakeholders, investors and creditors. Their job is to summarise a company’s current position by providing reports on their profits and losses, their liquidity and solvency. NOTE: this type of accountancy is legally required (as it makes sure businesses remain in line with the law). As a result, this role can provide you with a wealth of experience and job opportunities within specialist fields, including the ones below:- Audit, Assurance and Advisory roles: here you would be expected to inspect/check a company’s financial reports for accuracy by performing an audit. Now this isn’t a one-off activity, but something that businesses have to undergo regularly, so if you were to add into the equation the fact that public bodies, charities, educational establishments etc. are all subject to this, then this role has the potential to provide you with a lot of work.

    NOTE: due to the nature of this role you will need to keep your knowledge of complex financial laws up-to-date. Similarly, if you pursue an advisory role, you will need to look at the financial implications of mergers, business expansion and investments.

    – Business Recovery and Insolvency Specialist: when a company’s debt outstrips their assets, an insolvent trading position is created. When this happens, the business enters into a receivership. At this point business recovery and insolvency specialists would get involved and would take over the running of the business – namely, they would start selling as much stock as possible in order to recoup money and pay as much of the company’s debts off as possible. Once sold, the business would be wound up and would no longer be able to trade.

    – Corporate Finance and Risk Management: within this role you would explore how to help businesses to financially plan for the future. This can range from investing in assets to managing financial risk. In either case, you would be the driving force behind these activities, making sure that the company stays in line with financial laws and legal tax boundaries.

    – Forensic Accounting: in this position you would look into cases of fraud, searching ‘below the surface’ for any traces of phoney accounts or transactions. In addition you would be expected to examine financial information in order to uncover who is involved in the crime.

    – Tax: as a tax specialist you would work within the UK tax laws to help minimise a business’s tax liabilities.

Whether you choose to explore a career as a management accountant or decide to venture into one of the numerous specialist fields that come with being a financial accountant; there is no disputing that building a career in this field would provide you with many job opportunities.

So if you have got a passion for numbers, and want to remain challenged in your career, then why not enrol onto an online accountancy course and discover what all of the fuss is about? It may be considered ‘grey’ to some, but for you it could be life changing.

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