An accountant performs financial functions related to the collection, accuracy, recording, analysis and presentation of a business, organization or company’s financial operations.
In a smaller business, an accountant’s role may consist of primarily financial data collection, entry and report generation. Middle to larger sized companies may utilize an accountant as an adviser and financial interpreter, who may present the company’s financial data to people within and outside of the business. Generally, the accountant can also deal with third parties, such as vendors, customers and financial institutions.
- An accountant can be anything from a simple bookkeeper to a strategic adviser, interpreting financial information for senior decisions makers in the business.
Financial Data Management
The accounting structure of a company is an essential component to business operations. One of the primary roles of an accountant usually involves the collection and maintenance of financial data, as it relates to a company or firm. The accountant ensures that financial records are maintained in compliance with lawful and accepted procedures and policies on the corporate level. The financial information for any organization should be kept in a pristine system because it is a key component used in operating and managing any business.
Managing the financial data of an organization can also include more sophisticated duties, such as developing, implementing and maintaining financial data bases, as well as establishing and monitoring control procedures.
Analysis And Advice
As analysts, accountants may perform certain types of analysis using financial data that is used to assist in making business decisions. From deciding which kinds of supplies to order, payment of bills to payroll, the accountant handles many intricate financial details on a daily basis. Advising on business operations can include issues, such as revenue and expenditure trends, financial commitments and future revenue expectations.
The accountant also analyses financial data to resolve certain discrepancies and irregularities that may arise. Recommendations may also involve developing efficient resources and procedures, while providing strategic recommendations for specific financial problems or situations.
Financial Report Preparation
Accountants typically prepare financial statements that may include monthly and annual accounts based upon the financial information that is compiled and analysed. The preparation of financial management reports can include accurate quarterly and year-end closing documents. Reports compiled may be used in connection with the continual support and management of budgetary forecast activities.
The financial reports may be used by a financial director or officer for the development, implementation and operation of a company’s financial software and systems.
Regulatory and Reporting Compliance
An accountant may also be responsible for ensuring that all financial reporting deadlines are met, internally and externally. For example, quarterly, semi-annual and annual reports all have specific deadlines, as well as some tax implications. Monitoring and supporting taxation issues and filings can also be a responsibility of an accountant. The accountant also usually coordinates the audit process by assisting with financial data preparation.
External Business Affiliations
Often, accountants must work with financial professionals from the four major fields of the industry: public, management, internal auditing and government accounting. Accountants may provide data to a public accountant, who acts as a consultant, auditor and tax service professional.
Corporations, non-profits, organizations and governments use management accountants to record and analyse financial information of the businesses in which they are employed. They usually advise company executives, creditors, stockholders, regulatory agencies and tax personnel. Accountants may also work with government officials who are examining and maintaining the financial records of the private business for whom an accountant is employed, in connection with taxation and government regulations.