Why Your Start-Up Business Needs A Reputable Accountant
Running a start-up business is an epic task. There are lots of things to oversee and manage, from the operations to logistics, down to the finances.
Concerning finances, a start-up business needs to have a stable cash flow to keep the small company afloat in the market. Many critical business decisions rely on the financial status of the company. The direction the start-up business will take, whether an expansion or mergers and acquisitions, will depend on the financial stability and sufficiency of the company.
Entrepreneurs cannot make wise decisions in a time of critical situation without accurate financial data courtesy of a certified accountant in Singapore. That is why it is important not just for big brands but also for start-up businesses to have the service of a reputable Chartered Accountant in Singapore.
The Primary Roles and Responsibilities of Accountants
What is an Accountant?
Accountants are professionals who manage finance-related tasks for individuals, organisations, businesses, and institutions. Accountants record, analyse and interpret the financial transactions and statements of their clients.
Financial transactions alone is a broad area, especially for larger companies. A few examples of accounting works are issuance and receiving invoices to record either sales and account receivable or assets and account payable.
Accountants also oversee the outflow of cash, such as employee salary and wage. Tax reports are also included in the scope of work of a certified accountant in Singapore.
Generally, the scope of duties of an accountant is broad. It is why finding a reputable Chartered Accountant in Singapore is very necessary if you want a smooth-sailing operation for your start-up business.
Types Of Accounting
Since accounting has a broad scope and focuses on multiple areas, it can be divided into three types: public accounting, government accounting, and management accounting.
Public accounting is a field where accountants provide services and expertise to individuals, non-profit organisations, government institutions, and corporations.
CPA authorised or Certified Public Accountant in Singaporeis the usual type of accountants who work in this field. CPA is an example of an accounting certification in Singapore.
Public accounting is composed of accounting firms and organisations that can act as third-party accounting support for corporations and businesses.
Public accountants provide a wide range of services, including bookkeeping, bank reconciliation, Accounts receivable and payable, tax accounting, and many more.
However, despite the wide range of service offerings and selections of this field, many public accounting firms choose to focus on one or a couple of services.
Government accounting is an accounting field that basically supports the needs of local and national governments. Unlike public accounting that can deal with either government and private parties, government accounting deals with the state’s financial transactions.
Government accountants record, analyse, examine, manage, and interpret financial transactions of a government entity.
On the flip side, government accountants and auditors can also visit the financial transactions private individuals and corporations have with the government. A few examples of these transactions are taxes, grant money, and contract services and partnerships.
An accountant working in the government accounting field can either be a Certified Public Accountant in Singaporeor Chartered Accountant in Singapore. Accountants who have achieved another accounting certification in Singaporeare also eligible for the job.
The key functions and responsibilities of government accountants are public administration, public financial management and budgeting, accounting and financial reporting, and auditing.
Management accounting is an accounting field that supports private groups, organisations, businesses, and corporations. Management accounting is more focused on keeping, analysing, examining, interpreting, and managing a business’s financial transactions.
The management accountant’s job is to provide the company managers with accurate financial reports and statements to help them make sound decisions for the business direction.
Businesses rely heavily on the financial reports of management accountants. Financial reports can be about profit projections, viable products and processes, operation costs, and potential profits. Basically, management accountants assess and evaluate the company’s opportunities, risks, and problems. It is why these financial reports and statements need to be comprehensive and accurate.
Larger companies and big brands locally and abroad usually hire accountants bearing an ACA qualification. ICAEW in Singapore provides theACA qualificationfor eligible accountants.
The primary tasks of a managerial accountant are product costing and valuation, cash flow analysis, inventory turnover analysis, constraint analysis and budgeting, trend analysis and forecasting.
Other Types of Accountant
Because of the broad scope of work and multiple areas of focus, accountants can choose a single or couple of expertise. The tasks of accountants vary, depending on their area of focus and expertise, ergo, branching out to different types.
Certified Public Accountant
Basically, a Certified Public Accountant in Singaporeis a passer of the Uniform CPA Examination. The Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Examination is an examination to assess the accountant’s knowledge and skills. Not all accountants are eligible for the CPA designation.
Several requirements need to be met to achieve a CPA licence. It includes a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or business administration. Experience in the field is also a requirement, and lastly, passing the Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Examination.
CPA licence bearers mainly work in public accounting while others venture into the government and management accounting field. A Certified Public Accountant in Singapore can focus on accounting, tax, audit, or financial tasks.
Similar to CPA,Chartered Accountant (CA) in Singapore is an accounting designation in many countries, except in the USA. The equivalent of Chartered Accountant (CA) in the USA is Certified Public Accountant (CPA). To be able to bear an ACA qualification, accountants have to pass 15 exam modules tackling the different areas of accountancy. Apart from acing the exams, accountants must also possess a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting or business administration, and accounting work experience.
The main difference between a Chartered Accountant in Singapore and a Certified Public Accountant is their area of focus and specialities. CAs are geared towards tax and auditing tasks.
On the other hand, CPAs are more focused on accounting, costing, marketing, planning, and production.
Having this accounting certification in Singapore, either CPA or CA is already a significant qualification for the accountant. The accountant doesn’t need to possess both designations unless the accountant plans to practice in the USA and other countries that recognise both CPA and CA.
Forensic accountants provide financial and accounting analyses that are eligible for legal use, such as litigation and court proceedings, hence the name. Forensic accountants typically deal with legal cases and disputes, including fraud, embezzlement, and other financial cases.
Forensic accountants can provide litigation support, including economic damages, settlements, and compensation and benefits.
They are also vital in dealing with the falsification of financial statements, employee theft, slush funds, hidden assets, and insurance fraud.
Forensic accountants apply both accounting and investigative skills when analysing, interpreting, and examining financial and business transactions. Institutions and organisations like banks, insurance companies, government agencies, and accounting firms hire forensic accountants.
Forensic accountants either possess ACA qualification or CPA designation.
Unlike other accounting tasks that deal with the monitoring of financial transactions of the business, investment accountants focus on overseeing and processing the company’s security investments, keeping tabs on the taxes, and recording loan reports. Investment accountants also manage and monitor trades and third-party investment activities.
Investment accountants also review financial statements to look for investment options and opportunities. They also prepare the budget for investment fees.
Investment accountants usually work in brokerage and asset management firms and sectors.
Apart from having superb mathematics skills, an investment accountant must have superior analytical skills and attention to small details.
Investment accountants must have a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or business administration. Having anaccounting certification in Singapore, either CPA or CA is a significant bearing.
Tax accountants primary job is to ensure that their client is adhering to the tax laws and other government regulations. They have the understanding and mastery of government rules and regulations.
Tax accountants are updated regarding tax changes. They can provide ways and strategies to minimise tax penalties and liabilities.
One of the expertise of a tax accountant is tax preparation. Tax accountants keep and collect documentation and invoices in preparing tax returns.
On the other hand, tax accountants also prepare tax plans that aim to cut income tax and deal with the tax ramifications of multinational companies.
Tax accountants should have a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or business administration. A master’s degree in the related industry is also beneficial. A CPA and Chartered Accountant in Singapore can focus on tax accounting.
Accountants fulfil different roles and critical responsibilities, no matter what field it is. The lack of an accounting team in your business may cause you some complications and worst legal troubles.
Signs That Your Business Needs An Accountant
There are positive and negative signs that you need an accountant. Watch out for the following signs:
You Are Starting A Business
It is essential to hire a chartered accountant in Singaporewhen you are starting a business.
First, reputable ensures that your business adheres to the tax laws and regulations, from business tax to property tax. They can also manage the legal compensation, benefits, and taxes of your employees.
Secondly, yourcertified accountant in Singapore can provide helpful and expert advice when it comes to your finances.
Lastly, their comprehensive financial reports will help you make sound decisions regarding the direction of your business. You can evaluate whether the operations of your business have to continue or stop.
Your Business Is Growing
Business growth means a lot of things– more money coming in and out of business, more employees to hire, more contracts to sign, and more business transactions.
A lone accountant can’t manage and audit all the financial transactions that occur in a rapidly growing business. Achartered accountant in Singapore helps keep tabs on these transactions, ensuring no stash of money unrecorded.
With the overflow of accounting and auditing work, hiring additional accountants help your accounting team to focus on other fields of accounting, such as tax, investments, forensics, and managerial.
You Are Eyeing Business Expansion
A start-up business needs to have a professional and comprehensive financial report to present to investors. A reputable accountant can manage and provide you with accurate financial reports and statements.
Investors are very keen on their potential candidates for merger and acquisition. They thoroughly review the financial stability and sustainability of the business. A certified accountant in Singapore can provide you with exemplary financial statements.
On the other hand, start-businesses that are planning to invest can rely on investment accountants. Investment accountants can help manage and monitor assets and provide alternative investment options for your start-up business.
You Are Being Audited
Audit tasks require a lot of paperwork. If your start-up business is being audited, it is better to ask for the help of a certified accountant in Singapore. Your accountant will help you in compiling and fulfilling the requirements for audit reports.
Many businesses become entangled with the falsification of financial statements due to human error in accounting and auditing. A reputable accountant provides comprehensive, accurate, and professional financial reports that meet the requirements of audit bodies.
Falsification of financial statements often leads to penalties and hefty fines, or worse, legal troubles.
You Are Facing Employee Theft
Many companies lose thousands and millions of dollars annually due to employee theft. There are many cases of embezzlement that occur in businesses.
One way to prevent these internal frauds and embezzlement is by hiring a reputable accountant and auditor who examines and analyses the ins and outs of cash flow in the company.
Comprehensive financial reports help identify errors and loopholes in the internal system and possibly hidden agenda that leeches funds from the company.
It is beneficial for larger companies to hire a forensic accountant to track and trace these internal fraud and embezzlement cases.
ICAEW provides only the best and reputable Chartered Accountants around the world. Giant businesses and multinational companies trust and recognise the skills, expertise, and ethics of ICAEW Chartered Accountants.
Stand out in the competitive accountancy, finance, and business industry with ICAEW. Be an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. Trust an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.