Whether you run a small- to medium-sized business or a large corporate enterprise, your organisation can benefit significantly from accounting services to help navigate the complex local finance and compliance framework. Accounting is considered a critical business function-accurate and timely accounting and bookkeeping are of paramount importance to the ongoing performance of your organisation.
It is for this reason that a lot of businesses outsource accounting services. Accounting professionals provide businesses with value-added solutions including tax, assurance, financial, and valuation services.
In this article, we cover the benefits, scope, and responsibilities of an accountant and how to look for accounting services that offer a broad spectrum of accounting, financial, and consulting solutions across a number of industries.
If you are looking for accounting reliable services that give business owners and managers the insight needed to prosper, have a look at our best accounting companies and see what they’ve got to offer.
Accounting is an essential part of running any business. Fundamentally, it is the recording of the company’s expenses and income. With accurate accounting records, a business owner has a comprehensive view of the company’s financial status and is therefore better equipped to make informed decisions.
While having a dedicated accounting services department is necessary for large companies, it is not often the case with small- and medium-sized enterprises. In such scenarios, owners may opt to do the accounting themselves, which often distracts them from doing core business functions. Alternatively, they can hire a licensed accountant in-house, but this is an added cost for a lot of small businesses.
The solution: outsourced accounting services – a convenient and cost-effective way to meet your accounting needs regardless of the type and size of your business. End-to-end accounting services generally cover the following financial needs: assessment and setup of business model, statutory compliance review, tax treatment advisory, defining company processes and protocols, management of accounts or revenue or expense transactions, accounting books integrity, accurate financial data generation, closing of accounts, bank reconciliations, and financial reports.
The business world is a competitive environment where having long-term plans is crucial. However, a good business plan is not just about having a good vision for the company – it must be informed with a deep understanding of the financial market and technical know-how in critical areas such as sales, marketing, management, and taxation.
These are important in determining the risks and growth opportunities available to your business. Accounting, therefore, is not just simply recording and computing expenses.
By outsourcing your accounting process needs, owners no longer have to worry about all the intricate and complex processes involved in handling the business's financial matters. They have time to focus on business growth, supervise the operations, or develop new products or services.
Below are the advantages of hiring management accountants:
Some business owners delegate the accounting tasks to staff to save money, but this means additional training and workload for employees. This increases their chances of making errors. Having a dedicated team ensures that you get timely and accurate financial information. In addition, having an account manager and advisor ensure that management processes are of the accounting practices are efficient.
Because accounting firms are not internal parties, they provide unbiased service. They have no personal interest in tweaking or doctoring reports: they will notify you immediately once they spot an issue. Trust between you and the account manager must be there for the relationship to be beneficial. With a third-party firm, your accounting is free from bias and will always reflect the truth regarding money spent.
The scope of accounting services cover the following: accounting (selection of accounting methods, sales and payroll, bookkeeping, financial statement preparation, general ledger review, budgeting, employee benefits consultation, and business startup consultation), assurance (audit assistance, forecasts and predictions due diligence or agreed-upon procedures), financial (forecasting and budgeting, financial assessment reports, and business management), tax (tax planning and compliance and tax return preparation), and valuation (transfer or sales of business and buy or sell agreements).
When it comes to financial obligations, timeliness is crucial. The certified accounts team provides financial reports quickly because they have expert accountants and bookkeepers who continuously train to improve their skills, have a lot of experience working with different clients, and have encountered various issues that help resolve yours. They also have access to top-notch hardware and software. This saves time in resolving issues relating to hardware and software upgrades, such as accounting software patches and version updates.
There is a risk of error in manual data entry and accurate financial records. Only a third party will be able to spot inconsistencies without personal interest. An accountant provides a full-range bookkeeping services, deep financial analyses, maximisation of business tax deductions, and up-to-date accurate books.
Another important aspect of hiring an accounting professional services provider is that they have access to the latest automation software. If this is done in-house, you could spend a lot of money installing, maintaining, and upgrading it. Automation makes it possible to have regular and timely financial statements to base your business decisions on.
Management accounting involves the recording and analysing of financial data, two different but related processes. If there is an error in the recorded data, the analyses will also have issues or inaccuracies. Having a dedicated and certified management accountant addresses this issue with business transactions records.
Management accounting is divided into four areas: planning, decision making, monitoring and control, and accountability.
Planning is the preparation of the company’s funds and making an expenses forecast. The figures need to be based on current market prices. An outsourced accounting firm helps, as they have updated prices and other resources necessary to create a sound forecast.
The master and operational budgets are set first. After that, other financial plans are derived from them. How the resources are allocated will set the foundation for how the company will deal with issues in the future. Therefore, forecasting is essential, as this is how the accounting services team determines your company's expected performance and financial position within a timeframe. Additionally, they will also provide the financial targets or milestones.
Decision-making uses financial information to create strategies and actions that will benefit the company. The outsourced accounting service provider assists in profit analysis, investment appraisal, product profitability, and other financial business functions.
Using the budget and cost estimates are primary factors, they set accounting standards by which the performance of the business are measured. The results will help determine how best to manage the company’s finances in the future.
The business activities must be consistent with its goals and targets. The accountants maintain updated records of company expenditure, monitor accounts receivable, and issue timely reports. The results are measured, evaluated, and corrected through feedback. Actions are taken to ensure that the company stays on track with its plan.
Financial statements should follow the generally accepted accounting principles. All financial transactions must be carefully and expertly handled to ensure integrity and accuracy. The accounting firm that handles the financial statements is liable for negligence if there are inconsistencies.
Many first-time entrepreneurs tend to forget that it is not just the company's financial performance that is the focus of accounting, but also auditing and taxes. Businesses are required by the law to maintain precise records and books and tax filing.
The public accounting areas to focus on include bookkeeping, account management, and financial analysis.
Bookkeeping is not just about keeping accurate financial records; it is also vital in organising business expenses and incomes for review. Without a roadmap based on the budget, the business will have a hard time anticipating costs in the future. Bookkeeping is also essential for tax preparation because tax accounting follows the rules in generating tax assets and liabilities.
With the correct financial data, business analysis is easier, and completing monthly management reports for investors is hassle-free.
Account management is all about retaining and growing the customer base. In most companies, the task is delegated to account managers. A business influences the buying decisions of the customers by setting performance targets and metrics for the customer base. Businesses can monitor closely the key areas of account management, such as account planning, growth targets, creation of important contacts, segmentation of accounts, reporting process, reviewing process, contract management, and improvement of customer relationship management.
Financial analysis is done by finding out what the investment value of a business is. The figures generated must be derived from the accounts, which creates a picture of how well or how bad the company has performed within a timeframe.
The accountant ensures that the following data are accurate: the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flows. The income statement shows the company’s profit and its payable taxes; the balance sheets show its assets and liabilities, ability to pay, and ratio for solvency; and the cash flow shows its money allocation practices and liquidity.
Reviewing the company’s financial management and practices is essential in business. Failure to do this could result in the company unknowingly spending more than its earnings.
Given such an important role, there are expectedly many challenges for business owners or when matching the staff’s skills based on the company’s needs. It is also crucial that an internal auditor uses current technology to perform at their best. Hiring additional staff also means the company needs to buy hardware and software for bookkeeping and accounting.
Most importantly, there is the issue of trust. An auditor must be trustworthy and credible because they are handling sensitive information. It is also expected for an auditor to act as a trusted advisor who will offer insight and foresight to the company.
These challenges are minimised with accounting services in Singapore because they are expected to deliver quality service without partiality. An auditor objectively spots problems in critical areas because the scope of their responsibilities cover specific areas, and their tasks are not hindered by their loyalty to the client company. The organisational culture does not affect the accounting services team, therefore they will not water down issues by distorting data or concealing facts. Clients can expect accurate and unbiased financial reporting.
Anyone who has tried to file a tax return by themselves knows that tax filing is a hassle if you’re inexperienced in gathering the correct requirements or are not updated in changes in the tax laws.
Tax accounting, an essential component of accounting, is about making sure that the company expenditure and revenue observe the tax law of Singapore. It involves recording, analysing, interpreting, classifying, summarising, and communicating financial information (comprehensive income, deductions, gains, and losses).
If you are an individual filing your taxes, you only have to submit certain information. For any business entity, however, there is a need to highlight and justify how your funds are spent within a financial year and which expenses are taxable or not. Keeping track of the company’s finances is at the core of accounting services. This task involves calculating corporate taxable income, industry-specific tax incentives, tax policies on foreign-sourced income for multiple currencies, and Goods and Services Tax.
Small businesses might not have the time and resources for such an undertaking. It is challenging to stay updated about any financial duties and obligations changes. Sensitive information are also secure with the third-party firm because they specialise in tasks expected to have data security and protection setups.
Below are the accounting services to expect from the provider:
It focuses on the verification of financial information. The accounting services team will check and review the company’s financial accounts. It also monitors the general ledger to ensure in-depth details on how the business is faring. Unaudited financial statements can lead to inaccurate compliance filing if not appropriately addressed.
The bookkeepers will work closely with the licensed accountant to ensure accurate accounts. Bookkeepers use the latest accounting software to minimise errors and ensure that all information is updated. Clients are assured that the financial reporting is also transparent with accurate information.
A healthy business needs to have principles for budgeting. The company’s goals are the top priority for creating budgets. The accountant analyses and sets the budget by studying the cost of service and the profit. The values will also determine if the company needs adjustments to increase revenue for the upcoming financial year.
The accounting services team will utilise the latest accounting software to review the company’s cash flow and create accurate financial reports and analyses. The net worth and spending of the company are determined first before financial goals can be set. A budget is set based on the figures, and this in turn determines the goal and the strategies for achieving them.
This type of accounting focuses on finding financial discrepancies or fraud. Clients receive impartial, accurate, and reliable information with a third-party service. A map of the investigation is first laid out. Then, financial data are gathered and analysed to look for evidence of a possible case. The results are presented in a report which can be used not just for tax evasion or fraud but also for filing bankruptcy, financial theft, securities fraud, debt default, economic damages.
All processes need to be reviewed and improved regularly to meet the business's changing needs and demands. This will help the organisation allocate resources to areas that need them, resulting in better customer service, efficient production, reduced holding costs, shorter time for marketing of new products, improved correlation between planning and fulfilment, and more profit.
The accounting services team will assist the managers in recording and analysing financial data to help the business grow and allocate finances. It also identifies, measures, interprets, and presents financial information used for making key business decisions. The budget is used for the parts of the business where it is most needed and will produce the best results.
A certified public accountant provides an in-depth analysis of the business’s performance which is used to create a framework. This includes strategy, finance, marketing, governance, operation, and organisation. The accountant, in the simplest terms, solves business problems by breaking down the issue and then consolidating the different points to form specific recommendations.
Professional accountants ensure that all employees receive fair compensation promptly. Payroll processing takes a deal of time and resources, which is why an accountant can assist in structuring and automating payroll operations. The process includes gathering of employee information, setting up of a time tracking system, and determining the methods for authorising, filing, reporting, and updating the process of employee payments.
The accounting services team is skilled in local and international laws and will ensure that the company complies with its duties and obligations. The accountant also assists in filling out forms, gathering required financial statements, and paying the taxes on time. They also help reduce tax liabilities and notify the clients of tax deductions or exemptions and credits they are eligible for.
There are a few things that you should keep in mind when you are searching for the right company or individual to provide you with accounting services.
The first thing that you need to do is figure out precisely what kinds of accounting services you need. Answer the following: do you need someone to do your bookkeeping? Do you need someone to prepare and file your taxes? Or do you need a more comprehensive package including these services? Once you know what kinds of services you need, you narrow down your options.
Check the pricing plans based on the financial year or the monthly packages and add-on services. Other companies also offer one-off services for tax filing or compliance (estimated chargeable income submission, Form C or Form C-S), first-time central provident fund setup and form submission, and GST computation and filing.
Next, take some time to research the different accounting services offered. Find out what kind of reputation they have and whether or not they are licensed and insured. The certified public accountant qualification guarantees that the accountant has the right skillset for accounting, audit assistance, tax filing, risk assessment, and compliance. You should also find out how long they have been in business and whether or not they offer a money-back guarantee.
Finally, ask for references from each accounting service company you are considering. Do not hesitate to contact businesses in your industry to ask them about their experience working with the accounting firm. It will help you get a better idea of what to expect from the company and whether or not they are trustworthy.
Avoid mistakes and submit your financial statements on time with a trustworthy accounting firm. While compliance with corporate regulatory authority is of utmost priority, transparency and accuracy of business records also improve your business's public image and trust.
For more information on accounting services, check our highly-approved accounting firms in Singapore.
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