Accountants and the Top Accounting Firms
The accountancy sector, like many other businesses, has changed dramatically through emerging technology. The top accounting firms have made the availability of apps that have automated their tedious workflows and also connect the accountants to clients in new ways. Thus, the gap between high- and low- performing accounting has simultaneously increased.
A big question which arises here is whether the use of a specific set of apps is the reason behind the success of the top accounting firms? Or is the minimal response time for a client over social media such as Facebook or Twitter one of the reasons?
The answer to both above questions is ‘No’. Adopting the newest technology, or establishing a fan-base on social media platforms has nothing to do with the transformation of the accounting firm business. Although emerging technology is not going to sort out the issues, it will surely present a unique opportunity for accountants to undergo a true modern shift.
Let’s analyse what the successful CPAs are doing differently to have their accounting firms on the top.
- Fulfilling the Educational Requirements:
Proper level of education is extremely important. It is essential for anybody to become a licenced CPA. When it comes to the eligibility requirement to become a CPA, it differs from place to place. Some countries allow you to take a section of CPA exams before you graduate from college, whereas some require you to hold a Bachelor’s Degree at least to be able to attend the exam.
These degree programs must usually be in accounting or business and must also include the coursework. Usually, a CPA student must have at least 24 college credit hours in their education stream that include auditing, accounting, and taxation. Other than this, there must be overall 30 credit hours of business-related courses, such as business law, finance, and management. On the whole, most of the universities provide CPA qualification with 150 credit hours to get the license, as it is an essential step to begin the career as a CPA.
- Taking a Client-Centred Approach:
Nowadays, successful accountants are changing their way of approach towards the client relationship on the base level. Rather than just responding and delivering the requested job for tax preparation, or payroll services, they approach each request as an opportunity to begin a relationship with the client. This type of approach makes the top accounting firms to stand-out from the crowd.
A friendly approach towards the client opens the door to an expanded accounting role, which means more revenue, but it can infuse new life and job satisfaction. Most of the times, these accountants suggest and encourage their client to make use of tools that can speed up the back-office tasks such as time tracking, invoicing, expense reporting and payroll as these are the best ways to meet the clients need easily.
- Using and Embracing Technology:
Whatever firm in the world you are working with, the use of technology is something that plays an important role. Nowadays everything depends on technology. In the field of global accounting firms, it is impossible to embrace a client-focus without embracing technology.
A recent research study shows that the high-performing CPA firms are five times more likely to encourage innovation than the low-performing firms. With new technology, there are a few key areas that are central to the business and are on the top of the list when it comes to embracing and advocating technology. They include expenses tracking, time tracking, billing and invoicing, customer relationship management software and payroll.
- Specialising and Partnering:
To grow any business, it is a must to be recognised within the community, therefore the largest accounting firms need to spread their roots throughout the global network. They have to mark their uniqueness and speciality in the network of firms. These specialities include a wide range of advanced innovative techniques, use of new technology apps, etc. All this is done to build a better relationship with other professional service providers.
To be in the industry or business for years, the accountant must have an in-depth knowledge that can’t be replicated through the technology or by the competition. Thus, the technology is just an add-on to the knowledge, but it can never be a replacement.
Once an top accounting firm becomes recognised, their business clientele base will gradually expand.
Responsibilities of an Accountant in an Accounting Firm
Let’s see the list of responsibilities of an accountant:
- Document preparation: Preparing and presenting financial statements and budgets.
- Suggestions: Once the financial information has been analysed, the accountants make suggestions to maintain the company’s financial health and security.
- Audit: They perform an audit in a regular interval to understand the current financial state of a company.
- Management: They oversee all payroll, credit and investment functions.
- Backup of information: Accountants are responsible for handling and securing a large amount of company’s information.
- Reports: They create financial reports after collecting and analysing the data.
- Assurance tax: Maintaining necessary documentation for a clear audit assurance concerning tax and performing tax planning that assures all actions that comply with tax legislation.
- Organisation: One of the roles is to ensure that all the financial documents are organised and easily accessible by accounting professionals
- Cost reduction: Accountants are often asked top look out for places to cut costs and reduce spendings for the employers
- Accuracy: Accountants have to ensure accuracy as a primary component of their responsibility as they deal with a large amount of money.