What Is The Role Of A Chartered Accountant?
What exactly is the role of a chartered accountant? Most Singaporean business owners often default to generic responses such as tax management, auditing, financial management, budget analysis or management accounting. As much as these are some roles done by professional accountants, accounting services go much deeper than just fulfilling these professional tasks.
Traditionally a business owner or financier would be the same as the seller and operator and manager. As businesses grow, the need for other parties to come in and offer specialised support becomes apparent. Other stakeholders such as banks, tax authorities and shareholders will demand professional assistance. The financial aspect is delegated to accountants who lend authenticity to the statements issued from the business to stakeholders and the public.
In this respect, the role of a chartered accountant surpasses the mere fulfilment of professional tasks to a much deeper calling; defending the quality of financial reporting at the source.
A chartered accountant fulfils this role by undertaking the following sub-roles:
Pragmatic Questioning and Solution Finder
Most accounting services firms in Singapore avail expertise in the form of chartered accountants. These professionals are invaluable assets for any business because they engage their knowledge and ask questions concerning the business founded by their understanding of a company’s financials. Their training enables them to gain a deeper understanding of the company and the environment in which it operates. After that chartered accountants use their skills to ask challenging and pragmatic questions and come up with sensible approaches to solving problems.
Chartered accountants, when working in a business or whether contracted for a period to provide account services, will assist with corporate strategy. They offer business leaders with advice on means to cut costs, make the business more financially efficient, improve the bottom line and mitigate risks. When entrenched in a firm’s top leadership, for instance as members of the board, chartered accountants represent the interests of the shareholders and steer the company in areas such as governance, budgeting and financial reporting. They also provide vital support when recruiting other professionals.
As financial controllers, chartered accountants oversee all matters of the company. They create and lead the way in implementing the economic strategy of the business, they prepare and communicate financial information and provide analysis as well as recommendations towards meeting the financial objectives of the company.
Risk Mitigation and Defender of Integrity
Chartered accountants (Also see 10 Tips for Picking the Ideal Accountant) serve in the capacity of internal auditors. They provide independent reviews and assurances to management as well as other stakeholders including regulators, shareholders and customers. They also ensure that the business’ risk management, governance and internal control process are not only working effectively but also efficiently, providing advice on areas to enhance and firm up the integrity of the business.
In conclusion, chartered accountants’ role in a business is much more than performing their professional, daily tasks of preparing financial statements. They ensure the well-being of the company in the present, mitigate risks and provide invaluable support in charting the success of a business.