Accounting Consulting Services
In a recent survey, 80 percent of small and mid-sized businesses believed that they are not well-equipped to manage financial affairs efficiently. This view was influenced by misconceptions about what comprises a consulting service, and the value that such an agency can add to a business. Many also believed that accounting is a complex area that requires specialized knowledge. However, these views are gradually being challenged, as more firms are realizing the importance of efficient and integrated financial management. An accounting consulting service can provide much-needed expert guidance on strategic management of finances, helping small and mid-sized businesses achieve greater profitability.
Accounting consulting services help in identifying the firm’s current financial condition and suggest corrective measures for improving performance. An accounting expert can recommend ways to address complex issues, or point out the most expedient routes to take to navigate through tricky business transactions. The firm needs to have clear objectives, a clear plan of action, and a set of best practices in order to reap maximum benefits from accounting consulting services.
As part of the package, accounting consulting services include financial forecasting, which helps the firm determine its future financial position. These experts help clients devise long-term financial strategies, as well as conduct periodic review and updating of their operations. Moreover, these consultants also help clients deal with emerging risks and implement preventive measures to avert them. They also guide clients through the process of exiting, sale and spin-off possibilities, and aid in determining the best strategy for business development.
Apart from forecasting, accounting consulting services also include procurement strategies, which help the client manage their resources, identify opportunities, and optimize their performance. Procurement entails obtaining the best possible cost advantage for the firm. In fact, there is often a direct relationship between the level of service provided and the level of profit achieved by the firm. Some companies prefer to outsource jobs such as human resource, marketing, accounting, payroll, and accounting support to firms that specialize in these aspects. On the other hand, some businesses may not have the appropriate expertise in dealing with these aspects. Such firms may still require the assistance of procurement consultants.
Another key role played by an accountancy consulting services provider is that of an advisory services advisor. These advisors offer guidance to finance and accounting departments on matters related to strategic planning, budgets, and risk control. Advisors may act as consultants to senior managers, or as independent professional practitioners. The duties of these advisors vary according to the specific firms in which they work. Typically, an advisory service advisor will help the finance and accounting department to establish and implement a corporate strategy, develop monitoring and reporting mechanisms, provide recommendations regarding major client transfers and merger proposals, and develop audit plans and procedures.
Certified Public Accountants
Another important role played by an accounting consulting services provider is that of a corporate CPA or certified public accountant (CPAs). Certified public accountants (CPA) are highly trained professionals who have had specialized training and practice in financial and accounting matters. These professionals are required to have at least a four-year degree in accounting, preferably a four-year degree in tax law. CPAs must also be licensed through the American Institute of Professional Accountants (AIPA) or the American Society of Accountants (ASA). CPAs play an important role by providing objective, impartial, and objective information to senior management about the financial health of a company.
A third area where accounting consulting services for government agencies can be used is in the procurement, contracting, and risk management areas of the finance function. Procurement is the process by which funds are acquired for the purpose of executing projects and functions. Contracting is the process by which funds are released from the government for the purpose of implementing contract processes. Risk management refers to the identification, analysis, and management of risks to the process or product of which the funds are obtained.
The fourth area in which accounting services for government agencies can be utilized is in the areas of fraud detection and prevention. This includes issues such as the identification of suspicious activity and the prevention of the flow of fraudulent transactions. In addition, contract management and other finance functions can also be implemented by utilizing the consulting firm’s expertise in these areas.