When you think about accountants, there’s probably one thing that comes to your mind: taxes.
Accountants do indeed know all about taxes and can help businesses and individuals file their taxes properly and get their tax returns. However, they do so much more than that.
You might have not realized it but there are many different types of accountants who specialize in different fields of accounting. While some perform the basic tasks at a company, others have earned additional certificates and handle more complex matters.
Learning more about accounting positions and fields they specialize in can help you make better decisions when hiring an accountant for your company.
In this post, we talk about the different types of accountants that can do more than your taxes.
A staff accountant handles various tasks such as preparing financial reports, billing, cash management, bookkeeping, payroll, and record keeping. Their duties might sound a lot like that of a bookkeeper but that is because they do handle some of the tasks a bookkeeper does.
Staff accountants usually report to senior accountants in bigger firms or work independently, depending on the size of the company.
The duties of a staff accountant can include various tasks depending on what a company needs but we can say that this is the most common type of accountant out there.
An investment accountant specializes in investment and portfolio management and provides services to asset management companies or a brokerage. Their duties are very different from those of a staff accountant, for example.
Investment accountants know all about stocks, bonds, and everything investment-related. Their duties sometimes may include debt investment management too as well as book reconciliation.
While a regular accountant handles bookkeeping, cash flow, and tax returns, an auditor handles more complex issues such as reviewing financial records to ensure everything is clean and compliant. They can work independently and be hired to perform external audits and ensure a company’s accounts are accurate and compliant.
Audit accounting focuses on the compliance issue rather than on taxes, cash flow, or company growth. Their duty is to conduct deep analysis and ensure that all the numbers are accurate.
Audit accountants, therefore, protect companies from potential issues with the law by keeping their financial records impeccable.
Accounting in the modern age extends beyond certified professionals hired by companies to manage their accounts. Nowadays, accounting software tools available online can perform basic accounting tasks and yes, even handle your taxes.
There are so many different cloud software solutions for accounting, depending on your needs as well as your budget, all designed to enable small and medium-sized businesses to automate accounting tasks, keep their costs low, and their records simple.
For example, a Xero accountant can help you monitor your cash flow, view reports, send invoices, and basically run your business on the go. The software organizes crucial information and saves a lot of time.
Property Management Accountant
Property accountants work in property management companies that handle real estate. They prepare ledger, monitor bills, report tenant payments, and handle various other tasks depending on the position.
Property accountants assist property managers in all financial matters and make the lives of property owners that much easier.
For example, Irish landlords living abroad don’t have to worry about filing taxes from abroad and following all the complex guidelines because property accountants will handle this for them. This way, a landlord living abroad doesn’t need to worry about employing a collection agent, rental income taxes, etc.
Certified Public Accountants
Certified Public Accountants (CPA) are licensed accountants who have passed a CPA exam in addition to having a bachelor’s degree.
Certified public accountants differ from other accountants in that they help companies use their resources cleverly and more efficiently. They provide crucial financial advice for business owners, especially small and medium-sized ones.
They help businesses right from the start by carefully planning and managing their business to ensure growth.
Certified public accountants do handle taxes and are quite the experts in the field but their duties involve broader issues such as consulting, forensic accounting, audit reviews, all in order to help clients meet their financial goals.
Forensic accountants combine various skills (accounting, investigating, auditing) to examine a company’s or an individual’s finances.
A forensic accountant is someone who is excellent with numbers but also possesses developed investigative skills necessary to conduct in-depth financial analysis.
Forensic accountants are often used in legal proceedings such as cases of fraud. They gather financial evidence, analyze the data, and create reports to present their findings.
These accounting professionals are usually employed by banks, insurance companies, police, accounting companies, or government organizations.
Being such experts and great with numbers and laws, forensic accountants can certainly do your taxes but their services are most needed in business investigations and litigation.