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What services do typical chartered accountants offer?

Everyone has heard of accountants; not everybody knows what they do within a company, but they’re generally understood as being an integral part of the financial stability and transparency of any company. We know they’re necessary, but we’re not entirely sure what they do and whether they do it correctly.

Suffice to say we’re well aware of the raised eyebrows and weird looks we’re about to get by simply mentioning the term: Chartered Accountants.

What does it mean for an accountant to be ‘chartered’?
In simple terms, chartered accountants are normally more ambivalent than regular accountants and are regarded as being one step above the rest.

In a more thorough way to look at it, chartered accountants are not simply accountants who have decided to make their titles longer. Each country has its own list of stringent rules that an accountant must abide to in order to join their ranks. For instance in the UK, one must be a member of the various Institute of Chartered Accountants (England & Wales, Scotland or Ireland) to even use the moniker.

Are chartered accountants limited to a specific sector?
No, chartered accountants can practice in both the public and private sectors. There are benefits to both situations and it is up to the accountant to decide which field he or she wishes to represent.

What are the main tasks of a chartered accountant?
Although they’ll dabble in most tasks associated with accounting, they’re mostly known to be experts in the field of taxation, audits and general financial management.

Audits?
It’s a word we’ve learned to fear as nothing good ever seems to come out of it, but the concept of audit is simply to examine the accounts and records of an individual or a company. Of course, if the government summons you for an audit, it’s probably because they’ve found some inconsistencies, yet the chartered accountant simply verifies your books to ensure that everything is in order.

Taxation?
Do you hate doing your personal taxes? Do you hate them because they’re complicated and time-consuming? If the taxes for your small household is a burden, imagine how big of a task it must be for a company of a hundred. When you deal with taxes of that scale, you need a professional.

Financial management?
The last point comes without saying. If a chartered accountant is skilled enough to comprehend company-wide taxes and sharp enough to verify books, records and every minute detail of a large-scale operation, chances are that he knows how a company’s finances are working inside out. He’s a great financial expert to have around.

If this sounds interesting to you, we strongly suggest that you do additional research; regardless of whether you’re in the UK or in a different country, chances are that you’ll have chartered accountants or the same profession that goes by a different name (for instance, the United States equivalent would be a Certified Public Accountant.)

We look forward to hear from you and the path you took to become a Chartered Accountant!