Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Public accounting firms – need for accountants


Preparation, maintenance and review of the financial statements and records belonging to other businesses - these are all that define what a public accounting firm is all about. Additionally, it’s also tax calculation and submission of returns that form a crucial part of the functions of any public accounting firm. A CPA license I therefore, a must for the employees of reliable public accounting firms; however, degrees in corporate law are also preferred if anyone wishes to get into the public accounting firms.

Pros and cons of hiring accountants

Those fresh out of colleges and not too sure of where they should head for a prospective career, often choose the public accounting firms as a place for seasoning. An internship at any of the top-of-the-line public accounting firms imparts the required knowledge as well as provides a hands-on experience on the operations of a number of companies from different industries; as a result, the resume of a person working for sometime in the public accounting sector receives major face lifts. It counts with a wide range of potential employers including the client companies. The financial reward comes complimentary. The companies hiring certified public accountants or accountants who are similarly qualified thus get a dedicated service regarding taxpaying procedures. Moreover, a company need not run around to know the benefits or relief it is eligible for and neither does it require to spend extra hours or dollars if something crucial needs to be taken care of immediately. But then again, while outsourcing to accounting firms is a pay-per-assignment phenomenon, hiring certified public accountants for dedicated services is a recurring expenditure and for running the audits, you need to hire certified public accountants from outside. This increases the costs as well.

Types of Public Accounting

i. Audit: For small businesses, outsourcing stands as the best choice to keep their financial records spic-n-span. For larger businesses, the internal accounting and finance personnel get it done. But when it comes to conducting the audits, they hire the public accounting firms. The audits are inspections of the accounting procedures and records and require trained accountants or even better, the CPAs. With publicly traded securities, any company requires its financial reports to be public (as per the law) and for that, they need someone impartial. Independent and certified public accountants (or public accounting firms) are thus the best choices; more so, because there also stays associated the analytical skills for running the securities research.

ii. Tax preparation: Small businesses or individuals alike can benefit largely from independent and certified public accountants or the public accounting firms, in terms of preparing the tax returns. For larger businesses, it is generally taken care of by in-house staff despite their preferences of getting the results checked by an auditor later. The tax function requires staff with CPA licenses and/or law degrees. The tax professionals within a public accounting firm also advise clients on strategies to reduce their taxes in the future.

iii. Systems Consulting: Designing and implementation of a data processing system for a large-sized public accounting firm is also a task that can be accomplished by public accounting firm. To simplify it more, it’s a specialized service in the realms of accounting and financial reporting, where an automated system takes care of everything. A technical expertise is definitely an added advantage for the firm undertaking such tasks and the job embraces understanding a client’s needs and developing accordingly a solution that’s user-friendly.

iv. Management Consulting: General management consulting forms an intricate part for some of the largest public accounting firms. Management consulting is about providing advises on businesses; it ranges from setting an overall business strategy to finding solutions to highly specific problems regarding logistics, workflows or organizing staffs.


Specialization and consultations are the two sides of the same coin where one cannot happen without another. A public accounting firm’s tasks of selling engagements become easier if there remains present industry- and functional specialists, who can solve problems for their clients with relevant experiences and knowledge. However, specialization also restricts a person from delivering solutions from different perspectives and doesn’t provide room to his creativity; instead, he needs to follow set guidelines to appear to a solution. That’s an enhance productivity at the cost of job satisfaction for those who seek variety.


From one-man shows to an entire platoon, public accounting firms can vary dramatically in their respective strength of the workforce and are generally partnership ventures than corporations. This alone shows the importance of the people being trained and certified in their respective job sectors (unless a partner is good, none would like to stick with him); more so, for unless there remains an assurance regarding expertise in a vast number of related fields, big, corporate clients are not going to entertain.

1 comment:

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