The operation of an accounting firm
The profession is structured around an entity: the accounting firm. Within it, several stakeholders share different tasks and responsibilities. Besides, the year of a firm is divided into several key moments that should be well known to fully understand the particularity of this profession.
The profession is divided into three types of structures:
- Small firms, a structure employing less than 10 employees, represent 83% of the profession for a third of the overall turnover.
- Medium-sized firms, with structures between 10 and 1,000 employees, make up 17% of the sector for an overall turnover of around 36%.
- Finally, large firms represent less than 1% of firms but still generate 31% of the sector’s turnover. Finally, be aware that 77% of VSEs / SMEs in USA use a firm, generally, a small or a medium, and 90% of business leaders believe that the chartered accountant is a trusted professional.
The different contacts within a cabinet
The accounting firm brings together some players who stand out in terms of experience, skills, cost, and risk coverage in the event of a tax audit. There are generally three types of stakeholders in a firm
The accounting head of mission
He is responsible for a portfolio of client files. He often performs basic operations (recording accounting operations, preparing the balance sheet, etc.) on which the accountant then relies to carry out his mission of strategic advice. It is also common for firms to employ trainee chefs de mission.
He leads his team and he guarantees them good bookkeeping. It has a role of review and strategic advice. It is worth noting that he is the only one to benefit from professional liability insurance which covers his clients in the event of an error. Using an accountant is therefore a guarantee of quality and protection. In any case, the mission of the chartered accountant and his team is freely fixed with the company at the start of the collaboration.
The trainee accountant
Do not be afraid of the term, the status of trainee accountant is not a function as such. This is a three-year training supplement allowing the acquisition of professional practice to prepare for the tests of the diploma of a chartered accountant. The trainee will not be present to make photocopies, far from it. Depending on the firm, he will have a confirmed collaborator or head of mission position, but in all cases, he will carry out various tasks both in the field of accounting review and that of the statutory auditor.
It operates within a very specific framework: it is legally mandated to carry out a control mission only, a “legal” certification mission while the chartered accountant can intervene in a contractual framework for assistance and advice missions. The auditor has wide powers of investigation, but at no time does he interfere in the management of the business.
What time of the year are most in need of a chartered accountant?
Considering the “attending physician” of a company, we would like to say that it is all year long that a business manager needs to exchange and interact with his chartered accountant. However, we can easily identify several crucial moments, delicate deadlines to manage for both the business manager and the accountant. For example, we can cite the annual closing of an accounting year, the fiscal period, the VAT declaration, etc. Depending on the structure of the company, the dates of these deadlines may vary.
If it was necessary to retain only one important date, the best known, it would undoubtedly be in the balance sheet period. For most companies, it is carried out on 31/12 of each year, which means that the accounts are stopped on this date to allow the accountant to take stock. Then comes the review meeting which allows you to draw the line to follow for the following year. Like a healthcare professional, a chartered accountant must intervene in healing, if a problem exists, but he must also do prevention by regularly distilling advice every month.to better manage your business. The best would be to schedule a monthly telephone, physical, or videoconference appointment to take stock of your various files. Believe us it is not a waste of time, on the contrary.
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