Accounting firms exist as an entity to provide professional accounting services to businesses. There are many areas of service that an accounting firm can provide, and they are not just confined to purely bookkeeping activity. Some of these include corporate finance, business recovery and liquidation, corporate secretarial and financial management advisory.
One of the more popular services would be public accounting, which refers to audit and financial statement reports. Banks sometimes require an independent third party check on a company’s financial statements, and certified accountants (commonly known as public accountants or partners of a firm) can provide such independent verification service by conducting an audit on all the figures provided. The Accountants Act require accounting firms providing public accountancy services to register with ACRA, the accounting and corporate regulatory authority in Singapore that governs Singapore registered companies and specifies the dos and don’ts of a Singapore company in accordance to the Companies Act.
Generally, accounting firms employ accountants who possess professional accounting qualification from various certified professional bodies such as ISCA, ACCA, CPA Australia or ICAEW. Accounting professionals looking to obtain their professional qualifications are required to pass all examinations offered by the respective professional bodies and maintain at least 3 year of working experience in an accounting firm.
Accounting Firms as Potential Business Partners
Accounting firms in Singapore could act as a potential business partner to Singapore firms be it SME or large listed corporations. Accounting firms now have various professionals under their wing, from tax consultants to regulatory compliance and accounting advisory. For example, companies looking to complete their financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards and comply with local regulations can engage accounting firms for such tasks. Companies looking to file their corporate taxes annually can also engage tax professionals from accounting firms. Such professionals are well versed with the local tax regulations and can definitely ease the administrative process of such activity.
Accounting firms in Singapore also provide bookkeeping and payroll services. They ensure accounts are updated on time and salaries are disbursed on time. Other support functions that accounting firms may provide include corporate secretarial activities that ensures statutory resolutions and registers are maintained properly.
Business advisory services
Accounting firms have evolved into providing business advisory services as well. Companies looking to raise funds may source for an accounting firm’s expertise in analysing the company’s financials and determine the proper financing quantum and considerations. Companies looking to plan their taxes can also engage qualified tax professionals to provide tax structuring advice. Accounting firms are starting to provide such higher value added consultancy services that complements their existing service range.
Transaction Analytics and IT Advisory
With the advancement in technology and AI development, new markets are being opened in the IT space. Accounting firms now employ both accounting and IT specialists to assist in projects involving system transaction analysis and data analytics for clients. These projects aim to analyse company data and provide potential findings for cost savings or revenue increment to the company.
Accounting firms in Singapore now fulfil many roles as a professional service provider covering a wide spectrum of expertise. A business need can be definitely be fulfilled by a reputable accounting firm staffed with qualified professionals.
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