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Responsibilities of an Accounting Consultant

by Alison Green

Accounting consultation services play a crucial role in helping businesses enhance performance and comply with changing regulations. An accounting consultant is a trained professional with expertise in offering business-specific counsel and helping managers in business planning and financial reporting. To pursue a career in accounting consultancy, you need to earn a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance or business administration. An additional certified public accountant certification is crucial. You can offer your services to individuals, business firms and government agencies

Providing Specialized Solutions

Accounting consultants are problem-solvers. When business owners and managers look for professional advice regarding their companies’ operations, they turn to accounting consultants. This profession provides these consultants with skills to solve company issues, such as debit and investment accounting, income and cost detection and accounting for resources projects. For instance, if a company fails to meet its financial goals, an accounting consultant can be called in to evaluate the accounting department and identify its shortcomings. He can analyze the firm’s organizational structure and complexity of its accounting needs before recommending specific solutions that can help meet its financial objectives.

Analyzing Accounting Policies

Accounting policies help an organization improve efficiency and consistency of processing transactions and enhance employees’ understanding of their roles and functions in an internal control system. Sometimes, a company might need a review of its accounting policies to keep up with industry standards. As an accounting consultant, you can assess company policies to determine their suitability to a quickly changing business environment. This might require you to revise existing accounting policies or establish new ones. When necessary, you can lead the implementation of recommendations that would enhance financial performance.

Reviewing Accounting Information Systems

The integration of information technology into business processes plays a significant role for enhancing efficiency and full utilization of resources. However, businesses have to work with accounting consultants to help in acquisition of appropriate software that is customized to meet their accounting needs. In instances where an accounting information system is already in place, the consultant reviews the system to confirm it supports proper financial reporting at all accounting levels. Where necessary, he can train the company’s accounting staff to use a complex system by showing them how to record data and analyze and prepare financial documents.

Ensuring Legal Compliance

A company has to ensure its financial transactions are being handled in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations. If you are an accounting consultant, you can be sought to help a company prepare complex financial information at the request of internal and external auditors or state agencies. In the U.S., for example, the Securities and Exchange Commission may ask an organization to provide accurate information about its financial matters. Sometimes, entrepreneurs might need you to advise them on the legal requirements of starting a new business.

About the Author

Based in New York City, Alison Green has been writing professionally on career topics for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in “U.S. News Weekly” magazine, “The Career” magazine and “Human Resources Journal.” Green holds a master's degree in finance from New York University.

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