What Does an Accounting Consultant Do?
An accountant is not just responsible for preparing tax returns, compiling financial statements, handling compliance, and offering back-office accounting services but providing consulting services.
An accounting consultant is a teacher and an advisor who helps entrepreneurs make essential business decisions. In this guide, we'll know what accounting consulting is, what accounting consultants do, how to become an accounting consultant, and much more.
What is accounting consulting?
Accounting consulting refers to accountants' involvement in various activities that help clients improve their financial position, maintain efficient and accurate accounting practices, enhance their internal processes and procedures, examine clients' profitability, and streamline accounting protocols.
Role of an accounting consultant
An accounting consultant helps businesses and individuals with financial management, forecasting and auditing. They don't manage your day-to-day transactions as bookkeepers but analyse financial documents, provide advice to improve profit, reduce unnecessary expenses, and predict future costs and revenues. They help you check for compliance with financial regulations.
When you collaborate with business leaders, you need to prepare and file financial reports and tax documents. An accountant consultant conducts tax research and suggests ways to improve your financial reporting processes and help you stay organised.
How to become an accountant consultant?
Accountants prefer switching to accounting consulting just before their retirement to enjoy the benefits of work hour flexibility. You can also provide part-time accounting consulting services aside from your primary job.
Get the right qualifications.
A candidate with an accounting qualification from the UK chartered accountancy body can gain practical accounting skills and relevant experience to work as an accounting consultant in future. The basic AAR courses are available for individuals with no prior accounting experience and have three different levels. For Chartered Certified Accountants, individuals need to qualify for ACCA, ACA, or CIMA.
You need to gain relevant work experience to build practical skills in the real world. With ACCA qualification, you can achieve three years of work experience during your study period. Once you qualify as a chartered certified accountant, you can work in public and private sectors and with small to large-sized companies.
Choose an area of specialisation.
Accounting is a vast course, and you need to choose an area of accounting that you like to work in and help your clients work with. Consider making a list of your unique abilities and areas of expertise to let your client understand your eligibility for the job role.
Engage in professional development.
It is essential to undertake continuing professional development or CPD to maintain your qualification and stay up-to-date with your business and finance knowledge. It is not just about technical knowledge or change in legislation, but practical training to manage successful businesses like management skills and problem-solving skills.
Build your network
It is vital to building a solid client base for consultants. If you plan to develop your consultancy business, you need to market your services, establish a strong network, nurture existing relationships, and advertise your consulting services. Professionals at Experlu can help you set up the business and provide the necessary advice.
How do you know if accounting consulting is right for you?
If you are wondering whether you have a great consultant, you need to consider the following;
- Financial data management
- Providing specialised expertise
- Identifying risks and opportunities
- Bringing changes to your Financial Health and business operations
- Teaching and training employees
- Reviving an organisation
The right consultant must have a good attitude and soft skills to work closely with clients and staff. They will like to solve problems and provide effective solutions.
Are advisory services and accounting consulting similar?
No, advisory services and accounting consultants differ in length and purpose of engagement.
An accounting consulting is a temporary job where you design a plan according to your client's specific problem and consider other factors. Once the client has chosen the entire structure, your job is done. However, you may have future opportunities when a new problem arises.
For advisory services, businesses look for year-round advice and insights. An advisor needs to stay within the company and teach and guide them to make smarter decisions, look for new opportunities, expand into new markets, improve internal processes, and others.
One of the growing sections of the accounting business is accounting consultants. A consultant helps you make important decisions that bring significant business performance and financial health changes.
The opportunities for accounting consultants are always high. Though the outbreak of Coronavirus affected the employment scenario, over the past decade, accountants and auditors are maintaining a higher employment rate than any other professionals.
Businesses facing an economic disruption, are fighting to stay in the competitive market, or looking for better financial control can look for accounting consultants for expert assistance.