The role of an accountant

The role of an accountant - Northwood Accountancy

The role of an accountant

Knowing The Role Of An Accountant For Your Business

If you watch a lot of television or movies, you may often see accountants portrayed as socially inept people who have no sense of humor and are simply obsessed with numbers. The truth is that this type of work is done by a wide variety of people. Also contrary to popular belief, they do a lot more than just sit and type numbers into their calculators. In truth, they are completely vital and necessary to the smooth running of any company. The role of an accountant goes beyond just numbers and includes staying compliant with the law, among other things.

One of the more crucial responsibilities is to make sure that bills are paid. If you do not pay your bills on time, certain services may be shut down. Imagine trying to run your company without electricity or water, or being evicted from your premises for failure to pay rent or mortgage. Your accountants ensure all bills are paid on time so that this never happens. They may also be responsible for payroll. In smaller companies, they may actually run the payroll and distribute checks as part of their duties, while in larger corporations, they simply authorize the expenditure.

Invoices that you send out to clients must be paid. The accounting department often sends these out and registers the payments once they come in. If someone becomes delinquent, they can notify the proper employee to follow up with them and ensure that the invoice was received and figure out when it will get paid. Without someone keeping track of this, you could fail to make enough to pay your bills, so this is vital to your business.

There are costs just beyond rent or electric bills. Petty cash, office supplies, and other expenditures must also be tallied. These are tracked carefully to ensure there is no stealing. In fact, an accountant is one of your best lines of defense against theft.

Once everything is tallied, they go over it again to ensure accuracy. One simple mathematical mistake can make all other records incomplete or erroneous. This is bad for the business, but also bad for the IRS, who you have to pay on either a yearly or quarterly basis. If you use error-filled records, you could get audited by the IRS, which is a huge pain and looks very bad for your company.

Speaking of audits, internal audits are often done by your financial team as well in order to find potential mistakes or missing information. They may also be done to see where expenses can be cut to save you money.

All of these records are recorded with a high degree of accuracy. Often a second and perhaps even a third person is tasked with going over them to ensure accuracy. The entire system is meticulous because it needs to be.

In order to work as an accountant at this highest level, you should have a degree. Though some companies hire with a bachelors and allow you to work up, many want a masters and certification in order for you to get a well-paying job. If you think this type of work is for you, go for an undergraduate and a master’s degree to ensure this is more than just a job, but also a career.