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Encyclopedia > Accountant

Accountant, or Qualified Accountant, or Professional Accountant, is a certified accountancy and financial expert in the jurisdiction of many countries. Such as other legally-restricted professions including medical doctors and lawyers, different countries have their own training and examination systems to maintain the practice quality and restrict the number of qualified accountants in their jurisdictions. Accountancy (profession) or accounting (methodology) is the measurement, statement or provision of assurance about financial information primarily used by managers, investors, tax authorities and other decision makers to make resource allocation decisions within companies, organizations, and public agencies. ... FINANCIAL is the weekly English-language newspaper with offices in Tbilisi, Georgia and Kiev, Ukraine. ... The word physician should not be confused with physicist, which means a scientist in the area of physics. ... For the fish called lawyer, see Burbot. ...


Accountants originally worked only in public practice, selling advice and services to other individuals and businesses, but today, in addition, many work within private corporations, the financial industry and various government bodies.


Accountancy is the measurement, disclosure or provision of assurance about financial information that helps managers, investors, tax authorities and other decision makers make resource allocation decisions.


Practitioners of accountancy are known as accountants. There are many professional bodies for accountants throughout the world, some of them are legally recognized in their jurisdictions. Such as British qualified accountants including Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA or FCCA), Chartered Accountant (CA, ACA or FCA), International Accountant (FAIA or AAIA), Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA or FCMA), Canadian qualified accountants such as Chartered Accountants, Certified Management Accountants, Certified General Accountants and Registered Public Accountants (CA, CMA, CGA or RPA)as well as American qualified accountants such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA). British qualified accountants are full members of United Kingdom accountancy bodies that are CCAB-qualified. ... Chartered Certified Accountant (Designatory letters ACCA or FCCA) is a United Kingdom chartered accounting designation awarded by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) The term Chartered Certified Accountant was introduced in 1996. ... Chartered Accountant (CA) is the title used by members of certain professional accountancy associations in the British Commonwealth countries and Ireland. ... Certified Accountant redirects here. ... Certified Accountant redirects here. ...


The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation is unusual in the United States in that it does not have a statutory basis. However it is accepted by industry and by its peer associations. In Canada the Canadian CMA designation is recognised under provincial/territorial legislation. The title Certified Management Accountant is a professional designation awarded by various professional bodies around the world. ...

Contents

Responsibilities

Environmental accounting

Addressing how companies can be both environmentally responsible and profitable. This includes focusing the variety of projects like environmental compliance audits and managing and preventing claims and disputes.


Insolvency

If the clients are facing the possibility of personal bankruptcy or corporate insolvency, an accountant with his/her own country's insolvency licence can provide the clients with invaluable advice. If professional advice is sought as soon as the signs of trouble appear, then insolvency/bankruptcy may be avoided. If the clients are a trade creditor and are concerned about a debtor or have been told that a debtor is insolvent, a licensed insolvency practitioner can investigate and advise on the best course of action. To become an accountant with his/her own country's insolvency licence, stringent criteria must be met and an ongoing experience requirement must be achieved if the licence is to be renewed each year.


Accounting and bookkeeping

Advice can be provided on setting up business systems, from basic bookkeeping (cashbook) to comprehensive management reporting. Some accounting firms will undertake the bookkeeping function, which may also include VAT return preparation. Practitioners can also assist in the preparation of year-end accounts.


Management accounting

Accountants may set up systems to ensure that the clients know how their businesses are performing. Additional services offered include budgeting and performance monitoring and helping to ensure that a business runs in a smooth and efficient manner.


International services

Provide services to support and facilitate commerce in the global market. Moreover, companies adopting International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) may need accountants to help reconcile IFRS with their local GAAP. Professionals with knowledge of U.S.ewwwwwwwwwwww GAAP who work well in an international environment are increasingly in demand.[citation needed]


Accountants may offer advice on how to finance a business and how to buy or sell a business, as well as other related considerations. Such as providing a variety of services to organizations and individuals that interpret and add value by utilizing a wide range of financial information. These include everything from tax planning and financial statement analysis to structuring investment portfolios and complex financial transactions, and evaluating financial information to assess liquidity, solvency and stability issues of a firm and provide meaningful information which serve as the basis for management to make informed decisions.


Investment advice

Advice may be sought on pensions, unit trusts, life insurance etc., from advisers authorised to give investment business advice.


Tax advice - statutory requirements and planning opportunities

Accountants are able to offer advice on tax including corporation tax, income tax, capital gains tax, PAYE and VAT. In addition, business advisers can also offer tax planning advice and minimise your tax liability now and in the future. Jim Callaghan, the Chancellor of the Exchequer who introduced corporation tax in 1965. ... Tax rates around the world Tax revenue as % of GDP Economic policy Monetary policy Central bank   Money supply Fiscal policy Spending   Deficit   Debt Trade policy Tariff   Trade agreement Finance Financial market Financial market participants Corporate   Personal Public   Banking   Regulation        An income tax is a tax levied on the financial income... A capital gains tax (abbreviated: CGT) is a tax charged on capital gains, the profit realized on the sale of an asset that was purchased at a lower price. ... PAYE (or pay-as-you-earn) is a payroll deduction system for collecting income tax in the United Kingdom. ... vat can be a type of barrel used for storage. ...


Management consulting

Accountants can provide independent advice to managers of businesses, such as provide advice and insight on the financial and non-financial performance of an organization's operational and strategic processes through broad business knowledge and judgment. Such help can be used in a variety of ways, including:

  • providing an external independent view
  • overseeing the stewardship of the chairman/chief executive and board members
  • encouraging and developing new ideas
  • assisting the company in difficult situations
  • bringing specialist knowledge
  • maintaining an ethical climate.

Advice on starting up a business

Accountants may offer advice on the legal form most appropriate to starting up a business. In addition they may advise on related legal and taxation issues, business plans for presentation to banks, and what you should expect when starting up a business.


Accountancy qualifications and regulation

The requirements for entry in the profession of accounting vary from country to country.


Accountants may be licensed by a variety of organisations, such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Institute of Chartered Accountants, and are recognized by titles such as Chartered Certified Accountant, Chartered Accountant, Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, Certified General Accountant and Certified Practicing Accountant. Many countries recognize two or more accounting bodies. There is, however, no legal requirement for an accountant to be a paid-up member of one of the many Institutes and other bodies which are effectively a form of professional trade union. Unlike the Law Society, which can legally stop a solicitor from practicing, accountancy institutes do not have such authority. Generally, certain specialized areas of accountancy such as auditing and insolvency are tightly regulated. A license or licence is a document or agreement giving permission to do something. ... The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is a British chartered accountancy body with a global presence that offers the Chartered Certified Accountant (Designatory letters ACCA or FCCA) qualification worldwide. ... The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) is the main English and Welsh accountancy body for chartered accountants and auditors, having 127,158 members (as of 23 June 2005). ... Certified Accountant redirects here. ... The title Certified Management Accountant is a professional designation awarded by various professional bodies around the world. ... Certified General Accountant (CGA) is a professional designation representing members of the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada), provincial and territorial CGA Associations as well as CGA Associations overseas. ... CPA Australia is one of two professional accounting societies in Australia, the other being the Institute of Chartered Accountants. ... The Law Society of England and Wales is the professional association that regulates and represents the solicitors profession in England and Wales. ...


Commonwealth of Nations

In the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and several other Commonwealth of Nations countries, the equivalents of Certified Public Accountant (CPA) include Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA), Chartered Accountant (CA or ACA), Chartered Management Accountant, International Accountant, Certified Public Accountant (CPA - Ireland and CPA - Hong Kong), Certified General Accountant (CGA - Canada), and Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA - Australia). The Commonwealth of Nations as of 2006 Headquarters Marlborough House, London, UK Official languages English Membership 53 sovereign states Leaders  -  Queen Elizabeth II  -  Secretary-General Don McKinnon (since 1 April 2000) Establishment  -  Balfour Declaration 18 November 1926   -  Statute of Westminster 11 December 1931   -  London Declaration 28 April 1949  Area  -  Total... The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is a British chartered accountancy body with a global presence that offers the Chartered Certified Accountant (Designatory letters ACCA or FCCA) qualification worldwide. ... The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is a British chartered accountancy body with a global presence that offers the Chartered Certified Accountant (Designatory letters ACCA or FCCA) qualification worldwide. ... Chartered Accountant (CA) is the title used by members of certain professional accountancy associations in the British Commonwealth countries and Ireland. ...


United Kingdom

In the UK, there are no license requirements for an individual to be describe himself/herself or practice as an accountant (except in the areas of audit or insolvency) but to use certain titles requires membership of one of the many appropriate professional bodies.

Each of these bodies admits members only after passing examinations and undergoing a period of relevant work experience. Once admitted members are expected to comply with ethical guidelines and gain appropriate professional experience. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is a British chartered accountancy body with a global presence that offers the Chartered Certified Accountant (Designatory letters ACCA or FCCA) qualification worldwide. ... The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) was established by a Royal Charter in 1880[1]. It has over 128,000 members. ... The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) is the Scottish professional accountancy body for chartered accountants and auditors. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is a United Kingdom professional body that offers a qualification in management accountancy, focusing on accounting for business. ... The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) is one of a number of professional associations for accountants in the UK (others include the ACCA, the ICAEW and CIMA). ...


Chartered Certified, Chartered and International Accountants engaging in practice (i.e. selling services to the public rather than acting as an employee) must gain a "practicing certificate" by meeting further requirements such as purchasing adequate insurance and undergoing inspections.


Accountants holding "practicing certificates" may also become Registered Auditors in accordance with the Companies Act, providing they can demonstrate the necessary professional ability in that area and submit to regular inspection. It is illegal for any individual or firm that is not a Registered Auditor to perform a company audit.


Further restrictions apply to accountants who carry out insolvency work.


In addition to the bodies above, the Association of Accounting Technicians offers its members training and support in accountancy skills. The Association of Accounting Technicians, or AAT, is a UK organisation with over 100,000 members. ...


For more details regarding British qualified accountancy professionals, please refer to the page of British qualified accountants. British qualified accountants are full members of United Kingdom accountancy bodies that are CCAB-qualified. ...


Canada

In Canada, there are three recognized accounting bodies: the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CA) and the provincial and territorial CA Institutes, the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA), and the Society of Management Accountants of Canada, also known as the Certified Management Accountants (CMA). CA and CGA were created by Acts of Parliament in 1902 and 1913 respectively and CMA was established in 1920. Certified General Accountant (CGA) is a professional designation representing members of the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada), provincial and territorial CGA Associations as well as CGA Associations overseas. ... The Society of Management Accountants of Canada, which is also known as CMA Canada, awards the Certified Management Accountant designation in Canada. ...


The CA program focuses on public accounting and candidates must obtain auditing experience from public accounting firms; the CGA program takes a general approach allowing candidates to focus in their own financial career choices; the CMA program focuses in management accounting. The CA and CMA programs require a candidate to obtain a degree as a program entry requirement. The CGA program requires a degree as an exit requirement prior to certification.


Auditing and Public Accounting are regulated by the provinces. Historically, only CAs can perform audits in Ontario. In 2004, the provincial government of Ontario passed a new Public Accounting Act that would allow qualified CGAs and CMAs to perform audits, conditional on their organizations being able to demonstrate that their qualification and regulatory programs are equivalent in rigour to that of the CA program. As of March 2006, this process of evaluation had not yet begun. In Quebec as well, CAs still have exclusive public company audit rights by statute. In British Columbia and Prince Edward Island, CAs and CGAs have equal status regarding public accounting and auditing; In the rest of Canada, CAs, CGAs, and CMAs are considered equivalents pursuant to provincial and territorial legislation. Motto: Ut Incepit Fidelis Sic Permanet (Latin: Loyal she began, loyal she remains) Capital Toronto Largest city Toronto Official languages English (de facto) Government Lieutenant-Governor David C. Onley Premier Dalton McGuinty (Liberal) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament House seats 107 Senate seats 24 Confederation July 1, 1867 (1st) Area... Motto: Ut Incepit Fidelis Sic Permanet (Latin: Loyal she began, loyal she remains) Capital Toronto Largest city Toronto Official languages English (de facto) Government Lieutenant-Governor David C. Onley Premier Dalton McGuinty (Liberal) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament House seats 107 Senate seats 24 Confederation July 1, 1867 (1st) Area... This article is about the Canadian province. ... Motto: Splendor sine occasu (Latin: Splendour without diminishment) Capital Victoria Largest city Vancouver Official languages English (de facto) Government Lieutenant-Governor Steven Point Premier Gordon Campbell (BC Liberal) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament House seats 36 Senate seats 6 Confederation July 20, 1871 (6th province) Area  Ranked 5th Total 944... This article is about the Canadian province. ...


As of year 2006, the Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA or FCCA) is also recognized by Canadian government as an eligible qualification to audit federal government institutions in Canada. Furthermore, The Canadian branch of ACCA is pursuing recognition for statutory audit purposes in the province of Ontario under the province's Public Accounting Act of 2004 The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is a British chartered accountancy body with a global presence that offers the Chartered Certified Accountant (Designatory letters ACCA or FCCA) qualification worldwide. ... The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is a British chartered accountancy body with a global presence that offers the Chartered Certified Accountant (Designatory letters ACCA or FCCA) qualification worldwide. ...


Australia

In Australia there are four main local professional accountancy bodies.

However, the Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA or FCCA) qualification is also recognized as a prescribed body for insolvency purposes under the Corporation Act 2001, section 1282 and for audit purposes by ASIC under Practice Statement 180 Auditor recognition in Australia. CPA Australia is one of two professional accounting societies in Australia, the other being the Institute of Chartered Accountants. ... The National Institute of Accountants (NIA) is an Australian professional accounting body. ... Chartered Accountant (CA) is the title used by members of certain professional accountancy associations in the British Commonwealth countries and Ireland. ... The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is a British chartered accountancy body with a global presence that offers the Chartered Certified Accountant (Designatory letters ACCA or FCCA) qualification worldwide. ...


Additionally the Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA) awards the CMA designation, and is specialized in the area of Management Accounting. The Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA) is an Australian organisation focused on management accounting, it differs from other Australian Accounting societies; CPA Australia, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia, National Institute of Accountants due to this focus. ... Management accounting is concerned with the provisions and use of accounting information to managers within organizations, to provide them with the basis in making informed business decisions that would allow them to be better equipped in their management and control functions. ...


New Zealand

In New Zealand, there is only one local accountancy body, the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA). // New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants About the Institute The New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants is the operating name for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand. ...


To audit public companies an individual must be a member of either the NZICA or an otherwise gazetted body. Chartered Certified Accountant (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants or FCCA) qualification has also been gazetted under the relevant act (Under Section 199 of the Companies Act 1993: Qualifications of Auditors). An ACCA member can practice as long as they hold an ACCA public practice certificate (with audit qualification) in their country of origin.


Ireland

Ireland tends to take its lead from the United Kingdom. In a positive move, the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority has recommended to the Minister for Trade & Commerce, Michael Ahern, that the term "accountant" be statutorily protected, only allowing members of recognized bodies to use the term. RTE news article on proposed statutory recognition of term "accountant"


United States of America

In the United States, legally practicing accountants are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), and other non-statutory accountants are Certified Internal Auditors (CIAs), Certified Management Accountants (CMAs) and Accredited Business Accountants (ABAs). The difference between these certifications is primarily the legal status and the types of services provided, although individuals may earn more than one certification. Additionally, much accounting work is performed by uncertified individuals, who may be working under the supervision of a certified accountant. Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) is a designation awarded by The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) to individuals who pass a written examination, have 24 months of internal auditing experience, and hold a bachelors degree or higher. ... The title Certified Management Accountant is a professional designation awarded by various professional bodies around the world. ... // In the United States, an Accredited Business Accountantâ„¢ (ABA) is a practitioner of accountancy who specializes in the needs of small-to-mid-size businesses and in financial services to individuals and families. ...


A CPA is licensed by the state of his/her residence to provide auditing services to the public, although most CPA firms also offer accounting, tax, litigation support, and other financial advisory services. The requirements for receiving the CPA license varies from state to state, although the passage of the Uniform Certified Public Accountant examination is required by all states. [1] This examination is designed and graded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. With over 330,525 CPA members (in August 2006), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is the largest professional organization of Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in the United States of America. ...


A CIA is granted a certificate from the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), provided that the candidate passed a rigorous examination of four parts. A CIA mostly provides his/her services directly to his/her employer rather than the public.


A CMA is granted a certificate from the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), provided that the candidate passed a rigorous examination of four parts and meet the practical experience requirement from the IMA. A CMA mostly provides his/her services directly to his/her employers rather than the public. A CMA can also provide his services to the public, but to an extent much lesser than that of a CPA.


An ABA is granted accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation (ACAT), provided that the candidate passed the eight-hour Comprehensive Examination for Accreditation in Accounting which tests proficiency in financial accounting, reporting, statement preparation, taxation, business consulting services, business law, and ethics. An ABA specializes in the needs of small-to-mid-size businesses and in financial services to individuals and families. In states where use of the word "accountant” is not permitted by non state licensed individuals, the practitioner may use Accredited Business adviser.


The United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are about one million persons [2] employed as accountants and auditors in the U.S. The United States Department of Labor is a Cabinet department of the United States government responsible for occupational safety, wage and hour standards, unemployment insurance benefits, re-employment services, and some economic statistics. ... The Bureau of Labor Statistics was founded in 1884 by President Chester A. Arthur. ...


U.S. tax law grants accountants a limited form of accountant-client privilege. Taxation in the United States is a complex system which may involve payment to at least four different levels of government. ... Tax Practitioner-Client Privilege is a confidentiality privilege available in American federal tax law. ...


Hong Kong SAR =

In Hong Kong, the accountancy industry is regulated by the HKICPA under the Professional Accountants Ordinance (Chapter 50, Laws of Hong Kong). The Auditing industry for limited companies is regulated under the Companies Ordinance (Chapter 32, Laws of Hong Kong), and other Ordinances such as the Securities and Futures Ordinance, the Listing Rules, etc. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants. ...


For further details see Accountancy in Hong Kong. Accountancy in Hong Kong is regulated by the HKICPA under the Professional Accountants Ordinance (Chapter 50, Laws of Hong Kong). ...


Austria

In Austria the Professional Accountants business is regulated by the Bilanzbuchhaltungsgesetz 2006 (BibuG - Management Accountancy Law). Offering accounting services needs a license provided by the Paritaetische Kommission Bilanzbuchhaltungsberufe.


See also

Accountancy (profession) or accounting (methodology) is the measurement, statement or provision of assurance about financial information primarily used by managers, investors, tax authorities and other decision makers to make resource allocation decisions within companies, organizations, and public agencies. ... British qualified accountants are full members of United Kingdom accountancy bodies that are CCAB-qualified. ... The title Certified Management Accountant is a professional designation awarded by various professional bodies around the world. ... Certified Accountant redirects here. ... Chartered Certified Accountant (Designatory letters ACCA or FCCA) is a United Kingdom chartered accounting designation awarded by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) The term Chartered Certified Accountant was introduced in 1996. ... Chartered Accountant (CA) is the title used by members of certain professional accountancy associations in the British Commonwealth countries and Ireland. ... BAΨ (Beta Alpha Psi) is an honorary organization for accounting, finance and information systems students and professionals. ...

External links

Look up accountant in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

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