Outsourced Accounting Services: Helping You Focus On Your Business

As a business owner, how many tasks do you manage within a regular workday? Accounting outsourcing is a reliable way of ensuring that you focus on your business. But if accounting is all about the business’s financials, are not you, the owner, best placed to manage it all for your business? After all, you’d know your business inside out, right?

Wrong. Accounting services are a specialized area, and outsourcing them only leads you to specialists and experts who then take over all your accounting issues. Here’s a short list of elements that are influenced by how your accounting functions operate. These could also help you decide whether you need to get your bookkeeping and accounting services outsourced.

> Basic bookkeeping; keeping records of transactions involving expenses or earnings

> Utilizing bookkeeping records for accounting purposes

> Tax preparation

> Utilizing accounting information to create financial reports

Those are simply listings of how professional bookkeeping and accounting services, whether in-house or outsourced, can positively influence the state of your business.

Regardless of the size of your business, you will still need to undertake basic bookkeeping and accounting. Outsourcing your accounting function can be a first-step towards ensuring accuracy in your financial reports, while also ensuring you no longer need to take out significant amount of time for accounting, at the cost of your core business services and client offerings. Outsourcing your accounting is also a good way to ensure that all your finances are updated and thorough.

Advantages to outsourcing your accounting function:

> Timely bookkeeping

> Accurate and thorough accounts

> Financial reports that are reliable for the purpose of drawing capital for business

Benefits to outsourcing:

Most enterprises and small business need careful nurturing before they can take off in the industry of their choice. Most of the nurturing has a financial basis because small businesses and enterprises operate on strict budget limits. Further, if you are not a certified accounting professional or your area of expertise is different, you may end up wasting an inordinate amount of time in managing your accounting.

You have accounting software: Accounting software can be complicated, unless you know exactly how to operate it. Outsourcing your accounting can ensure you don’t waste time unnecessarily on correcting mistakes.

Shifting focus from business: If you immerse yourself in bookkeeping and accounting details once, it can get very difficult to switch roles; particularly if you’re not trained in bookkeeping and accounting. Outsourced accounting services cuts down this time and effort greatly; you get professional expertise working on your bookkeeping and accounting.

More reliable outcomes: Outsourced services in accounting are staffed by professionals. You get reliable results, dependable reports, and even support and technical back-up, if you choose the right vendor. All of this translates into profitability and value for money for the business owner.

Opening a Forex Trading Account: Live Vs Demo Trading Account

After selecting the best Forex trader, you will need to open a Forex trading account with them. The process is easy and involves choosing an account type, registering and activating the account.

Most experts and professional Forex traders usually advise novice Forex traders to first open a demo account before moving on to live accounts.

Demo Account Vs Live Account

Live Forex trading accounts are real accounts where Forex is traded in real-time. Here, Forex traders buy and sell Forex using real money. In a live trading account, one can either make profits or losses depending on their trades.

Demo accounts are virtual simulated Forex trading accounts complete with all requirements and environment similar to a live trading Forex account. The only difference is that no real money is traded, earned or lost.

Here the trader can buy and sell Forex and make profits or losses but no real money is actually exchanged. The main aims of demo Forex trading accounts is to;

· Help new Forex traders learn how to trade Forex without risking their money

· Gives traders a real-time experience and feel on how to trade in Forex

· Help traders try out various strategies and come up with effective strategies for live trading

· Used by new traders to build confidence and motivation before moving to live trading account

Difference between Demo Accounts and Live Trading Accounts

In practice, it has been shown that successes achieved when trading in a demo Forex account may differ significantly with those from a live trading account. This difference in results is attributed to a number of factors including;

· Lack of real money mindset

· Emotional differences

· Risk and caution

Lack of Real Money Mindset

Because there is no money lost in demo accounts, traders tend to have a mindset of having nothing to lose which make them try out different strategies which either fail them or result in success. In addition, there is no pressure if they make costly trading mistakes.

In live accounts however, no trader is willing to try out a strategy that they have not used before for fear of losing their money. In case of trading mistakes, traders feel the pressure to recover their losses thus clouding future judgments.

Emotional Differences

Even though Forex traders try to eliminate emotions when making Forex trading decisions, trading in live accounts may sometimes result in nervousness and a flood of emotions to traders as they become tense when making such crucial decisions.

This is because wrong decisions would result in them losing money. In demo accounts, there are no emotions in play.

Risk and Caution

While in demo accounts taking risks and being less cautious might end up making more profits, live accounts traders are less willing to take risks and are very cautious on the trades they make.

In live trading however, potential of traders making more money can result in taking unnecessary risks. Risks in live trading might result in committing trading sins like cutting off your winnings, revenge trading and moving stop-losses

This differences between live and demo trading accounts can be dealt with by reducing trading mistakes and sins, focusing on your trading plan and not the money even when under pressure and being prepared for emotionless state of mind when you switch to live trading.

Accountant Job Description

An accountant’s job entails working to ensure that business firms and individuals are keeping good records and paying taxes properly and on time. Though the accountant job description for some accounting positions may be simple, other accountant job descriptions are not quite as clear because of the number of duties that are required.

In general, an accountant performs vital functions to businesses, as well as individuals, of all types by offering a very wide array of business and accounting services, including public, management and government accounting, as well as internal auditing. These four major fields of accounting, and in addition to having a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, each has a separate accountant job description.

1. Public Accountant

A public accountant job description can be summed up in what most people envision as “typical” accountant’s work. It involves performing a broad range of accounting, auditing, tax, and consulting activities for their clients, which may be corporations, governments, nonprofit organizations, and individuals. Specialties in public accounting are often chosen. For example, a public accountant may choose to concentrate on tax matters, such as advising companies about the tax advantages and disadvantages of certain business decisions and preparing individual income tax returns. Other public accountants may choose areas such as compensation or employee health care benefits, or may design accounting and data processing systems. Still other public accountants may choose to specialize in auditing financial statements and inform investors and authorities that statements have been correctly prepared and reported. Public accounts are usually Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), and generally own their own businesses or work for public accounting firms.

2. Management Accountant

Another accountant job description is that of a management accountant. Also called a cost, managerial, industrial, corporate, or private account, management accountants record and analyze the financial information of the companies for which they work. The management accountant job description includes a detailed listing of responsibilities, such as budgeting, performance evaluation, cost management, and asset management. Management accountants are often a part of executive teams involved in strategic planning or the development of new products, where they analyze and interpret financial information that corporate executives need in order to make sound business decisions. They also prepare financial reports for other groups, including stock holders, creditors, regulatory agencies, and tax authorities. Management accountants are usually a part of an accounting department, employed a large company, and may work in many areas that may include financial analysis, planning, budgeting, and cost accounting.

3. Government Accountant

A government accountant works in the public sector, maintaining and examining the records of government agencies and auditing private businesses and individuals whose activities are subject to government regulation and/or taxation. This accountant job description, while detailed, is much more specialized. Government accountants are employed by Federal, State, or local governments, and work to guarantee that revenues are received and expenditures are made in accordance with laws and regulations. Those employed by the Federal government may work as Internal Revenue Services agents or in financial management, financial institution examination, or budget analysis and administration.

4. Internal Auditor Accountant

The accountant job description of an internal auditor can basically be summarized by the job title. Internal auditors verify the accuracy of their organization’s internal records, and check for mismanagement, waste, or fraud. It is an increasingly important area of accounting, because internal auditors examine and evaluate their firms’ financial and information systems, management procedures, and internal controls to ensure that records are accurate and controls are adequate to protect against fraud and waste. They also review company operations, evaluating their efficiency, effectiveness, and compliance with corporate policies and procedures, laws, and government regulations. The accountant job description of an internal auditor can vary with different companies, and may include job duties such as electronic data processing, environmental auditing, engineering, legal auditing, insurance reviews, banking, and health care auditing.

Accountants in all four areas can work for a company, or can be employed by an accounting firm, which would in turn be hired by a company for consulting. An accountant can also be self-employed, and provide accounting services to individuals, businesses, or both.

Most accounting jobs include an accountant job description that requires a bachelor’s degree, at minimum, in accounting or a related field, and some accountant job descriptions might include the requirement of a master’s degree or Certified Public Account (CPA) certification, obtained through a four-part, Uniform CPA Explanation prepared by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). While the two-day CPA examination is rigorous, and only about 25 percent of those taking the exam pass every part they attempt, CPA certification can greatly assist in the rate of pay received, and in most states, the examination can be taken in two parts, which may assist in preparing for and passing the exam.

According to the United States Department of Labor, employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow at a faster than average rate, for all accounting occupations from all accountant job descriptions mentioned, through the year 2014. This is due to an increase in the number of businesses nationwide, changing financial laws and regulations, and increased scrutiny of company finances. In addition to these reasons for new accounting jobs opening up, there will also be a need to replace accountants and auditors who will retire or transfer to other occupations.

The field is also becoming more specialized due to technology and new, accurate accounting and auditing software experience becoming a crucial addition to an accountant job description. An accountant job description may include, in addition to educational and technological requirements, strong interpersonal and communication skills, simply due to the fact that most accountants work on teams with others from different backgrounds, and will need the ability to communicate accounting and financial information clearly and concisely.

Regardless of one’s qualifications, competition in the accounting field will remain strong for the most prestigious jobs, as well as for obtaining clients for those accountants that are self-employed.

Accountancy Career – Qualifications and Regulation

If you are planning to get into Accountancy Career then it is very important to understand all the rules and regulations to practice as an accountant in different countries. In some countries accountant has to be certified and financial expert. Just like other professionals every country has their own training and certification which maintain the quality of accountant in their jurisdictions.

Qualifications and Regulation

Before getting in accountancy career you need to understand the qualification and regulation depending upon the country you need to practice.

Accountants may be licensed by a variety of organizations and are recognized by titles such as Charter Certified Accountant, Charted Accountant (term used in British Common wealth countries and Ireland for a person who work in all fields of business and finance), Certified Public Accountant (term used for qualified accountants in the United States who have passed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination and met other state education and experience), Certified Management Accountant (This is offered in Australia, Canada and United States), Certified General Accountant (designation representing members of the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada), Certified Practicing Accountant (one of three professional accounting bodies in Australia). Many countries recognize two or more accounting bodies.

Australia

If you want to start your accountancy career in Australia then there are four main local professional accountancy bodies
Certified Practicing Accountants
Professional National Accountants
Member of National Institute of Accountants
Chartered Accountants

Austria

If you want to start your accountancy career in Austria then the accountancy profession is regulated by the Bilanzbuchhaltungsgesetz 2006

Canada

If you want to start your accountancy career in Canada then there are three recognized bodies
Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and the provincial and territorial Institutes
Certified General Accountants Association of Canada
Society of Management Accountants of Canada (Certified Management Accountants)

Hong Kong

If you want to start your accountancy career in Hong Kong then the accountancy industry is regulated by the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants under the Professional Accountants Ordinance.

New Zealand

If you want to start your accountancy career in New Zealand then there is only one local accountancy body
New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants

United Kingdom

If you want to start your accountancy career in the United Kingdom then there are no license requirements for an individual to practice as an accountant but certain titles requires membership from appropriate professional bodies.
Chartered Certified Accountant must be member of the Association of Charted Certified Accountants.
Chartered Accountants must be member of one of the following Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales or Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland or Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland or recognized equivalent body from another Commonwealth country like Canada.
Chartered Management Accountant must be a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
Chartered Public Finance Accountant must be a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.
International Accountant must be a member of the Association of International Accountants.

United States of America

If you want to start your accountancy career in the United States then legally practicing accountants are Certified Public Accountants, and other non-statutory accountants are Certified Internal Auditors, Certified Management Accountants and Accredited Business Accountants.

Accounting process

Accounting is the process of identifying, measuring and communicating economic information so a user of the information may make informed economic judgments and decisions based on it.

Job Overview For Accounting Technicians

Designation

The designation of an Accounting Technician is supported by their Association in the United Kingdom (AAT). This designation together with that of Chartered Accountant is used primarily in the United Kingdom, although the title is sometimes seen in the United States. Here, a comparable occupation would be a professionally trained bookkeeper or accounting clerk. A comparable United States certificate to the AAT is awarded by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB).
Profile

Accounting technicians are required to produce entry level accounting work in accounting or finance departments. Their focus should be relative to data entry, accounts receivable, accounts payable and payroll. In many offices, they act as office managers for generally small companies, as it is considered beneficial to have an office manager with a firm understanding of accounting principals. There are also many accounting technicians who have supervisory positions over personnel without degrees, or clerk-level accounting staff. Similar positions of responsibility to an accounting technician are an accounting clerk or bookkeeper, office manager and accounting analyst.

Functions

The functions relating to this position involve aspects of accounts payable, to classify and record bills, vendor invoices and liabilities. With regard to the accounts receivable department, they will record invoices, payments and produce aging reports on receivables. Their roll in the payroll department, will involve payroll figures and liabilities, together with tax with-holdings, reports runs and preparation of the of the payroll cheque runs.

Additional Functions

Further focus is needed on data entry, the checking for errors and account reconciliations. As the work is of a repetitive nature, dedicated attention to detail is required! They are relied upon to discover and correct accounting errors, generally caused by mistakes in data entry. This calls for an analytical mind, which is a requirement in a proficient Accounting Technician. It is also required that he or she carries out basic audit functions. They may be responsible for the monitoring of payable and receivable accounts, bank deposits and balances and for the perceiving of any irregularities. In addition, they are accountable for the maintaining of proper separation of duties and the procedures related to internal control. As and when any irregularity is discovered, then it is generally their perogative to initiate an investigation.

Required Knowledge

Generally, financial statements are prepared by professional or accountants who have degrees, as part of their responsibilities. Although Accounting Technicians are rarely engaged in the preparation and analysis of financial statements, they must be familiar with the process of the creation of them and from which accounts the data originated? This does assist them in the coding and entering of transactional data, as well as the discovery and correction of any errors, in the event of an unbalance.

General

Account Technicians generally commence working in a support role at a firm of accountants. Alternatively, it may be within the accounts or finance departments or sections, of commercial organisations’, industrial companies or the public sector. Whatever their choice, there is work available for them in all areas of the financial world. There are independent opportunities in the business environment for experienced Account Technicians. It could be as a self employed provider of a variety of accountancy related services, to the many small and medium business owners, who either cannot or do not wish to employ a permanent accountant.

Entry Requirements: What You Need to Start

Although a reasonable level of literacy is needed, there are no minimum entry level requirements specified to begin training as an Accounting Technician.
On the job training is usually involved at entry level, whilst studying with distanced learning or on a part time basis. Qualifications may be obtained through schemes conducted either by their Association (AAT) or the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)
Two routs are offered by the AAT to the accountancy qualification; the NVQ/SVQ and diploma. The offered courses are vocational and provide practical knowledge and skills that are required to perform the tasks demanded.

There are three stages in the NVQ/SVQ route, which is based on competence.
• Foundation – NVQ/SVQ in Accounting Level 2
• Intermediate- NVQ/SVQ in Accounting Level 3
• Technician – NVQ?SVQ in accounting Level 4

Those Graduates in possession of a UK degree in accounting need only complete the Technician stage. Should you possess an A-level in accounting, an HNC or recognised work experience, it is possible you could be eligible for exemptions from the Foundation stage. In this connection, the AAT and the other accounting bodies should be contacted for more information regarding the validity of your qualifications.

In order to obtain technician status, it is required that you complete at least one year of work experience. For those who are already working in a finance environment and can easily provide evidence of work experience, this is a preferred route.

As an alternative, the diploma route is available for those not working in finance or who are unable to provide workplace evidence. There are three stages and completion of all three leads to technician status:
- Certificate in Accounting (foundation)
- Advanced Certificate in Accounting (intermediate)
- Diploma in Accounting (technician)
Additional vocational qualifications are offered by the AAT which may be suitable for your preferred career path. For more details, visit their website.
The ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) offers the CAT (Certified Accounting Technician) scheme. This is a route that combines study and practical experience and involves studying for nine papers, split into three levels. These are Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. For further details visit the ACCA website.
Candidates are required to produce evidence of the following:
- Strong written and oral communication with IT skills;
- Ability to work in a team, often alongside accounting professionals;
- Ability to multi-task and time management.
- A High-level of numerical skills;
- Good attention to detail;
- Your ability to work accurately and methodically with numbers

Training as an Accounting Technician and How to Become Qualified

Evidence of practical skills is required by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), towards your becoming certified as an Accounting Technician. In accordance with AAT practice, this procedure is conducted by means of assessments, designed to display theory in practice. Included are practical work base exercises or for those not involved in the accounting sector, testing will be by simulations. Voluntary work or hobbies, such as being treasurer of a local society, may be used as examples of work experience!

ACCA accounting technician trainees must, in order to qualify as an accounting technician, produce evidence that one year of work experience has been gained and that they have demonstrated competence in a technician training record (TTR). This must be verified by a person approved by the ACCA.

On the job training is received by most accounting technicians. Software packages and procedures will vary, according to the respective sectors, company and area in which they are working? It is recognised by employees that there is a need for continuing personal and professional development (CPD) in their career paths. Employers are becoming increasingly aware of this factor and are prepared to offer forms of support, to enable their employees to update and improve upon their skills and knowledge.

Career Development and Progress as an Accounting Technician:

There are opportunities for Accounting Technicians to progress to positions such as finance controller. Alternatively, an Audit senior, tax analyst, internal auditor or payroll manager.

A recognised accounting qualification in its own right is from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT). Some accounting technicians are able to attain senior levels with the AAT qualification, whilst many view it as a stepping stone towards further professional qualifications.