For most business owners, the only times they see their accountant is around tax time, when they need help filling out their business tax return.
It’s the busiest time of year for us accountants – of course, that doesn’t mean that we’re spending the rest of the year just twiddling our thumbs because we don’t have anything to do!
Our office doesn’t just employ tax accountants in Melbourne. We offer a wide range of other accounting services – while you may only use our team come tax time, there are plenty of other ways that we can help your business out if you need it.
What do accountants do besides taxes?
Giving you an overview of your business
When it comes to your business, it’s important that you know where you stand. While you might have a good idea of how you’re going on a day-to-day basis, accounting is needed to understand:
- Historical patterns
- Your trajectory
By putting together reports like balance sheets and profit/loss statements (and more importantly, explaining the implications to you), our accountants can help you make better business decisions.
Reconciliations and account clean-ups
Many business owners who’ve tried their hand at DIY accounting find that it’s a lot harder than they initially assumed, and end up with messy, disorganised accounts. In other cases, calculation or recording errors mean your records don’t line up with your bank statement.
Both of these issues have flow-on effects, and can throw future reports way off base.
Fixing these issues takes a lot of time – luckily, you can always lean on our accountants to help dig you out of these holes.
BAS and IAS statements
Your annual business tax return isn’t the only type of tax your business needs to worry about. Every quarter, you’ll also need to file reports for GST collected and owed, as well as payroll tax and more.
Luckily, these statements are more straightforward than your business tax return – however, they also take up a considerable amount of time.
Our BAS and IAS accountants help you out with all the other taxes your business needs to collect and pay each quarter. We can take care of these quarterly forms for you, allowing you to keep your attention on the things that matter.
Australian laws surrounding business finance reporting are quite strict, with a number of different monthly reports and statements required on an ongoing monthly basis.
And as with many recurring tasks at your business, it isn’t unheard of for these monthly reports to slip through the cracks and get lost in the shuffle.
Don’t have the time to get to them yourself? Fed up with late nights spent catching up? Hand these reports off to a business accountant in Melbourne instead!
Business expansions. New equipment. Trimming some fat. These are all major decisions, which you’ll need to put a lot of careful thought into.
Specifically, you’ll need to think about the financial ramifications and consequences, and determine whether or not you can afford to make a move.
This is something a business accountant in Melbourne can help you out with, offering our expert opinion and providing in-depth analysis. We will help create budgets, expenditure predictions and plans to help you achieve your goals.
How many types of accounting are there?
What are the 4 areas of accounting?
While accounting as a field has many different specialisations and niches (many of which we weren’t able to cover), all accountants typically fall into one of 4 main areas.
The first is public accounting. Accountants working in this area often find themselves working for external accounting firms to provide accounting services to a wide variety of clients (we fall into this category).
Private accounting on the other hand is all internal, and focuses on helping business owners make the right decisions. These accountants are employed directly by a business and focus on internal analysis and reports.
Like the name suggests, government accountants typically work for government departments and regulatory bodies.
Finally, financial services accounting focuses on accounting services unique to the financial sector, and often work with investment firms, brokers and banks.
What is the best field in accounting for your business’ needs?
While there are 4 main areas of accounting, underneath those areas are countless different fields, specialisations and niches.
Our accounting team is made up of three types of accountants specifically:
- Small business accountants (both management and financial)
- Business tax accountants
- Personal accountants
After all, these are the clients we specialise in helping!
However, there are many other types of accountant other than this, each of which specialise in their own areas. While you probably won’t end up needing their services, it’s good to know what they are.
- Forensic accounting: these specialists analyse cases of fraud, embezzlement and other financial misconduct, and are often employed by regulators and banks
- Insolvency accountants: accountants who work primarily with cases of bankruptcy to ensure all parties get the best outcome
- Auditing: these accountants may be employed internally or by dedicated firms, helping business owners to analyse processes to identify inefficiencies and risks
- Investment accountant: these accountants work in the finance industry, often alongside financial and investment managers
We would keep going on, but we think you get the idea!
What are the levels of accountant?
You don’t just finish your degree and get to call yourself an accountant – within the industry, there are actually several different titles within the industry.
In Australia, there are three recognised certifications:
- CA (Chartered Accountant)
- CPA (Certified Practicing Accountant)
- NIA (National Institute of Accountants)
Which one is better? Truth be told, we can’t answer that because there’s no real answer if you ask us.
That’s because accounting isn’t like a trade where you have apprenticeships, journeymen and master tradies, each with their own skill level. In accounting, each of these certifications focuses on different areas, making them hard to compare.
For example, CPA focuses more on higher-level services like auditing, tax accounting, budget analysis and more. By contrast, CA focuses more on more generalist skills that are more applicable on a day-to-day basis.
That’s why our accounting team includes both CPAs and CAs to ensure we’re able to offer clients like you with whatever you need on the accounting front.
No matter what type of accountant you need, there are similarities…
While each of these areas and specialisations are vastly different, each of them has one thing in common: all of them need to have a solid foundation and understanding of accounting principles.
Even if you plan on handing your accounting off to a small business accountant in Melbourne, it’s still worth understanding these for yourself!
What are the 3 golden rules of accounting?
Regardless of what specialisation or niche, accounting is built around the idea of debits and credits. Specifically, it’s built around 3 particular principles…
- Debit the receiver, credit the giver
- Debit what comes in, credit what goes out
- Debit all expenses and losses, credit revenue and income
These 3 principles underpin the entire accounting profession, no matter what area one practices in.
What are the 5 types of accounts?
In addition to the 3 key principles, there are also countless types of accounts you’ll need to track when it comes to accounting.
Luckily, these all fall into 5 categories: assets, liabilities, equity, revenue and expenses.
Each of these are umbrella categories, with countless other accounts underneath them – for example, assets can include your equipment and business property, but it also includes your cash reserves as well as non-tangible assets like IP.
Another thing to remember is that each one gets treated differently when it comes to debits and credits.
Find out how our accountants can help you today
Your accountant can help you out with more than just your annual tax return and a quarterly check-up. Our accounting firm in Melbourne offers a wide range of accounting services, allowing us to help small and medium businesses like yours in a number of ways.
And now that you know what those ways are, hopefully you’ll be better able to figure out what you need, and find an accounting professional to help.
Each accounting package we put together is tailored for your needs. Whether you only need an IAS accountant in Melbourne to look after monthly reports or need someone to look after every aspect of your accounting, all you need to do is talk to us.