Types Of Accountants

There are several different types of accountants in the UK, who work in a variety of sectors from auditing to taxation and personal to corporate. A qualified UK accountant will belong to a professional body, such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

All qualified accountants in the UK must have passed an examination set by their professional body, and have met other certifying requirements to hold this title. As well as offering general auditing and accountancy services, UK accountants can specialise in a number of areas, including:

Management Accountant

In general management accountants can deal with the day-to-day financial needs of a business or individual, as they are trained in a wide range of disciplines, from bookkeeping to tax returns. Whether you're self-employed or have a lot of outgoings and investment then you will probably need a management accountant to deal with your individual financial affairs. In this case a specialist personal accountant should be able to help you as they can advise and take care of bookkeeping, quarterly forecasts, investments or savings, and tax returns.

If you have a small or medium-sized business then you will need a management accountant to help you look after your finances. Even if you decide to do the book-keeping yourself, although it may be easier to let a professional do it, you will need a trained expert to deal with monthly and quarterly forecasts, VAT returns, budgeting, credit control, sales invoicing, and ledger management. Luckily a business accountant will be able to take care of all these things for you, so you have peace of mind that your business is financially sound.

Taxation Accountant

Whether you're an individual needing to complete your tax returns or a large company with VAT, payroll and corporate tax to deal with, you'll need a specialist taxation accountant. Although a personal or business accountant would be able to offer general advice in these disciplines, it is much more effective to use a tax accountant for all your tax needs as they know the tax codes and laws better than general accountants.

You will find that most UK tax accountants will offer a full range of tax preparation and consulting services through their detailed understanding of the intricacies of tax laws. Among the services offered by tax accountants are, monthly financial reports, sales and excise tax returns, corporate, partnership and individual tax returns, income and estate planning, and payroll taxes.

Forensic Accountant

The work of a forensic accountant involves an amalgamation of accounting, auditing and investigation of financial and business related issues. This type of accountant is trained to look beyond numbers to business matters as a whole, which allows forensic accountants to assist solicitors, government agencies and business owners. In general these specialist accountants investigate your own and other businesses on your behalf to provide an accounting analysis that is suitable to be heard in court. This analysis will probably form the basis for a dispute case.

Forensic accounting brings together two forms of investigation and analysis, the first being litigation support, which offers assistance of an accounting nature in a litigation and deals mainly with issues related to financial damages, such as calculating the financial loss resulting from a breach of contract. The other type of forensic accountancy is investigative accounting, which is associated with investigations of criminal matters, such as an investigation of employee theft, securities fraud, insurance fraud, kickbacks or proceeds from crime investigations.

Corporate Recovery Accountant

Generally, corporate recovery accountants offer services that help to guide a business towards financial safety through a number of methods, such as analysing operating reports, identifying trouble spots, forecasting profitability, investigating cash flow problems, creating recovery strategies, monitoring performance and evaluating assets.

Corporate recovery accountants can also advise on purchasing assets and businesses from insolvent companies, as well as offering help to owners winding up their business or acting as liquidators in solvent liquidations. However, it is worth remembering that if you seek the advice of a corporate recovery accountant early enough, you may be able to steer your business out of trouble before it falls into liquidation.

Corporate Finance Accountant

A corporate finance accountant advises very large businesses and organisations to develop and pursue strategic and transactional objectives in a bid to maximise profit or encourage business growth. Most corporate finance accountants focus on four key areas - mergers and acquisitions, structuring and raising debt, corporate restructuring, and advising private equity. However, they will also be able to offer guidance in areas such as capital allocation, external financing, capital structure, and financial risk.

So whether you are involved in management buy outs/buy-ins, selling a company, securing finance, or your organisation wants to buy a failing company, a corporate finance accountant can offer you the expert advice to make your large business a success.

Risk Advisory Accountant

Having a risk management strategy in place is important for any business, large or small, and although many firms have the outline of such a process already in place, it is worth seeking the help of a risk advisory accountant to get complete coverage. Every business faces a number of risks, one of which is financial risk, where a firm can lose financial resources or incur unacceptable losses due to certain local, national or world events that affect an organisation's ability to meet its objectives.

Risk advisory accountants are specially trained to identify factors that could affect an organisation's ability to meet its key objectives, and develop a risk management strategy that focuses on these problems so that your business will be financially covered for every eventuality. Among the many key areas a risk advisory accountant will look at are insurance, market conditions and forward planning.

It is worth bearing in mind that one risk management process does not suit all businesses and that is why it is vital to seek professional advice so your risk strategy is tailored to meet the needs of your firm, and, with their specialist training, a risk advisory accountant can do just that.