Let's look at the salient aspects of how accounting and bookkeeping Professionals are planning to improve service delivery to their clients and the main parameters:
High accuracy levels are of paramount importance in accounting and bookkeeping firm. The ledger records need to reflect the real picture of the business performance without any accounting errors. The accounting firm ensures this by having an automated, foolproof system that systematically captures accounting entries with tamper-proof records, proper authorization, and date stamping feature for each unique client. This would enable tracking of expenses, payable, and receivables, booking of profits, reporting of financial performance like revenues, reconciliation of records, and correct payment of statutory dues.
Time is of the essence when it comes to the maintenance of books of accounts. After all, accuracy is meaningless if the reports are not available for reporting, audit, tax, and compliance purposes. Accounting professionals help close books of accounts annually for filing tax returns. They also facilitate the preparation of financial records on a monthly or quarterly basis for GST compliance.
Further, financial statements like profit and loss account, balance sheet, account schedules, accounting policies, are mandatory for audit purposes, in case of achieving an inevitable annual turnover. Prompt maintenance and regular updating of records by experts enable meeting the regulatory deadlines and prevent getting on the wrong side of the law. Timely compliance would help avoid tax penalties.
Accountants are concerned about the inclusion of comprehensive records that capture the performance of the business entity, as a whole. To ensure this, chartered accountants are leveraging upon the latest technology like cloud computing. This has enabled a centralized repository of accounting records, which can be updated in real-time across all offices and locations of a business enterprise as against a standalone software installation in-office computers. This would eliminate the chances of data omission. E-documentation and digital records would establish a complete data audit trail, integration of data across ledger groups, and strengthen internal controls.
Acceptable and readily available accounting entries with adequate backup are topmost on the minds of accountants. Accounting firms are gradually doing away with manual processing and adopting automation of bookkeeping from start to end, i.e., passing of the account entries to the preparation of financial statements. Thus, by harnessing technology, the data can be accessed remotely by multiple departments within the organization. Be it the statutory auditor, the internal audit team, the tax professionals, or the accounting operations, and all can retrieve standard information for their specific functional needs.
It is critical for business enterprises to hire the right expertise to prevent the levy of tax penalties or other violations of the law. Accounting experts would be able to use correct accounting judgment as to the nature of business expenditure, i.e., capital or expense item, and its eligibility as a deduction to reduce the taxable profits. A wrong accounting treatment can result in tax notices and adverse auditors' qualifications in the auditor's report.
Accountants stay updated on the latest amendments in the accounting principles and relevant laws so that their clients can effectively meet the challenges of the changing regulatory regimes. This becomes especially relevant in case the business has a multinational presence with operations across jurisdictions. Besides tax penalties, accountants also protect the reputation of their clients as being compliant with the legal framework. Often, accountants have also extended their services to consultancy on accounting, taxation, audit, and reporting matters to help the client in the adoption of best practices in each of the domains.
Accountants strive to provide quality services at optimal prices. This is possible in a digital accounting system as against the traditional manual accounting practice. Thus, accountants can pass on the reduction in operating expenses by the optimal pricing of accounting services. Both the client and the accountancy firm benefit from the situation.
The enhanced dependence on technology makes it imperative for accountants to develop strategies to tackle the threat of cyber risk, data theft, and manipulation. The chances of fraud are minimized by having a computerized accounting system that has adequate checks in place to authorize transactions with track changes facility, the limited scope of changing the submitted entries and the inputted dates and centralized control of accounting data.
The importance of accounting and bookkeeping services to every business enterprise cannot be overemphasized. The above points aptly summarize the main aspects that accounting and bookkeeping firms are talking about. Provision of professional accounting services that are efficient, effective, scalable, accessible, reliable, secure, timely, cost-effective, and automated is the need of the hour. Accounting professionals are, in turn attempting to raise the bar and brainstorming ways to improve and innovate their service offering continually.