How much do you know about what your accountant does for a living? If you are like most people, your knowledge of accounting doesn’t go much further than personal or business tax services. If you own a small business, perhaps a restaurant for example, you know a little bit more because you’ve had to learn about restaurant accounting. But beyond that, what your accountant does every day is a mystery to you.
It turns out that there is a lot more to the accounting career than just preparing tax forms and balancing ledgers. Dallas-based Gurian CPA Firm, a firm offering tax services and business accounting in the Dallas area, says there are actually five specialties within the field of accounting.
Each of the five specialties overlaps in some areas but is completely unique in others. Below is a brief description of the specialties, for your general information.
1. Tax Accounting
The form of accounting most people are familiar with is tax accounting. When Gurian markets Dallas tax services, they are marketing one of their specialties as tax accountants.
Tax accounting involves maintaining a company’s tax records, making sure forms are completed and filed on time, and maintaining general compliance with all state and federal regulations. A good tax accountant also helps clients reduce their tax liabilities through all available legal means.
2. Managerial Accounting
An accountant specializing in managerial accounting does have some knowledge of tax accounting and compliance. But his/her specialty goes far beyond. This person deals with accounting procedures, preparing financial documents, conducting financial evaluations, and even budget preparations. The managerial accountant is also a liaison between the accounting firm and the clients he or she serves.
Managerial accountants can work for independent firms like Gurian, but they can also be direct employees of large companies. Having a managerial accountant on staff is a big help to companies that handle their accounting in-house.
3. Internal Accounting
Companies that handle accounting in-house almost always have internal accountants on the team. As accountants, these professionals are also internal auditors whose primary responsibility is to keep an eye on every aspect of company finances. They deal with risk management, day-to-day financial operations, accounting processes, and so forth.
4. IT Accounting
A role similar to the internal auditor is that of ID auditor. A person in this role combines common accounting practices with IT knowledge in order to make sure a company’s financial software, network, and infrastructure are all up to par.
IT accounting professionals are tasked with maintaining security relating to financial records. They keep track of who has access to what information, how such information is protected, and so forth. Where federal and state regulations require compliance, IT auditors handle that as well.
5. Financial Analysis
The final accounting specialty is one of financial analysis. A financial analyst is, more often than not, employed by a larger company handling accounting in-house. But independent accounting firms also have need of financial analysts from time to time. The financial analyst supports a business by analyzing financial data, preparing reports to help management make informed decisions, offering long- and short-term forecasts, etc.
As you can see, there is a lot more to accounting than running the daily numbers and filing tax forms. Accounting is a very complex career that can take many paths. At Gurian CPA firm, tax accounting is their main focus. But there are accountants of all kinds doing their thing every day. If you are a business owner, you can certainly appreciate that. The business world would be entirely different without accountants and the valuable services they provide.