What does a Chartered Accountant do?

18 March 2023

A Chartered Accountant gives you advice and trustworthy information about your businesses financial records and status. They can be involved in financial reporting, taxation, auditing, forensic accounting, corporate finance, business recovery and insolvency. They will support you with accounting systems and processes and will work alongside you and your business to drive your business forward, bringing skills of strategic forecasting along with expertise in finance, accountancy, auditing and taxation which is essential to each and every business in today’s climate.

CA stands for Chartered Accountant and it is one of the most coveted professional degrees in the world. To qualify as a Chartered Accountant, you qualify with a specialised bachelor’s degree in accounting, followed by a Certificate in the Theory of Accounting (CTA) which is offered as a postgraduate honours degree, or as a postgraduate diploma dependent on the university attended.

Chartered Accountants work in a wide spectrum of roles; financial controllers, directors through to chief executives. They work in a wide range of business sectors; Business and Industry, Financial Services, Practice, Public Sector, Private Sector, Private Equity and so on.

What does a Chartered Accountant do?

A Chartered Accountant focuses on providing accurate records of all financial transactions for an individual or business and they tend to work with commercial businesses such as larger non-profit organisations, corporations and e-commerce or industrial sectors.

Chartered Accountants who work in practice provide financial services and advice to businesses which can include; auditing, taxation, accounting, financial analysis, risk management, financial structures and much more.

Chartered Accountants will:
  • Work as key senior managers or alongside senior managers and decision-makers within a business, steering it in the right strategic direction, solving problems and implementing change
  • Report on the financial performance of a company to impact and direct key business decisions and strategies
  • Be trusted advisors, supporting as a consultant or as a practising partner
  • Work in a wide range of business sectors and in a broad spectrum of roles, from financial controllers and directors to chief executives
  • Advise on a range of day-to-day financial aspects and reporting, preparing corporate and personal tax statements and formulate tax strategies including financial choice, how to plan and manage a merger or acquisition, deferral of taxes, when to expense items and so on
  • Plan and manage business audits which include; checking accounting ledgers and financial statements within businesses including processes, manual, automatic and random real-time auditing
  • Budget planning, negotiation and analysis, managing an organisation’s current and future financial plans, working alongside marketing, operations, new business, service and HR. They will manage and or participate in decisions about budgeting alongside a businesses’ financial analysis
  • Conduct risk analysis for companies to make investment decisions in the future.

A Chartered Accountants role is varied and will change day by day in line with a businesses’ needs. They could be participating in important financial decisions involving mergers and acquisitions, or visiting a customer or supplier to set up a new account and discuss business. A Chartered Accountant has to have a good understanding of both accounting, finance and business and be flexible in the services they offer to align with a businesses’ needs, whether they work for a company directly or if they work within a practice offering services to businesses as they need them.

A Chartered Accountant will know and understand the business they work for and be able to prepare its financial reports as well as give them advice and guidance for increasing their profit, reducing spend, tax advice, budgets, analysis, company restructures, audits and so on. A Chartered Accountant can work in any sector; private businesses, non-profit organisations and in the public sector.

What benefit is there for your business having a Chartered Accountant?

A Chartered Accountant will help and advise you on many aspects of your business however big or small it is. Having a dedicated Chartered Accountancy firm that you work with regularly ensures they have a good understanding of your business, its operation and its financial status. Every business is different and a good Chartered Accountancy firm will adapt their services to meet the needs of your business and will help you plan and make changes for the future.

Sound Advice

Using a Chartered Accountant gives you the assurance that the advice you are receiving is both accurate and informed as they must comply with professional development standards, ensuring their knowledge and skills are always up-to-date. A businesses’ financial requirements often change and the rules and regulations are often complicated and confusing if you don’t have a financial background, therefore, a Chartered Accountant will always give you comprehendible information which is up to date.

Regulated by Professional Bodies

A Chartered Accountant is a professionally qualified individual that is bound by a code of ethics and professional standards. They will have set policies and procedures in place, professional indemnity insurance, complaints and disciplinary procedures as well as undergoing regular monitoring of compliance and quality reviews of their professional practice, giving you peace of mind that their advice and guidance is accurate, measured and monitored.

Broad Experience

Chartered Accountants have to have the necessary Chartered Accountant qualifications, been mentored and worked for a wide range of different clients across a range of industries for 3-years before they can legally practice on their own. The qualifications and training builds acute business awareness and strong personal judgement gained from the valuable experience of working with high-performing businesses as well as those under financial pressures.

Integrity

Chartered Accountants are bound by a code of ethics to uphold a set of professional principles as set out by the ICAEW, in summary: Chartered Accountants are expected to demonstrate the highest standards of professional conduct and to take into consideration the public interest. Ethical behaviour by Chartered Accountants plays a vital role in ensuring public trust in financial reporting and business practices and upholding the reputation of the accountancy profession. A professional and practising Chartered Accountant means demonstrating a commitment to maintaining and developing professional standards, to give you the peace of mind that yours or your businesses financial interests are always put first.

Grow your Business

Using a Chartered Accountant offers your business a huge range of benefits from their business knowledge, advice and financial experience and expertise. A Chartered Accountant who spends time to learn about your business and work alongside you can help you make changes to aid its growth and make it more profitable whilst advising you on financial risks.

What are the risks of not using a qualified Chartered Accountant?

Poor accountancy can have a huge impact on the financial stability of your business as well as raise unwanted attention from HMRC so finding the right Chartered Accountant for you and your business is crucial. False accounting is a criminal offence and can result in imprisonment for business owners who are responsible and accountable for their accounting practices and standards.

When to use a chartered accountant

When you work with an experienced and professional Chartered Accountant you will have the peace of mind that you are working with someone who has extensive business and financial experience in a variety of sectors and financial statuses.

Whether your businesses or personal financial situation is complicated or your understanding of financial systems and processes is limited then finding a Chartered Accountant that you trust and work alongside is crucial. Whether you are a start-up business, you have been in operation for years, are a small or large business then a Chartered Accountant will advise you on the financial management of your business, help you with business plans for growth and profitability. If you are a start-up business they can help you form your financial strategy when you’re creating your business plans, as well as supporting you with budget planning and analysis to set you up from day one.

Working with and alongside a chartered accountant who knows and understands your business will give you peace of mind and the assurance that your financial matters and processes are being handled competently and efficiently.

You are responsible and accountable for your accounting practices and standards, false accounting is a criminal offence and can result in imprisonment so having the advice and support of a financial expert is advisable and will set you up for long term success.

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