Answering the question – “What is an accountant?”
By definition, an accountant is a person involved in the financial side of a business and whose job it is to accurately maintain or inspect financial records. However they also play a key role in business, providing advice on the strategic direction of a company and also ensuring the organisation runs as efficiently as possible.
An accountant may be employed full time in an organisation, work on a freelance basis or operate their own business. As financial activities are present in any business, accountants can work across many different industry sectors.
The exact scope of work an accountant handles depends on their role in the business or organisation and is dependent on their training. These roles can include a forensic accountant, tax specialist, computer science accountant, financial reporter, planning & management accountant, auditor, etc.
Accountants have generally graduated from a university or college with a BCom (Acc) or BCom (Hons)(Acc) and CTA (Certificate Theory of Accounting). In order to add value to their employer or clients, they become part of a professional body such as SAIPA.
The added value of a good accountant
As mentioned in the opening paragraph, an accountant can be much more than someone who merely reviews financial information. Finding an accountant with business acumen can be a valuable addition to your organisation. Accountants affiliated with SAIPA receive ongoing training to ensure they are adding the most value to their clients or employers and that their advice and insight can steer an organisation towards financial growth.
Recently SAIPA reached out to small businesses to actively engage with their accountants regarding their growth plans. After all, accountants have often worked with many businesses and can identify the key steps you need to grow your business.