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What Is an Accounting Firm?

by Alexander Malygin

3 min read

An accounting firm is a certified company recognized as an expert in providing accounting and auditing services to other business entities. It makes sure that financial transactions are accurate and legal and helps individuals and companies use financial reports to understand the state of their finances. What services are there?

  • Bookkeeping
  • Payroll services
  • Tax preparation
  • Business valuation
  • Tax strategy
  • Audit
  • Consulting
  • Special advisory services

In-depth study

The structuring and development of world trade led to the formation of financial accounting, the emergence of calculating, and the beginning of management accounting, which contributed to the industrial revolution. Today it is difficult to imagine a growing business without professional accounting support. Accounting firms are always up to date with new tax laws, and many of them offer financial advice and help individuals and small businesses develop budgets and set financial goals. The types of accounting firms can be divided into the following:

Full-Service (Public) Accounting Firms

This type of accounting firm is international in nature and provides a full range of services and has sufficient resources to cover all types of accounting services. An excellent example of full-service accounting firms is the so-called Big Four accounting firms: Deloitte, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Ernst & Young (EY), and Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG). They generate most of their revenue in the region of the Americas – KPMG’s largest region was its network of firms in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (including India). The United States remains a major market for all four firms.

Tax Accounting Firms

The main activity is the preparation and planning of taxes for companies of all sizes, as well as for individuals. Tax accounting firms usually hire CPAs. Most tax accounting firms have high standards of keeping abreast of changes in tax laws, accounting software, and tax planning strategies.

Audit & Forensic Firms

These firms audit companies, organizations, small businesses, government agencies, and individuals. They combine accounting skills and legal policies to detect fraudulent and illegal activities. This type is in high demand as forensic accountants are often called upon to testify as expert witnesses in cases of embezzlement, identity theft, money laundering, and stock price manipulation.

Bookkeeping Firms

These types of firms are usually small companies with only a few employees. Small businesses often choose bookkeeping firms as they cover the main range of services such as accounts receivable, accounts payable, bank reconciliation, credit sales reconciliation, payroll, financial statement preparation, and preparation of accounting write-ups. Bookkeeping firms may handle clients’ basic accounting tasks before submitting the information to CPA firms for more complex tasks.

The Average Cost for Small Business

The services of accounting firms can lower operating costs and increase your business's revenue, but choosing requires a careful understanding of the owner's specific financial needs and budget. The average basic plan (without additional features) for small businesses can start from $150 per month, which includes day-to-day bookkeeping, detailed monthly reports, creating and sending invoices, and preparing financial reports. The firm spares a dedicated bookkeeper to set up your account and connect your bank and credit accounts for synchronized transaction reporting.

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