Do you know your accountant?
Accountants come in many different types, some with professional designations and years of experience, others with no training but the belief that accounting is easy. Would you trust your health with an unqualified doctor? If not then you should not trust the financial health of your corporation with an unqualified accountant.
Traversing the corporate financial world is a tricky and complex journey. There are many pitfalls and dead ends that it is crucial you have a competent guide to lead you on the right path. In British Columbia anybody can call themselves an accountant. They do not have to be trained or have extensive knowledge or experience in the field of accounting. All they have to do is call themselves an accountant and, ta da, they are one.
A Chartered Accountant on the other hand can only call themselves a Chartered Accountant if they have completed a three year intensive training program that covers various aspects of financial reporting and taxation coupled with an extensive examination process that culminates with a three day 13 hour exam.
To achieve the designation of a Chartered Accountant training involves practical experience conducting audits, drafting financial statements, preparing tax returns, learning the tax act and accounting standards as well as undertaking ethical courses. At the end of the process is a well rounded professional who is able to identify the appropriate services a corporation needs and provide those services competently.
As with many professions this capability and knowledge does not come cheap, but the money you spend up front will be well worth the money saved in a job well done. If you are paying what seems like a bargain for your year end statements and tax return you should consider the quality of the product being prepared and who is preparing it.
Next time you speak to your accountant, ask him what his qualifications are, then contact us.Download a copy of this issue