July 29, 2013
An accountant is an accountant, is an accountant, right? Wrong. Chartered accountants have some specific skills and training that will make them valuable additions to your finance team.
Over the next few weeks, we'll be exploring the benefits of the different accounting designations in Canada. Each has its own unique qualifications, along with specific areas of concentration. To deliver the right accounting talent to your finance team, you'll need to understand each designation. Today, we explore the advantages of hiring a chartered accountant.
While most accountants can crunch numbers like a squirrel crunches nuts, chartered accountants (CA’s) have very specific kinds of skills and experience that make them especially valuable assets to their organizations. (Don’t worry, CMA’s and CGA’s – you’ll get your day in the sun too!) Chartered accountants possess a wide breadth of knowledge and training, which they must maintain through ongoing professional development. They have the know-how to help redesign and optimize accounting processes, as well as standardize even the most ramshackle and disorganized systems.
Hiring a chartered accountant means bringing aboard an accounting professional who offers specific advantages. Here are just three of the ways in which a chartered accountant can add value to your finance team.
A standardized approach
If you’re hiring an accountant from one of the Big Four accounting firms, then you know that they’ll have a close and intimate understanding of standard methodologies and approaches for managing specific accounting tasks. And you know they’ll have received the training and experience that is universal among the major firms.
Why is that a big deal? For starters, it provides a greater level of comfort for hiring managers. After all, knowing where someone was apprenticed, and being familiar with the methods and strategies used to train them as accountants, will help you determine whether they can succeed in your organization and fulfill the responsibilities you envisage for them.
Chartered accountants are required to put in considerable hours of auditing in order to earn their CA designation. That’s a lot – and we mean a lot – of time spent honing their craft. Among other things, auditors are taught to evaluate and assess internal financial controls.
A chartered accountant, in short, is trained to challenge assumptions and conduct rigorous testing in order to improve the current reporting structures and mechanisms in your organization. It’s in their DNA to refuse to accept things at face value. More detectives than bookkeepers, with an inquisitive temperament and a compulsion for thoroughness, they’re always sniffing around for proof that a current process works efficiently; their eyes will be peeled for ways to improve and enhance existing frameworks.
Adding a chartered accountant, then, to your finance team can give you more bang for your buck, leading to more efficient processes that will drive value for the organization as a whole.
Formulating a plan
Chartered accountants don’t need a lot of handholding; they thrive on ambiguity, building detail on the basis of even the most limited information. As part of their jobs, they’re often dropped onto client sites with limited briefings, on the basis of which they are required to design a plan or strategy to help their clients move through the auditing process as smoothly as possible. And having worked with clients from variously sized companies, chartered accountants are highly adaptable; they know how to deliver a quality audit that’s appropriate for the organization.
Hiring a chartered accountant can give you the peace of mind that can only be provided by a highly educated and trained professional – one who possesses both an admirable depth and breadth of financial expertise. Add a charted accountant to your finance team, and you’ll have an invaluable resource at your organization’s disposal.
Let us know what you think! At Clarity Recruitment, we’re always interested in hearing from accounting and finance professionals like yourselves, who are ready for new, exciting opportunities that can take their careers to the next level. And be sure to follow us on Twitter (@clarityrecruits) and connect with us on Facebook for more great tips and advice!