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A person who has the requisite skill and experience in establishing and maintaining

accurate financial records for an individual or a business. The duties of an accountant

may include designing and controlling systems of records, auditing books, and preparing
financial statements. An accountant may give tax advice and prepare tax returns.

A public accountant renders accounting or auditing services for a number of employees,

each of whom pays the accountant a fee for services rendered. He or she does more than
just bookkeeping but does not generally have all the qualifications of a certified public

A certified public accountant is one who has earned a license in his or her state that
attests to a high degree of skill, training, and experience. In addition to passing an
accounting examination, a candidate must have the proper business experience,
education, and moral character in order to qualify for the license. The letters CPA are
commonly used and generally recognized to be the abbreviation for the title Certified
Public Accountant.

The practice of accounting is a highly skilled and technical profession that affects public
welfare. It is entirely appropriate for the state to regulate the profession by means of a
licensing system for accountants. Some states do not permit anyone to practice
accounting except certified public accountants, but other states use the title to recognize
the more distinguished skills of a CPA while permitting others to practice as public
accountants. All states limit the use of the title and the initials to those who are licensed
as certified public accountants.

All accountants are held to high standards of skill in issuing professional opinions. They
can be sued for malpractice if performance of their duties falls below standards for the

The accountant evaluates records drawn up by the bookkeeper and shows the results of
this investigation as losses and gains, leakages, economies, or changes in value, so as to
reveal the progress or failures of the business and also its future limitations and
possibilities. Accountants must also be able to draw up a set of financial records and
prescribe the system of accounts that will most easily give the desired information; they
must be capable of arriving at a comprehensive view of the economic and the legal
aspects of a business, envisaging the effect of every sort of transaction on the profit-and-
loss statement; and they must recognize and classify all other factors that enter into the
determination of the true condition of the business (e.g., statistics or memoranda relating
to production; properties and financial records representing investments, expenditures,
receipts, fiscal changes, and present standing). Cost accounting shows the actual cost,
over a certain period of time, of particular services rendered or of articles produced; by
this system unprofitable ventures, services, departments, and methods may be discovered
Lots of small business owners question the need for an accountant. They say that they have
invested a fortune on buying a computer and also that they have heard from someone
reliable that they can do their accounts on the computer instead of hiring an accountant.
Back in the old days when there were no computers people collected all their invoices and
statements into a box and sent them off to the accountant who manually entered all the
information into the ledgers and prepared financial statements. Entering all the information
into the ledgers was always called bookkeeping. Now we have computers for all that.

The job of an accountant doesn't stop at bookkeeping though. Having a computer do the
bookkeeping helps but a lot has to be done afterwards.

The accountant has to make sure that all the expenses have been classified correctly
mainly for tax reasons. You are not allowed certain expenses for tax reasons. A good
accountant will have good knowledge of which expenses are allowable and which ones are
not. You need to know that the profit taxable and the profit that your accounts show are
different and declaring the wrong profit to the taxman can get you a lot of stress and a heavy
tax penalty.

Apart from that your qualified accountant may also be able to advise you on many tax
issues regarding your business. He or she may be able to show you some ways of saving
tax legally. Accountants are not tax specialists but they certainly know how to save their
clients from paying unnecessary tax.

Most accountants nowadays also help their clients with managing their business by giving
them appropriate business advice. Since your accountant has many clients in the same
business as you, s/he can tell you about ways of better management which could be helpful
for you too. For example better control over your finances.

Some accountants like to give their client staff training on using the most appropriate
accounting software. This helps in the long run because it cuts out their time on the
bookkeeping aspect.

Accountants also help businesses prepare accounts for the bank. If your business needs a
loan the bankers will certainly need a credible set of accounts. If your accountant can state
that he or she has checked your accounts and in his opinion that they show a fair picture of
your business then certainly the accounts will carry the weight required for your banker to
consider your loan application.

Other things that accountants help with include filing your accounts with the appropriate
public office and also with the tax authorities. This is a requirement by law in most countries.

You could also ask your accountant to help you with budgeting or cash flow forecasting
as well as how to arrange for finances. What's more he can also help you forecast how much
surplus cash you may have in the coming months so you can invest it in the appropriate
investments which could earn your business some extra income.

It's true that computers have simplified your accountant's work but there are a lot of things
that s/he can help you with now. Before your accountant was busy preparing the figures with
little time for business advice. Now your accountant helps you with managing every aspect of
your business be it raising finance or increasing your customer base your accountant will
definitely have some good advice to give you so why not call them now for help.

An accountant in every egalitarian, modern business must possess a background

encompassed with the following :

1. Financial management and Accounting Skill.

2. Budgeting and Financial forecasting skill.

3. Self starter who is organized, disciplined and goals orientated.

4. Full Knowledge of Accounting package software skill.

5. Good organization and Management skill.

6. Cash Disbursement and Records Keeping skill.

7. Good analytical and reasoning skill.

8. Good leadership and supervisory skill.

9. Preparation of Financial statement skill.

10. Honesty and intergrity

AJSH offers fund-raising, consulting and strategic alliance formation services helping
organizations planning to transform/expand operations, increase effectiveness, revenues and
win a competitive edge. AJSH brings together Venture Capitalists and Finance-seeking
companies, which have the potential to grow and gain a competitive advantage in their
respective markets.

AJSH help you in the following areas

• Drives efficiency
• Guidance on governance standards that needs to be establishing to align
finance with the business
• Helps to reduce the costs and advance the effectiveness of the finance
• Maintaining compliance and control
• Offers apposite balance of controls and those that are not constraining the
• Offers insight and challenge
• Provides an efficient performance management and challenge mechanism
• Recognises change as the "normal" state and explore how to embed
change capabilities into your finance organisation



Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) is a collective area of focus within an organization
that developed because of interdependencies between the three components.
AJSH help clients in discovering, understanding and managing risk and make certain a suitable
balance between risks and opportunities. We also support businesses in formulating and
executing governance and compliance programmes to guarantee that the company continues
to operate within the restrictions of relevant legislation and regulations. This includes edifice a
culture of doing the correct thing.

AJSH help you in the following areas

• Advice on board and management performance and accountability

• Assimilate intelligence for insight into the status of all GRC activities
across the enterprise
• Attain greater value for compliance spends
• Build up the consistency and efficiency of systems and processes for
controlling risk
• Convert uncertainty into opportunity with visibility to key risk and
performance indicators
• Counsel on insurance, self-insurance treasury or hedging
• De-layering risk and compliance processes
• End-to-end support for cross-industry and industry-specific GRC
• Ensure that every business unit and function in organisation consistently
makes decisions about risk that conform to risk appetite
• Exposure to FX, interest rates and commodity prices
• Identify and address complaints and breaches of legislation and internal
• Identify the kinds of risk and amount of risk willing to tolerate
• Improve stakeholder and regulator relationships and communication
• Link risk appetite to business strategy and operations, so that the risks
which offer the greatest commercial potential without adversely affecting the level of
compliance can be chosen
• Manage processes and alleviate inherent business risk
• Reduce the incidence of compliance failure
• Safeguard brand and reputation through information reliability and data
• Simplify GRC and reduce costs by managing multiple regulatory
requirements with one enterprise GRC platform


Solid strategies, processes and technology alone do not deliver results. It takes people to
accept, adopt, drive, and sustain the change to realise tangible impact. Success in business
hinges on strategic agility and the ability to execute.
AJSH help in getting the best from people at every level when there is constant change is the
key to sustainable competitive advantage.

AJSH help you in the following areas

• Advice effective strategies for people development and growth

• Appoint and motivate a diverse workforce to focus on the right things and
strive for excellence
• Develops organisation’s culture to gain a competitive advantage
• Ensure successful change by involving the people impacted and enabling
them to drive and sustain the business change
• Establish the control and coordination required to manage projects and
programs successfully, achieving the right business results
• Explore the role played by the HR staff in agency strategic planning
• HR function effectiveness & service delivery
• HR metrics & benchmarking
• HR transaction services
• Identifying people risks within the organization
• Improving employee productivity and commitment
• Make avaliable right people with the right skills in the right roles at the right
• Provide assistance on workplace/workforce matters
• Recognize best practices aligning HRM with the agency strategic plan and
• Seek benchmarks for the efficiency and effectiveness of HR
• Structure organisation with the right capabilities and leadership to execute
the business strategy
• Understand, manage and own people issues


At AJSH we work with our clients to transform the business needs into real operational
services. Using in-depth knowledge and expertise in operations architecture, operational
efficiency, process transformation and sourcing we help our clients to gain competitive
We bring capabilities in management and process improvement to help optimise operating
processes and supply chain. We help our clients transform their key value chain functions, from
customer management through to sourcing of services and goods. We apply proven cost
management methodologies to facilitate agile responses to changing conditions and to drive
business growth. We support our clients to improve value, reduce waste and reduce costs to
leave lasting sustainable benefit.

AJSH help you in the following areas

• Achieve quantifiable improvements by minimising inefficiencies, improving

decision-making processes and improving control methods
• Assistance in managing your physical assets including property or real-
• Attain superior shareholder returns
• Become a better organised, coherent and flexible organisation
• Convert service delivery through shared service deliver, off-shoring or
service re-design
• Develop service levels
• Embracing the new sustainable business model requires you to
proactively manage your brand and corporate reputation across your company’s
entire supply chain
• Expand the general effectiveness of your physical supply chain
• Improve operating processes in order to reduce costs, capture lost
revenue or improve service levels across the entire value chain
• Meet business needs in a rapidly changing marketplace
• Pressures to grow revenue lead you to re-assess whether you are getting
the most from your customer management systems and processes
• Save money
• Transform procurement function through employing one or more of the
following strategies; outsourcing, low-cost country sourcing, e-sourcing, or simply
more efficient procurement


The most influential driver of growth is the acquisition of new customers. Obtaining and
retaining new customers depends on continuous product and service innovation. AJSH helps in
effective understanding of customers and markets that will be central to future growth.
We draw upon our extensive experience, sharp insight and global resources to help your
business reach its full potential. We understand your challenges and we know what it takes to
drive sustainable growth.

AJSH help you in the following areas

• Assess new markets and test different product, pricing and distribution
• Create communications plans to win over key staff, and ensure that
organisation’s systems, processes and culture reinforce changes
• Determine the profitability of different customer segments and markets,
and enhance productivity
• Develop effective customer-segmentation, -service and -retention
• Effective execution of growth strategies
• Efficient functioning of supply chain
• Enhancing quality of product and services
• Excellent execution of management skills
• Get the basics right
• Improve sales channels and sales management processes
• Improving customer relationship
• Innovation and R&D
• Reconfigure the business to make them ready to grow
• Review accounting systems to maximise VAT recovery and reduce taxes
• Understand customers’ needs



Our outsourcing approach helps clients control baseline costs while keeping up with market
innovations. Our Research & Insights investigate how to better leverage outsourcing services to
deliver and support IT solutions that help clients achieve high performance.
AJSH has the wide outsourcing services offering in the market—unmatched in scope, scale
and depth—to help companies respond to present extraordinary market conditions. AJSH helps
companies to achieve high performance.

AJSH help you in the following areas

• Assess potential suppliers

• Assessment and manage existing contracts
• Define requirements
• Draft watertight contracts covering the sharing of intellectual property,
performance criteria and penalties for non-performance
• Identify which activities to outsource
• Increase finance efficiency
• Make major changes and communicate with employees about alterations
in their working environment
• Manage political, regulatory and operational risks
• Negotiate the right terms
• Provides a clear path to achieve high-performance finance operations
• Resolve disputes
• Use a financial strategy to differentiate


Strategy is a company's road map for winning; it plans out the steps business must make to
gain competitive advantage, captivate clients and build long-term shareholder value. An
effective strategy motivates and enlightens the actions of the management, and mobilizes
employees. Smart businesses have a defined strategy and an ongoing process to ensure that
the strategy is implemented, resourced and updated.
AJSH assist businesses to create a robust planning cycle, the Strategic Plan itself and
processes to ensure that the plan is implemented.
AJSH help many clients, in every industry, develop and deliver on their strategies. We offer
deep industry and technical knowledge, supported by rigorous market, economic and financial
analysis, to enable you to deliver the best results in the areas of business unit strategy,
transaction services, valuation, economics, brand/intellectual property management and risk
management, mergers & acquisitions, financial management, program leadership and many

AJSH help you in the following areas

• Assess and validate the corporate and management strategy

• Brand strategy development, marketing ROI and performance
• Deal structuring and finance raising advice including valuations for bidding
purposes and defence purposes, scenario and sensitivity analysis to support
business negotiations
• Demand and revenue analysis to validate growth plans and set pricing
strategies, scenario development for impact assessment of differing economic
• Distinguish and deal with inherent business risk or transactional risks to
perk up shareholder value
• Ensure that new acquisitions are within control and incorporated into
operation in the minimum probable time
• Evaluation of major strategic investment decisions including R&D, capital
investments and related risk mitigating strategies
• Facilitate investigation and revise business environment
• Identifies and capitalize on opportunities and assets cost efficiently
• In-depth customer/consumer analysis, consumer segmentation and
identification of key trends and buyer behaviour, based on extensive primary
• Provides vigorous 'stress testing' of your strategy and its principal
• Recognize and understand the full financial and economic implications of
various investment/divestment options
• Strategy development and validation, market entry strategies, new product
development strategy, distribution and customer service strategies
• Understand the exposure to risk in relation to diverse markets, customers,
partners and suppliers


AJSH provide organizations with the tools and expertise they need to actively manage their
social and environmental impacts. We specialize in helping under-resourced organizations
implement sustainable solutions usually reserved for large, multinational companies.
Improving business systems and processes is a key means for achieving competitive
advantage. We can assist with the development and/or improvement of a number of processes,
including customer interaction, accounting, financial and KPI reporting, and staff training/career

AJSH help you in the following areas

• Create a sustainability plan

• Cutting costs
• Develop a communications strategy that speaks credibly about
• Generate new, innovative, wealth-creating strategies
• Identify core social and environmental impacts
• Increasing revenues
• Manage supply chain according to values and vision
• Reducing risks

Strengthening brandsNumber-crunchers no more, today’s accountants

are evolving into providers of insight on finance,
technology and strategy. Changing business
practices and an array of emerging technologies
have transformed their role. Accountants are
increasingly taking a hands-on approach in
guiding company operations and formulating
business strategy. But with change comes challenge.
Accountants must work hard to acquire
the skills that are required to function successfully
in a new environment. They must also know
which technological tools to use and how to
apply them.
Finding meaning in numbers
Maintaining and auditing financial records has
always been the accountant’s bread and butter.
“But, inherently, it’s been scorekeeping, not
‘doing’,” says David Larcker, a professor of
accounting at the University of Pennsylvania’s
Wharton School. Now accountants are becoming
more involved in the “doing”, expanding into
areas with which previous generations had little
or no experience.
Among the new finance fields that accountants
need to master are middle-market services, such
as performing due diligence, organizing shareholder
meetings, supervising cash management
and handling payroll.
Compilation, compliance and assurance is another
new area. These services, which include
such traditional tasks as tax preparation, offer
companies greater certainty that they are
providing accurate financial data, whether to
inside managers or outside investors. Recent
high-profile accounting scandals have increased
the importance of assurance services, which can
include independent validation of business data
such as readership statistics, royalty statements
and information returns for regulated industries.
Accounting’s horizons are expanding in all
directions, but it’s impossible to be an expert in
everything. “You have to become an expert in an
area and then thrive in that area,” advises Gary
Haber, owner of Haber Corp, an entertainment
industry-oriented accounting firm that serves
performers such as Joe Cocker, Randy Travis and
Lyle Lovett. “In a small-to-medium-size firm, you
don’t have that luxury.” So accountants at
smaller firms must know enough to give basic
advice while seeking outside support in the event
of more complex challenges.
Business analysis and strategy:
Detecting hidden patterns
The ability to translate raw financial numbers
into usable business information is now a top
priority for accountants. Software is a crucial tool,
enabling them to provide speedy analysis at a
reasonable cost. Project accounting and business
analysis applications are particularly helpful,
allowing accountants to monitor resources and
returns for specific projects, or for operations
companywide. In addition, sophisticated knowledge
management tools can help derive meaning
from large volumes of seemingly unrelated data.
Most important are analytic applications, which
allow accountants to sort through and query
huge volumes of data to uncover patterns and
relationships, for example in customer behavior,
which would otherwise go unnoticed.
Armed with these business insights, accountants
can offer managers and owners guidance on
improving productivity and maximizing
profitability, as well as on specific business
decisions. Acquiring financial and business
analysis skills can also empower accountants to
offer advice on new and more profitable directions
for the business. “Accountants now have
This document is a reproduction of the original article entitled
“From Bean Counter to Business
Strategist: The changing role of the accountant” written by the
Economist Intelligence Unit
(an Economist Group business) and sponsored by Sage Software,
more of a strategic perspective than just a
strictly green eyeshade perspective,” says
Robert Howell, professor of business
administration at Dartmouth College’s
Tuck School of Business.
Technology planning:
Choosing the right tools
Since computers are based on numbers, it’s
not surprising that accountants should find
themselves deeply involved in the development
and implementation of new information
systems. Owners and managers
increasingly rely upon accountants to direct
them towards the most suitable technology
solutions for financial and business
To fulfill this role, an accountant must be
familiar with the various software and
hardware products that are available to
help businesses manage their operations
and grow. Such awareness requires a good
deal of reading as well as significant handson
To adapt to their changing role, accountants
must acquire skills that will enable them to
deliver the new services that businesses
need. These skills include:
• Information delivery. Being able to
present critical information in a way that is
effective, precise and understandable is
vital for any 21stcentury accountant. Technology
is part of the answer. In addition to
the standard tools for real-time communication,
such as instant messaging and web
conferencing, accountants use presentation
and publishing solutions to communicate
complex concepts effectively through a
combination of text and graphics. Groupware
document collaboration tools allow
accountants to work jointly with owners,
managers and business partners, even
when the parties are in different locations.
• Interpersonal skills. Technology is only
half the battle, however. As accountants are
increasingly called upon to work closely
with a range of managers, suppliers,
customers and consultants, developing
good interpersonal skills is a top priority—
something that, historically, has not been a
strength associated with the profession. The
ability to interact easily and work with a
team can help accountants assume leadership
• Technological competence. It’s hard to
assist in technology planning without having
a high degree of technical knowledge.
Developing such competence isn’t easy,
however, given the wide range of topics
that must be covered as well as technology’s
rapid evolution. In-class or online
training courses in areas such as hardware
and software products, networking,
customer relationship management (CRM)
and security can give accountants new
technology skills or help them update and
enhance existing knowledge. In addition,
membership in one or more of the software
publishers’ affiliate programs can provide
software, training and support for products
that clients use. “To stay up-to-date, and to
do one’s job, one has to be continually
educated,” says Mr Howell. That said,
combining a familiarity with information
technology systems and an awareness of an
organization's mission, objectives and
business environment is an extremely
potent approach. It’s the ability to match
technological knowledge with business
understanding that gives technology-savvy
accountants a key advantage over other
technology experts.
Greater challenges, greater
As this long list of tools and competencies
indicates, adapting to new challenges isn’t
easy or a task to be taken lightly. But with
challenge comes opportunity: the pay-off is
potentially enormous. Accountants with the
right combination of financial knowledge,
business insight and technical proficiency
can look forward to heightened influence
and higher incomes.

Sponsored by Sage Software