The language of accounting is the language that enables you to read, decipher and understand about business. At its most basic level, accountancy is a record of financial information about a company. Accounts are used to measure the success, or otherwise, of an organisation. Accounting details are what financial decisions about a company are based upon. Accounting is sometimes called "the universal business language".

Accountancy information is of use to people looking to invest in a company, tax authorities looking to claim the right amount of tax, companies wanting to ensure they pay the right amount of tax, management staff to see how their teams are succeeding, board members to look at how to develop companies and organisations. The responsibility and importance of getting the right accounting team is vital to the long term success and day to day running of a business.

An accountant is someone who carries out accounting tasks, these tasks vary depending on the company or firm you work within. Sometimes the accountant has a specific role within a large company, while some who work for smaller firms, or several companies at once will learn all the jobs required. Typical jobs within accountancy that are carried out include accounts receivable, payroll, sales, accounts payable, investment information and other financial records.

Accountancy is an ancient trade, traced back to Egyptian, Roman and Greek times. When money comes in or goes out you put an entry in the ledger or accounting book and tally it up with another entry in a second book and provided they are done correctly, both will match and you have sound accounting.

If you choose to work in insolvency or audit then you need to gain certain licenses in order to practice. There are other titles that to use you must be a member of certain professional bodies. Titles include Chartered Accountant, Chartered Certified Accountant and International Accountant. There are also Registered Auditors, Technicians and other specialisations. There is also the Institute of Financial Accountants for non chartered accountants and a member of this body is expected to work within certain strict guidelines and to follow the prescribed ethics of good practice.

When you are recruiting accountants it is likely that you will have a specific role in mind and you would normally advertise for these people in specific areas of the market like trade or online journals. If you are a small business then you would normally look to use an accountancy firm to handle elements of your businesses accounts, this could range from management accounts, to end of year accounts, to full payroll, PAYE accountancy and in fact take care of the whole area of accounts for you. A lot of small and medium sized enterprises go down this route so they can focus their time on the areas that have brought in the business in the first place.
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