Before an accounting service can even call itself that, it needs to offer a surprisingly large number of services in accountancy; what an accounting service offers can perhaps be distilled in a single article, but the scope of their offerings, to be truly effectual in the business world, must be wide-ranging.
There are, after all, several types of accounting services, and often one CPA is not enough for the tasks at hand; he will need to refer out several jobs to several branches or even separate organizations under the one aegis of his company. The types of accounting services seldom vary, however; most businesses, whether on-line or brick and mortar, have typical requirements. What an accounting service offers might include the following:
Under this heading, accounting services would need to be experts in accounts, both receivable and payable, and particularly in closing and balancing those accounts on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. In the midst of this, they must also be able to give a well-considered estimate (far more than an educated guess) as to the financial status of a company at any given moment, a service known as generating a trial balance.
Accounting services would include: periodic adjusting of accounts to include accrued liabilities and expenses; adjusting for earned incomes and overtime; making legal and financial provisions for any negative impacts or outcomes (including bad debts, depreciation and amortization); preparing financial statements for any given period of time, particularly for stockholder statements and final account closures. The latter would include balance sheets and cash-flow statements as well as statements of equity, all under the heading of profit and loss accountancy.
Bookkeeping and payroll
Payroll and bookkeeping services would be vital offerings from an accounting service. Payroll and bookkeeping services would include:keeping accounts current; maintaining the books (usually online financial statements) for companies that hire the firm; keeping bookkeeping accountancy both viable and profitably inexpensive (especially important for a small business).
Bookkeepers will do such for work for smaller firms under the supervision of a general CPA who oversees the accounting services numerous tasks and assignments. Both he and the bookkeepers should be ready to do periodic bank reconciliations, and report/rectify discrepancies to the client and the bank as soon as possible.
Payroll services include:the maintenance of payroll data (including employee information, salary and tax tables);periodically running the payroll to find overpayments, underpayments or similar discrepancies; printing as well as distributing/mailing paychecks/pay-stubs; depositing both Federal and State tax deposits; preparing tax returns (usually a bookkeeping assignments done on a quarterly basis); preparing necessary documentation (including W2 and 1099 forms) for employees; reporting wage and payroll information to Social Security Administration and the state; generating payroll reports for the client.
Tax preparation services are an offshoot of payroll, and can frequently be done by the same bookkeeper or CPA. This particular branch of the accounting services can be quite busy in and of itself around tax time, and often requires a separate staff with distinct and particular training. Tax preparation services include:filing individual tax returns for employees or designated individuals (the 1040 form) filing non-resident individual returns (the 1040NR) corporate tax return filing (form 1020)corporate S tax return filing (form 1020S) partnership and LLC tax return filing (form 1065) estate and fiduciary tax return filing (form 1041)]non-profit tax return filing (form 990)
The accounting company that offers these services should also be ready to assist in audits, business plans, IRS in-compromise plans, employee benefit plans, management services and of course budgeting advice and planning. These are some of the possible financial and mathematical assists included in determining what an accounting service offers.