Question and Answer: Chartered Accountant

Question and AnswerQ: Does an individual need a chartered accountant and when?

A: The answer is YES, however, situation and circumstances dictate. The individual in this case is an adult.  It is an adult because an adult is involved in earning income and incurring expenses.
There are different needs, and Chartered Accountants (CA’s) provide a range of services, which themselves are designed to meet different needs.
In the light of this, individuals always have different business needs, that it is only the chartered accountant that can satisfy, due to the range of services which chartered accountant are designed to offer.

It is important to look at the services many chartered accountant CA’s offer. They are as follow:

  1. Setting up accounting system for all forms of business organization.
  2. Company formations and secretarial services
  3. Advice regarding the best entity types with which to hold the various assets an individual may own,
  4. Preparation of financials statements – for individuals, partnerships, companies, trusts, and other organisations,
  5. Preparation of taxation returns (of all types) – for all forms of business organization,
  6. Tax advisory both in terms of tax planning and compliance
  7. Serve as tax representative of individuals, partnerships, companies, trusts and other organisation, in the course of tax audit and/or investigations by tax authorities.
  8. Business/share valuations,
  9. Due diligence on businesses being purchased/sold,
  10. Business and management advisory in form of coaching and consulting,
  11. Business planning and budgeting,
  12. Assistance in sourcing for both short and long-term funds,
  13. Strategic advice – both in terms of growing the business, and in times of restructuring,
  14. Accounting and related computer systems advice, installation and set-up.

The above services suggest that at one time or another in the pace of a life time, an individual would need a Chartered Accountant, especially at the occurrence of the following:

  • If the individual is interested in the purchase a business,
  • If the individual wants to grow his/her business,
  • If the individual wants to sell all or part of the business,
  • If the individual wants/needs help with taxation returns,
  • If the individual is in business in their own name, so needs financial statements prepared,
  • If the individual has a trust which owns income-earning assets (such as shares in their business),
  • If the individual wants to incorporate their business,
  • If the individual recognizes their need for business advice,
  • If the individual wants assistance to prepare a business plan or budget, or with keeping on track to achieve these,
  • If the individual owns a business in partnership or joint venture with others and they want to separate.
  • If the individual is a business owner and is looking for finance for the business,
  • If the individual is faced with an audit by the Infernal Revenue,
  • If the individual wants professional assistance in selecting, installing and setting up accounting and related software.
  • If the individual comes into money, and needs guidance as to the entity to house it in.

An individual would need a Chartered Accountant most times, for all kinds of reasons. And, yes, they are best to find a good one, and maintain a close relationship with them.

To cap it up, an individual would NOT need a Chartered Accountant, when they have either no income, or only tax-paid income (salary and wages), and own no income earning assets in any form of business organizations.