What is an accountant and a tax adviser and how can they help?
Although from a layman's perspective it may seem that an accountant and a tax adviser are both performing exactly the same work, these are two different professions. Tax advisers have the same powers as licensed accountants, but their scope is wider. What responsibilities do these professions entail? How is a tax adviser different from an accountant? As a businessperson do you need both of them?
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What is an accountant and what are an accountant's responsibilities?
The accountant deals mainly with accounting in a broad sense. In your company, the accountant will be responsible for keeping the accounts, tax books and other records and registers required to be kept, as well as for archiving documents. An accountant is also responsible for preparing tax returns and statements. An accountant’s tasks are more practical in nature and are targeted at ensuring the correct flow of documentation and financial liquidity.
Up until 2014, this profession was subject to certification by the Ministry of Finance but as part of facilitating access to certain regulated professions, this requirement was lifted. This resulted in the emergence of many companies offering services in this area of the market. The profession itself requires certain personal traits, skills, knowledge in the field of accounting and finance, and the willingness to constantly expand it.
What does a tax adviser do?
A tax adviser enjoys the same powers as an accountant and thus can assume the responsibilities most often entrusted in companies to this professional group. What distinguishes a tax adviser from an accountant is a more specialised knowledge in the field of law. It is a public trust profession governed by the relevant legislation.
A tax adviser is primarily responsible for advising and organising. In practice this means that a tax adviser should provide you with guidelines as to which taxes should be paid and what should be done to legitimately reduce these mandatory taxes.
The principal differences between an accountant and a tax adviser
An accountant and a tax adviser have similar areas of competence, but they focus on different areas of accountancy. Both of them can accept accounting documents, verify their accuracy, prepare tax returns; however, it is a tax adviser who has the power to clarify the intricacies of tax law and to analyse the laws that regulate the tasks performed by accountants. An accountant and a tax adviser are also distinguished by the requirements set for candidates for both professions.
It would appear that employing both an accountant and a tax adviser would be an ideal solution for an enterprise. However, this is not always necessary. For small companies or self-employed persons, it would be sufficient to engage with experts or firms (e.g. accounting firms or tax advice firms) that are competent in these areas. And to further support that cooperation with the appropriate tools to facilitate day-to-day communication, document workflow or billing.