Knowing Who You Need: Financial Planner or Accountant?


Many business owners in Singapore surmise that their accountants can provide both accounting services and financial planning (or vice versa). However, in as much as the two roles complement each other, they are quite distinct, and neither professional can do the other’s job entirely. You may be facing a dilemma on how to split your resources or whether to hire an accountant or a financial planner. But it depends on your specific situation.

If you need help in managing the day to day activities, recording of transactions, presentation of books or taxes, you need an accountant. On the other hand, if you need help in managing your money, figuring out ways to invest and plan for your wealth, you’ll need a financial planner.

Below are the critical differences between an accountant and financial planner:

The Basics

You’ve already seen that accounting services mainly deal with the day to day flow of money in a business or institution. On the other hand, financial planning concerns the management of assets and liabilities primarily and planning future growth. One can say that accounting services are more about accurate reporting of what has already transpired and compliance with regulations while finance is all about looking forward to growing your wealth and mitigate losses.

What Does An Accountant Do For A Business?

Whenever business owners think about accounting services in singapore, the buzzword is often taxes. While you need an accountant to make accurate tax returns and formulate and stay on top of your tax strategy, accounting services in Singapore entail a whole lot more. Accountants will help your business in the following ways:

  • Tax strategy preparation and presentations
  • Preparation and presentation of financial statements
  • Depreciation
  • Cost management
  • Understanding taxation laws and how they affect you
  • Structuring your business
  • Audit representation

For Accountants

Previously anyone intending to offer Singapore’s accounting services had to attain the eligibility of a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). However, this was recently amended, and the new designation is the Chartered Accountant (CA) of Singapore. The person must register with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Agency (ACRA) and have undertaken the necessary professional and ethics assessment examinations. Besides, for one to be a public accountant, he or she must have attained 21 years.

What Does A Financial Planner Do For A Business?

Like accounting, most business owners in Singapore stereotype financial planning to invest. However, financial planners have a lot more in their offerings. Financial planners provide a holistic perspective of a business financial future by merging the emotional and logical and provide you with a comprehensive look at how your business fits into your life. They help you to identify and maximise opportunities for growth.

Financial planners help with budgeting, investing, asset allocation, wealth planning, insurance planning, structuring your business and maximising share value.

Qualifications

Similar to accountants, financial planners go through rigorous training and vetting. In Singapore, financial planners are registered by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and regulated by the Financial Advisers Act (FAA). A person also has to have attained age 21 and have undertaken the necessary certification exams.

To conclude, accounting services in Singapore are concerned mainly with the accurate recording and presentation of transactions that have transpired. An accountant does much more than help you prepare for taxes. On the other hand, a financial planner helps you to project and invest in the future. They advise on which investments to make and how to mitigate risks. Now you know who to hire on what occasion.

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