"Accounting is a hot domain with the number of accounting majors up nationwide. I think the recent scandals have brought a new level of attention to the accounting profession as gatekeepers and custodians of social interest." -Paul Browne
Accountants are extremely underrated professionals. They do not get nearly as much esteem as doctors, teachers, astronauts, policemen or firemen and that's because they work behind the scenes.
Professional accountants can usually be found in public or private offices working hard examining financial reports, filling our ledgers, investigating fraud and crunching numbers to make their clients just a little bit richer.
There are different types of accountants and accountancy such as audit, public accounting, financial accounting, management accounting, tax accounting, forensic accounting, cost accounting and government accounting.
No matter what specific area they are working in, accountants have analytic minds, a love for numbers and problem-solving skills.
Some accountants have undergone training to attain a university degree while others possess previous work experience and a relevant certificate from the ATT (Association of Taxation Technicians) or ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) after receiving qualifications by undergoing required courses and modules.
Even if previous training, studying accounting books and attending workshops have been done, a chartered accountant or professionally working one needs to constantly hone their skills and keep up with advances in the industry to be able to offer clients the most updated information on tax breaks and deductions.
With that being said, Superprof has done its research and found working and budding accountants the best websites and blogs offering helpful resources. We have also suggested certain professional resources that should be used in order to work more efficiently when studying accountancy.
The Best Websites for Accounting Resources in the UK
Accountants in the United Kingdom need to be kept up to date by reading articles about accounting from credible sources on the internet. It is extremely important to take advantage of the tips and tricks provided by more experienced accountants on these websites.
Without keeping yourself well informed on new tax laws and the most recent tax deductions, you could lose client's money and this could cause them to stop doing business with you and your accounting firm.
Therefore, in order to provide clients with the newest information that causes them to save a few extra bucks research and reading needs to be done. Here are some of the best websites to continue sharpening your accounting skills:
- Accounting Insight News: you can apply to receive their newsletter that provides members with the most up to date information in accounting and breaking news. The top stories and articles that are written are extremely informative. The most recent stories written for accountants include information about buying accounting technology, solutions from accounting firms on Brexit, the latest accounting sector trends and suggestions to accurately plan for taxes. The website's main categories are news, women in accountancy, people, features, blogs and accountex. A highly recommended website for accountants working in the UK that want to stay in the know.
- The Accountant: established in 1874, this is one of the oldest and most prestigious publications in the world that now has a website. It was specifically designed to provide global information for those in the accountancy profession. They provide a range of opinions about various topics such as regulation, legislation and education for those working in the accounting profession. The website has logically divided sections such as news, features, country reports, comments, subscriber editions and events. The articles written on the website provide essential information about accounting in other countries and is a great resource for those who are working on international accounting cases.
- AccountingWEB: the largest independent online community for accounting and financial professionals in the UK. There are so many resources and useful information for accountants specializing in all areas. For example, there is a section of written articles about tax helping accountants and interested readers in the categories of personal tax, business tax and HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) policies. I personally enjoy the section where interested ones can ask, answer and like questions if they are registered on the website. The features on this website are amazing and budding accountants could spend hours reading articles about how to develop their skills, understanding the basics of management accounting or receiving helpful advice about what accounting software is the best for your unique needs. Don't take just take my word for it, go check it out!
It would be very wise to take advantage of these helpful websites in order to avoid falling behind in terms of the newest developments in the field of accounting in the United Kingdom.
Becoming skilled and well informed at your craft will build you a good reputation in the accounting world which will result in more clients and money.
The Best Blogs for Accounting Resources in the UK
Other online resources, aside from websites, can be very beneficial to accounting students.
Blogs are regularly updated web pages that provide essential information about different topics. They are usually written more informally than websites and they are more conversational. Individuals usually run them instead of a group of people or an organization.
There are many blogs written by professionals based in the United Kingdom who are working in the field of accounting that are extremely helpful.
These blogs offer breaking news on interesting accounting subjects. Here are some of the most recommended blogs offering accounting resources in the UK:
- HFM Tax Blog: this blog posts about two new blog articles per month. This blog is not only for accountants looking to read new articles and stay up to date but also for individuals who want accounting support for their business or personal matters. This blog offers its services for personal tax returns, business tax and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs enquiries. The articles that are written on their blog address subjects such as minimum wage, the VAT, declaring overseas income, correcting tax return errors, taxing bitcoin and proving your income for a mortgage. The website and blog both come highly recommended because the advice provided is from qualified professionals who have a previous knowledge of accounting.
- Steve Maggs Tax Blog: this blog is written by registered and chartered accountants who have a lot of previous experience in taxes and accounting. Their blog posts are extremely informative because they help working accountants keep up to date with tax changes in the UK. Advice is offered and recent developments in the taxing world are stated to inform all who are interested. New blog posts are uploaded every week that touch a wide variety of subjects such as inheritance tax, stamp duty land tax, research and development tax breaks, pension tax reliefs and business tax. The blog posts are written informally by a few different blog writers. Having been working in the business since the 1920's, the RRL accounting firm is extremely reliable.
- Thomas Reuters Accounting Blog: they are the world's leading source of intelligent accounting information. They provide information, advice and solutions to companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. They post about 3 articles per month on their blog. Trusted answers and carefully written articles are a guarantee on this blog. The most recent blog articles discussed subjects such as cross-country accountancy, anti-money laundering, tax research, finding new clients and the safety of tax technology. This blog is very reliable and trustworthy keeping accountants updated on all recent accounting information.
The majority of blogs offered to provide information for accountants are tax oriented. This is due to the fact that tax policies and reliefs constantly change and it is of the utmost concern to clients and customers.
When clients feel that you are adapting to the times, maintaining good ethics and providing them with the newest tax reliefs they will be more inclined to continue seeking your advice for the next tax season.
No one wants to hear the words "I don't know" coming out of a registered accountant's mouth. Accountants need to be trustworthy, show evidence of advanced preparation and have a wealth of knowledge.
Some articles that are written on accounting blogs may encourage accountants to work on their social skills with customers and their abilities to research new information. By doing this, accountants will actively enjoy their job and create lasting bonds with clients.
Best Resources for Accounting Software and Systems
Working as an accountant can be stressful if you are not organized and not using technology to its full potential. There are many new helpful resources such as apps, software and organizing systems that make the work of an accountant a whole lot easier.
Some of the resources send interactive invoices to clients, manage your time, plan your schedule, allow you to edit confidential documents online and get e-signatures from clients. All of these features result in a lot of time saved and we all know that time is money.
Here are some of the best accounting systems to use as a working accountant:
- Calendly: with over 2,000,000 million users this schedule planning system is highly recommended and helps accountants keep track of their meetings with new and old clients. You let the calendar know your availabilities and then you share an email link with customers so that they can see your available time slots. If you have international clients, time zone detection is used to avoid any embarrassment when not showing up to a virtual meeting due to lack of coordination. You can also cap the number of meetings you wish to have in a day. Add a credit card or PayPal account to collect payments from customers when they are due.
- Big Time: this is the #1 rated time and billing software for accountants. It can be tried for 14 days completely free of charge to see if you like it. A great feature of this online software includes time tracking which allows you to capture every moment of email writing and meetings so that billing is more precise. Also, expenses are tracked and there is the ability to create budgets and financial statements that can be shown to the employer. Another great feature is that invoices are accurate and well documented. This accounting system allows working accountants to save a lot of time and keep accurate records of all work that is being done.
- Quickbooks: a revolutionary application that has developed by intuit changed the fundamental world of accounting forever. It is HMRC recognized and it was named champion of the year by the customer service excellence awards. It is the world's #1 online accounting software that helps accountants and owners of small businesses to create an invoice, have a better insight of cash flows, connect with your accountant so that they edit files and see documents, manage the VAT and run the payroll of employees. Highly recommended for accountants to use in order to manage their accounting firm.
Superprof highly recommends using all of these online accounting systems to better manage time and work more efficiently. We are living in a world run by technology and we need to keep up with the trends in order to not get left behind. It is a commonly known fact that employers are more inclined to hire those who a basic understanding of technology and time-saving software.
Therefore, whether you are a bookkeeper or accountant, take the plunge and correctly put into practice the advice on the aforementioned websites and blogs. You might be hesitant at first to make changes and follow the trends but the benefits are well worth the effort!
If you are a student looking for an accounting tutor to help digest all of that material, Superprof awaits your request!
Aside from online resources, you can also learn a lot from published books on accounting.