An Introduction to professional services. The professional services. The professional services support businesses of all sizes across the economy, providing advice and support in a wide range of different areas to help them improve and grow.
An Introduction to professional services
The professional services support businesses of all sizes across the economy, providing advice and support in a wide range of different areas to help them improve and grow.
The professional services include lawyers, architects, accountants, tax advisers, actuaries, engineers and management consultants.
The professional services include occupations like:
In your groups, write down the type of work you might do in each profession:
Role of an accountant
Running a business involves a lot of financial activities, from expenses and bills to taxes and payroll.
Accountants keep track of all these things and more to make sure that businesses – both large and small – manage their money properly.
Sarah works in Public Sector Assurance and is working on a final audit at a large NHS trust hospital striving for Foundation Trust status. Sarah and her team must ensure that their accounts are presented without misstatement and are in line with accounting policies defined by regulatory bodies, as there is incentive for the client to overstate performance in year to achieve Foundation Trust targets.
The team will liaise with management, legal advisors and audit specialists to obtain the necessary evidence to support any significant transactions within the accounts and exercise professional scepticism when testing account balances. The fieldwork concludes with drafting management reports and also issuing the final year-end audit opinion.
Role of a tax advisor
But why do we pay these taxes?
Companies and high wealth individuals might seek advice on how they pay their taxes in the most efficient way
A tax advisor will be able to use their knowledge of tax legislation to provide advice
There are two main areas of work:
Nabeel is working on a project for a large family owned company. The company is primarily owned by the father and has accrued cash of £10m from its trading profits. The father is concerned about the inheritance tax position of the company and how best to pass the business on to the next generation, as well as how he can extract the cash from the business. The work required will involve initial discussions with the father to understand what concerns he has and also to find out more about what he wants to use the excess cash for.
The team will also try to understand if there are any wider family or management concerns about how the business will be passed on to ensure that before putting forward any tax structures we fully understand the client's needs. The project will then involve looking at the tax implications of any structures put forward.
Matt works in Management Consultancy and is working on a project for a large retail business. They are faced with rising costs, and Matt's project team have been tasked with helping the organisation to improve the efficiency of their Finance function (e.g. paying suppliers and budgeting and forecasting).
The work involves undertaking an initial assessment of how the organisation currently operates, i.e. how many people currently work within these functions and what they spend their time on, as without understanding the current situation it is difficult to recommend improvements.
The team also carries out interviews and runs workshops with employees to gather as much information as possible. This allows the team to identify opportunities where processes can be run more efficiently and whether processes can be shared with other business units through shared services for example
Saeeda works in Management Consultancy is working on a Strategy project for a large retail business. The organisation is faced with reducing demand for their products; currently their products are very expensive due to the high quality, however in the current economy people are simply not buying their products.
Saeeda’s team are tasked with assessing the organisations strategy and helping to come up with a new strategic 'direction' if that is what is found to be necessary. This involves undertaking competitor research to see what others are doing and researching the market in order to understand what the trends are likely to be in the near future, to ensure the organisation is offering the right products to meet the needs of their customers.