It’s safe to say that accountants are fairly important people. As the department in charge of finances, a mistake on their part tends to have devastating consequences, which is why the entire discipline itself has split into several different segments to better handle the demands of modern accounting.

Whether you hire a tax accountant in West Jordan or outsource it to somewhere farther away like Seattle, you need to know who you’re hiring. Not all tax accountants are created equal, and you may find yourself with different needs depending on the state of your affairs.

Here are five different segments of accounting that you need to keep in mind when hiring for this service:

Taxation

This aspect is mainly concerned with studying taxes — how to best utilize them to a company’s advantage, the various laws that need to be followed, and even negotiating on the company’s behalf in disputes. Taxation accountants often need to have extremely good people skills in addition to being detail oriented, as a critical part of their work can rely on personal interactions to go smoothly.

Reporting

On the other hand, accountants who specialize in reporting primarily deal with a company’s finances. While they may not handle the funds themselves, their function is just as critical to giving oversight on where exactly has the company spent its money on. These accountants need to have strong research skills, as reporting requires a thorough examination of a company’s expenditures.

Auditing

The next step to reports is auditing. Accountants that specialize in this field deal by making sure that all information collected in the reporting stage is fair and accurate. As a result, auditors often need to do a lot of legwork — going back and forth from each department — and must be precise and detail-oriented. More than that, they should always be critical of the information they receive until it can be verified.

Business planning

While this category may be a bit vague than the rest, the importance of these accountants can often change the outlook of a business as a whole.

Planning accountants combine the information collected by other accounting services and will come up with a roadmap or a set of goals that the company can realistically follow moving forward. These accountants should, therefore, have an in-depth knowledge of the trends of the industries (no matter what they are) they handle.

Insolvency and recovery

Woman using the calculator

Finally, companies that have fallen on hard times can often hire insolvency and recovery accountants. Specializing in identifying problem areas when it comes to financing and formulating strategies to help failing businesses stabilize, these accountants need to be practical and pragmatic when it comes to their business approach.

Again, it’s important to stress that not all accountants can fulfill every financial area that needs oversight in a company. Best practice dictates that hiring a team that can handle the above areas is a good start in keeping a company’s finances stable, and can provide enough information and strategy to improve it going forward.