Is there a place for creativity
in accounting or are accountants meant to be ‘by-the-book’ bean counters
that popular culture makes them out to be?
The answer? Both
The words ‘creative’ and ‘accounting’ are
rarely spoken together because they give the impression that uncertain
accounting practices are taking place. This however is not always true.
Creative accounting can be defined in a
number of ways also called aggressive accounting. Creative accounting is a
process whereby accountants use their knowledge of accounting rules to control
the figures reported in the accounts of a business.
First let’s discuss when an accountant
should not be creative. This should go without saying, but unfortunately
we have all seen situations where an accountant bends, or even breaks, the
rules to achieve results. Accountants are trusted by those that rely on their
information to work within an environment of legal and ethical guidelines. Accountants
should always stand by these ethical guidelines. Furthermore, when it
comes to the International Financial Reporting Standards, Generally Accepted
Accounting Principles, and Generally Accepted Auditing Standards an
accountant should never compromise.
Now let’s discuss if there is room for
Forensic accountants are trained to look beyond the
numbers and deal with the business realities of situations. Analysis,
interpretation, summarization and the presentation of complex financial and
business related issues are major aspects of the profession. A forensic
accountant will also be familiar with legal concepts and procedures. They use
their accounting skills to investigate fraud or embezzlement to analyze
financial information for use in legal proceedings.
When given a problem, there are often
various ways to reach the solution. For example, there are cases where
you approach a problem only to find that you didn’t have access to a reliable
source of data that would allow you to solve the problem. Using your
creativity, you can look back at the initial problem and figure out what other
routes or sources of evidence you can use to achieve the same result.
Creativity in forensic accounting can also
include embracing new technology and using new or existing technology to
gather, summarize, and communicate information to the client. At times
there may be a huge amount of documents available during a forensic
investigation. The ability to be creative in finding the specific
documents useful in a particular case will help prevent getting lost in the
details and save both time and money. Finally, creativity is also needed
to explain the often complex work performed in a manner that can be understood
by those without a background in accounting or finance.
in leadership roles can use creativity to help their company or client in
achieving specific results. This may relate to business development, investment
opportunities, and other forms of business planning. Business planning, at its
core, is a creative process. An accountant knows the numbers and often
has the power to oversee valuable information unknown or not well understood by
management. Carrying this information over in a creative and effective
manner may help in achieving an organization’s objectives or avoid an
organization from making a costly mistake.
Companies can also use creativity to engage its
workforce, which will help attract and retain quality employees. While
many of you probably know the general, simple ways to keep employee’s positive,
engaged, and productive such as flexible work schedules and casual dress days,
what about getting creative and going above and beyond this?
One idea can be to include employees in creative marketing techniques such as
weekly blog posts. This will provide a platform for employees to display the
range and depth of experience among the firm’s staff or firm-sponsored networking
opportunities. This will not only engage employees, but it could also attract
new clients and help maintain relationships with existing clients.
There is room for accountants to be
creative in the right setting. Obviously certain roles, organizations,
and situations will allow for more creativity than others. Regardless, knowing
when and how to utilize creativity will help separate you from the pack.
On the one hand, accountants must follow
the rules. On the other hand, accountants should creatively think about
presenting information in ways that they are most useful and clear to users.
Balance is the key.
If you are looking to add creative
accountants to your company, let us help!
We at Communicate Recruitment specialize in
finding you top of the range skilled accountants that will add value to your company.
Visit our website and find our contact details for more information.
Or if you are looking for Finance jobs
check out our vacancy page and apply online now!
We are looking forward to hearing from
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