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What Does a Certified Financial Accountant Do?

A certified financial accountant working.
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  • Written By: D. Waldman
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 29 September 2014
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A certified financial accountant is responsible for general oversight of a client's or a company's financial needs. He is in charge of maintaining proper records and bookkeeping, complying with required tax filings, and managing business plans. A certified financial accountant may also act in a financial advisory position, counselling companies or individuals on the best way to invest their assets to maintain or increase their accounts.

The record keeping responsibilities that a certified financial accountant must comply with include proper documentation of a client's or employer's profits and losses. This includes maintaining full records of all incoming revenue and company expenses, including the day-to-day costs of running a business or managing a portfolio. A certified financial accountant may also be responsible for securing the necessary business licenses when working on behalf of his employer. He is also in charge of creating and filing year-end financial statements on behalf of a company.

The individual serving as the certified financial accountant is also in charge of filing mandatory tax filings on a yearly or quarterly basis. This can include completing tax returns, making quarterly estimated tax payments, or providing necessary year-end financial summaries detailing where profits were derived from or the causes of any loss. A certified financial accountant also serves as the lead during tax audits or other government financial inquiries.

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Certified financial accountants must ensure that a proper business plan is in place to govern company expenses or investment plans. When working for a company, the certified financial accountant is required to play a direct role in the yearly budget planning. He or she provides insight on highest and lowest profit margins from the following year as well as available capital to operate the business for the coming year. On an individual basis, he must be able to present his client with summaries of their portfolio's past performance as well as the expenses that may be involved resulting from upcoming planned investment strategies. He may also be in charge of allocating portions of the yearly budget to individual departments or divisions, based on the estimated operating costs of each unit.

The secondary role of a certified financial accountant may also be to serve as a financial adviser. For individual clients, this could involve recommending various investment choices, managing investment allocations, or simply helping a client to best maximize the potential of their portfolio. On a company level, he would be responsible for overseeing company investments and ensuring any liquid assets the company holds are being used in the most effective way possible.

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