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Accounting Consulting Firms: Key Characteristics and Types

Accounting consulting firms provide a wide array of services ranging from the conventional accounting and auditing services to the more sophisticated tax management and business advisory services. Generally, these firms are classified on the basis of several criteria like revenues, number of offices, services provided, number of employees and various other criteria.

Accounting consulting firms can also be categorized on the basis or the services provided by them. Therefore, the different types of firms include tax firms, full-service firms, internal control or risk management firms, audit firms, business development firms, and book-keeping firms as well as outsourced services firms. Let us understand the important features of these firms.

Tax firms focus on providing tax services. Such firms specialize only in their niche market. The tax firms are further categorized into firms which offer business tax consulting, individual tax services as well as high net-worth tax consulting. Several tax firms have a separate division which works in tax-related areas of estate planning. Moreover, these firms can also specialize in securitization, franchise, state, federal, sales and usage, property as well as other areas of tax compliance.

Full-service accounting firms offer a varied range of services including tax, risk management, audit and business development services. Such firms usually addresses to the requirements of a wide variety of clients. However, the risk management and internal control firms provide internal audit services. These firms usually offer risk management, business evaluation services, and consulting and internal control audits.

The audit firms primarily audit the financial statements of a company and issue their opinion on the audits. These firms can be sub-categorized as non-profit audit, governmental audit, private equity audit and SEC audit firms. Moreover, there are certain specialty audit firms which perform pension audits. Besides this, audits are carried out in different areas like operational, financial, information technology as well as compliance issues.

Outsourced accounting service firms play the role of accounting department for a company. These firms provide the accounting services. The accountant works on the payroll of the accounting firm but carries out the accounting tasks of the client.

Book-keeping firms are undoubtedly the smallest form of these accounting firms. They operate within every city and town. Such services are extremely useful to small business owners to whom they provide various services ranging from the monthly write-up bookkeeping to the complicated tax compliance services. Therefore, they act as an accounting department for small organizations.