Do you ever think about the end of the world? You never know what’s going to happen, so it’s not smart or recommended to become too preoccupied with the idea of it all ending, but understanding the importance of preparation makes a lot of sense. There are doomsday preparers all over the world who’s lives are consumed with the idea of making it through a nuclear winter or an ice age, but if an ice age were to fall upon us, it’d be here to stay for tens of thousands of years, at least. We could be in the beginning stages of the next ice age, and we could very well be heading into world war III in the coming years, as tensions rise as the growing anti-American sentiments against western culture do as well, it’s only smart to prepare the best you can and start thinking about what you’re going to do if things turn south.
Many people prepare their whole lives for their retirement, and our grandparents and the baby-boomers that they spawned are the first to have benefited from the creation of the wealth management and financial planning companies that have come into existence. An accounting firm that specializes in financial planning often focuses on 401k plans, mutual funds, IRAs, and hedge funds. They always employee at least one Certified Public Accountant (CPA), even if it’s a bookkeeping firm that specializes in maintaining and organizing small and medium-sized business’ basic accounting needs. Many people go to school specifically for an accounting degree and after they graduate, they immediately or even right before, can take the Uniformed Certified Public Accountant Examination (UCPAE) in order to become a licensed CPA. It is a very rigid and difficult test to pass, similar to a lawyer attempting to pass their Bar Examination, if you’re familiar with anyone talking about that. There are way more people with an accounting degrees who aren’t CPAs than there are accountants who are CPAs, so that probably gives you a decent idea of hard that test may be to pass.
CPAs are very important to the American and global financial system, because they have an intimate understanding of how money and investments work. There are four main accounting specialties that are integral to keeping this world together before it potentially grinds to halt or we are all blown to smithereens. Like I mentioned earlier, there are bookkeeping accounting firms that focus on an individual’s finances or a business’ sales, receipts, purchases, and payments made. All of these records combine at the end of every fiscal year to produce a financial record that is used to file with the Internal Revenue Service. Bookkeepers or Accounting Clerks normally run the show in these kinds of businesses, and the only kind of audits they perform are internally for the business’ that they serve. You won’t see a bookkeeping accounting firm performing a hedge fund audit or anything of the sort, because it’s not their specialty and accountants typically stick to what they know.
Public accounting firms are the big boys in the game that are the kinds that perform complex and very involved audits for all publicly traded companies and many private ones as well. It’s in every company’s best interest, to understand what’s going on beneath their own roof and when a corporation grows to the massive size that many of them have, they sometimes have hundreds of people performing accounting duties on their behalf who are in a position to take advantage, steal or embezzle money from the company. This leads us to the next kind of accounting firm that I wanted to talk about.
Forensic accounting firms are often hired individually by a company’s management when they suspect that something isn’t right with their books. They are often brought in by law enforcement and work hand-in-hand with those officials when there are victims involved in a Ponzi scheme or embezzlement scenario. The accountants who specialize in this particular field, are the detectives of the financial world and are tasked to seek out and destroy the money-grubbing deviants who take advantage of the companies they work for and the people who invest with them.
Then, there are tax accounting firms that handle all tax-related duties involved with filing the required forms on an annual basis with the IRS. This one is pretty self-explanatory, but basically these particular specialists must be extremely familiar with the Internal Revenue Code and remain abreast of any changing laws or regulations that could affect their clients. All kinds of accountants help people plan for the future by sometimes keeping things in order and secure in the meantime, so when the time comes to look further ahead, the people they work for are prepared to do so. If nothing else, a personal accountant can help you manage your personal financial affairs if you can’t, and in most cases, whatever they charge is a drop in the bucket in terms of what they can help you save and invest over the course of time. So, when the bomb drops, you’ll already be in space, traveling to a new world.