If you think accounting is an exact science, think again. Issues are nuanced. Multiple views exist. Conclusions depend on your unique circumstances. Accounting advisory services may foster open dialogue, thorough analysis, and full understanding to determine an appropriate conclusion. 

Accounting for ambiguity 
Far from the black-and-white world that many outside a company’s accounting function imagine, gray may be accounting’s primary color—many accounting questions are complicated, and there’s often a high degree of judgment required when applying the rules. 

Documenting complex transactions and the related accounting conclusions may be extremely challenging given today’s standards for internal controls over financial reporting. At the same time, finance departments are expected to create value across the entire business, and finance leaders are expected to play a key role in many corporate decisions. 

All of this makes it critical that accounting and financial reporting are handled efficiently and with an eye toward what’s best for the organization as a whole. 

While an organization’s independent auditors can be helpful in identifying applicable guidance and discussing the application of such guidance in practice, there are limits to the amount and type of advice an independent auditor can provide due to applicable independence regulations.  When an accounting adviser is used to help navigate complexities and paint a clearer portrait of a well-reasoned accounting approach, the investment may benefit not only your accounting department but also your entire organization. 

Accounting advisory services: From confusion to confidence
The accounting world is a tough place to go it alone but having an accounting adviser can help you resolve your pressing issues, and potentially lower the overall cost of your financial statement audit. Here are eight things an effective accounting adviser may do for you.
  • 1. Bring an experienced perspective: Need to reach informed accounting conclusions on tough, frequently asked questions?

  • 2. Lead an open dialogue: Want open, early-stage conversations about topics that you might not feel ready yet to discuss with your independent auditor?

  • 3. Explain the nuances of accounting guidance: Want to understand the rationale behind the accounting impacts of the strategic decisions your company makes?

  • 4. Advocate for a chosen approach: Looking for help fleshing out your approach to a highly judgmental accounting issue, and articulating and supporting your positions to your independent auditor?

  • 5. Examine alternative angles: Want to dig deep to flesh out your point of view on an accounting issue at hand to achieve the preferred accounting treatment?

  • 6. Address thorny issues early: Need earlier identification and resolution of issues so that you may reduce last-minute fire drills?

  • 7. Improve internal controls: Looking for an extra layer of control that your independent auditor might appreciate? How about a fresh evaluation of your control environment as a whole?

  • 8. Improve audit readiness: Want to provide your auditor with a thorough and comprehensive analysis of your accounting position and gain the confidence that your approach to complex accounting issues is sound?
  • . 
    Energize your accounting  
    These eight things an accounting adviser may do for you ultimately add up to one result: helping you prepare a better work product. That higher-quality product may reduce independent auditor interaction time and possibly the overall cost of the audit while providing relief from upward pressure on base audit fees over time.

    Tapping the experience and knowledge of an accounting adviser allows you to better understand and address complex accounting challenges. And that can translate to letting you spend less time on your audit, and more time and attention on your business.


    For more information, contact:

    Ashok Parmar

    Deloitte & Touche LLP

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