Public practice is the sector where accountants provide services for clients including accounts preparation, taxation and audit and assurance services. This sector also covers advisory; financial, business and consultancy services.
The corporate sector is where accountants assist and support the organisation to make decisions through business insight and by developing investor and partnering relationships. This sector covers many areas including audit and advisory, business consulting, insurance, financial and management accounting and taxation.
Public services or charitable organisations represent the not for profit and government funded sector. These provide essential support services in which accountants carry out a range of accounting roles and other financial support functions, such as, helping organisations deliver value for money and add public value.
Public services and not for profit
Financial services is the sector where accountants provide services for clients in the banking and financial services area including cash, treasury and funds management. Accountants in this sector may be dealing with complex financial products or instruments and must be keenly aware of the fundamental relationship between risk and return when responsible for safeguarding the assets of organisations and individuals.
There is a growing trend for finance functions to incorporate shared service operations, or outsource aspects of their finance activities to third parties to help reduce costs, centralise or standardise operations. This helps organisations achieve economies of scale and to drive business process improvements. Some organisations are also going one step further, bringing together their finance shared service centres, with other functional shared service centres such as Human Resources (HR) under one organisational structure, known as global business services. Shared services and outsourcing operations can be found across many different sectors.
Shared services and outsourcing
When organisations want to change, work smarter or grow faster they often call upon the expertise of accountants working in the advisory services of public practice firms. Advisory services offer support to organisations to, for instance, help organisations reduce their costs, manage their risk and reputation, find efficiencies in their IT or improve the experience of their customers.