Here’s Why Accounting Agencies Are Better Than Freelance Accountants

Company secretarial services in Singapore

Whether you’re a startup, a small business, or an established firm in Singapore, finding the right accounting solution is very crucial. When it comes to outsourcing accounting services, you may get several options to hire freelance accountants or accounting agencies in Singapore. 


If you are confused between hiring a freelancer accountant and an accounting firm, this blog post may help you.


1. Expertise and Experience

Freelance Accountant:

Freelance accountants often offer specialized skills honed over years of experience. They may have niche expertise that perfectly fits your business’s requirements. However, their experience might be limited to a specific industry or scope of work.


Professional Accounting Firm:

Accounting firms in Singapore boast a team of experts with diverse skill sets. Their collective experience spans a wide range of industries and business sizes. This breadth of knowledge can be invaluable when dealing with complex financial challenges and regulatory compliance issues.


2. Reliability and Availability

Freelance Accountant:

The availability of freelance accountants might vary. Some freelancers might have multiple clients and commitments, potentially leading to delays in responding to your queries or addressing urgent financial matters.


Professional Accounting Firm:

Accounting firms usually have established working hours and protocols for client communication. They’re structured to provide consistent availability, ensuring that your financial queries and concerns are addressed promptly.


3. Range of Services

Freelance Accountant:

While some freelance accountants offer a comprehensive range of services, others might focus on specific tasks such as bookkeeping or tax filing. Most freelance accountants don’t provide a comprehensive range of corporate services to their clients. Therefore, you must make sure to check with them about the services that they will provide to you before you hire them.


Professional Accounting Firm:

When you hire an accounting company in Singapore for taxation and bookkeeping, you also get other services like corporate secretarial services, financial advice, auditing, and company incorporation. Their diverse expertise makes them a one-stop solution for all your financial requirements.


4. Scalability

Freelance Accountant:

If your business experiences rapid growth, a freelance accountant might struggle to keep up with increased demands. You might need to hire additional freelancers or transition to a more comprehensive solution.


Professional Accounting Firm:

Singapore accounting agencies are designed to accommodate businesses of varying sizes and stages. These companies can adjust their services as your business grows, to meet your evolving needs.


5. Regulatory Compliance

Freelance Accountant:

Ensuring compliance with Singapore’s complex regulatory landscape can be challenging for a freelancer. Mistakes in compliance can lead to penalties and legal issues.


Professional Accounting Firm:

Accounting agencies in Singapore always stay up-to-date with changes in tax laws, financial reporting standards, and compliance regulations, minimizing the risk of errors.


6. Technology and Tools

Freelance Accountant:

The technology and tools used by a freelance accountant might vary. Some might rely on basic software, while others might have access to more advanced accounting systems.


Professional Accounting Firm:

Accounting companies in Singapore often invest in robust accounting software and technology to streamline their processes. This can lead to more efficient financial management and accurate reporting.


7. Accountability and Oversight

Freelance Accountant:

When working with a freelance accountant, the accountability primarily lies with the individual. If they’re unavailable due to illness, vacation, or other reasons, it could disrupt your financial management.


Professional Accounting Firm:

Singapore accounting firms have multiple team members who can step in if one member is unavailable. This ensures consistent service even in unforeseen circumstances.


8. Cost Considerations

Freelance Accountant:

Freelance accountants might offer competitive rates, especially if they’re just starting their practice. However, their fees might increase as their expertise and demand grow.


Professional Accounting Firm:

Professional accounting firms might have higher upfront costs, but the value they provide through their expertise, comprehensive services, and scalability can outweigh the initial investment.


Recommended post: How much is the accounting fee in Singapore?


Conclusion

Opting for an accounting company over a freelance accountant brings undeniable advantages. A company offers a team of experts, ensuring diverse skills and reliable support. Regulatory compliance, scalability, and comprehensive services become seamless with a professional firm. Enjoy peace of mind and holistic financial management that propels your business forward. 


So, hiring a professional accounting company is always better than hiring a freelance accountant in Singapore. 

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ACRA Cancels Registration of Filing Agent and Qualified Individual for AML/CFT Breaches

The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) had cancelled the registrations of filing agent (RFA) and qualified individual (RQI) on 18 January 2024. The registrations were cancelled in view of breaches of anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) controls under the ACRA (Filing Agents and Qualified Individuals) Regulations 2015 (the “ACRA Regulations”).

Some of the basic AMT/CFT controls that a RFA and RQI are required to exercise are as follows:

(a) perform additional customer due diligence measures when a customer is not physically present during onboarding;

(b) inquiring if there exists any beneficial owner in relation to some of its customers; and

(c) perform risk assessments i

RQIs and RFAs provide corporate secretarial services for business entities, such as helping customers to incorporate companies, file annual returns and fulfil other filing requirements under the Companies Act 1967 or other Acts under ACRA’s purview. RQIs and RFAs are required to perform customer due diligence measures in accordance with the ACRA Regulations, and conduct their business in such a manner as to guard against the facilitation of money laundering and the financing of terrorism. RQIs and RFAs must also satisfy statutory requirements such as being fit and proper persons, to be registered or continue to be registered.

RQIs and RFAs who breach their statutory obligations may be subject to enforcement actions, such as financial penalties of up to $10,000 or $25,000 per breach respectively or have their registrations with ACRA suspended or cancelled.

Therefore, RQIs and RFAs play an important role in helping to detect and combat illicit activities.

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