Accounting is a niche service that is done as a specialty, which is why accountants take licensure exams before they can provide accounting and bookkeeping services. Many small businesses, and even large corporations, hire public accountants to take care of business-related services such as calculating financial statements, business insurance, and more.
Some high net worth individuals may also hire accountants to handle personal assets, and small business owners may find that hiring third-party accountants is more worthwhile than hiring a full accounting department. In this article, we'll take you through the steps to start your own accounting business, and how you can manage your business to provide adequate services to your client base.
Accounting Business in Singapore
All businesses, regardless of size, require accounting services to conduct proper assessment of their profit margins and losses. Most businesses have their own accounting departments that handle the bookkeeping, but there is an increasing demand for bookkeeping and accounting services in Singapore from third-party accounting firms.
These firms handle several clients, and may have few to multiple employees doing the accounting. Public accounting businesses can be registered as Public Accounting Corporation (PAC), Public Accounting Firms (PAF), or Accounting Limited Liability Partnership (ALLP).
How to Start an Accounting Firm in Singapore
Step 1: Determine the Type of Business Structure
Determine the type of business that your accounting firm will be classified as. Most individual public accountants open their own accounting practice under sole proprietorship, as they may be the sole accountant and employee in the accounting business.
However, you may also register your company as a partnership or limited liability partnership (LLC), which will allow you to employ more certified public accountants, and reach a bigger target market.
Step 2: Log In to BizFile+
Log in to BizFile+. Create an account, and choose to apply for incorporation as an accounting firm. You may choose to apply as a sole proprietorship under the Business tab, or incorporate your public accounting firm under the Public Accounting Firm tab.
Step 3: Fill in the Application Form
Fill out and submit an application form for a “Name for Public Accounting Firm,” then submit an application form for “Approval of Public Accounting Firm” to incorporate. You will need to submit the following documents:
- Proof that one or more owners is a certified public accountant;
- Proof of resident of Singapore;
- Business bank account;
- At least one resident director or shareholder for LLCs;
- At least SGD1 as capital;
- Employer identification number;
- Business plan;
- Local office address or office space.
Other supporting documents may be required, depending on the business structure of the firm. A successful business should already have all these requirements on hand before submitting applications as this will make the process faster and smoother.
Step 4: Pay the Application Fee
Once you've submitted your application, you will need to pay an application fee. The application will amount to a total of SGD115, where SGD15 goes to the application for a business name, while the SGD100 goes to the incorporation fees.
Step 5: Wait for Approvals
Lastly, wait for approvals. You should receive an update from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) in Singapore within 3 working days, and you should have the approval status of your application within 14 to 60 days upon application.
What to Remember in Operating Accounting Firms
A successful accounting firm maintains transparency in their services to their customers. As accounting firms handle finances for their clients, it is pertinent to gain the trust of the client in order to perform services such as tax services and tax preparation, financial accounting, calculating financial records, and other accounting services.
Remember that, when operating accounting firms, you should meet with prospective clients to work on mutual trust, and to discuss the services needed for the client. You will also need to deploy an efficient marketing strategy depending on your target market. These will help keep your firm on track.
Start Your Own Accounting Firm in Singapore
Start your own accounting firm, and incorporate your company with ease through WealthBridge corporate services. Our team will be more than happy to assist you in all your business needs, so you can focus on bringing quality services to your clients.
Contact us to know more on how you can maintain successful business operations!