WHAT ARE NONTRADITIONAL ENGAGEMENTS?
There are two broad categories of accounting services: traditional engagements and nontraditional engagements. Traditional engagements are what come to mind when most people think about accountants. What does your CPA do? Oh, they do my taxes, prepare my financial statements and payroll, they may even perform external audits. Most accounting firms specialize in these practice areas.
In nontraditional engagements, accountants roll up their sleeves and dig deep into financial and non-financial issues not addressed by traditional accounting services. It may involve internal audit, data analysis, risk assessments, performance measurement, litigation support, fraud investigations, and other agreed-upon procedures. It’s an exciting side of accounting that is flexible, creative, and innovative.
Since traditional accounting is designed to provide a high level overview, it often can’t answer the questions of who, what, when, where, or why on many subjects. That information is buried in the details and is strongly correlated to what is happening off the books. The goal of nontraditional engagements is to gain knowledge that helps to make decisions, save or recover money, improve profit, reduce liability, and solve problems.