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Investment accounting is the analysis and management of financial accounts that are involved in investments. Some people choose to do their own investment accounting, but people and companies with large investment portfolios often hire certified investment accountants to ensure that all work is correct and legal. Investment accounting often involves both the record keeping for portfolios as well as the strategic management of financial investments.
Investment accounting must be done carefully to maintain accuracy in ensure legality. Many regions have extremely specific regulations as to how investments must be maintained, reported, and managed. Failure to accurately report earnings and other vital tax information can lead to serious penalties in some place, including large monetary fines and even extensive jail time. Unfortunately, courts are not always able to judge the difference between an honest mistake and a deliberate fraud, so it is vitally important to ensure that all investment accounting is handled with the utmost attention to detail.
People with small portfolios, such as those with only a few thousand US dollars in investments, may choose to manage accounts alone. It is important to carefully read and understand all legal and procedural guidelines if planning to do self-accounting. There are many books that outline the basics of both account bookkeeping and investment strategies; these may be very helpful to a new investor. Additionally, consider looking at account management software that will help handle the mathematical side of record keeping.
Investment accounting is often handled by licensed or certified investment accountants. These professionals have a wide range of skills that differs from that of some regular accountants. Investment accountants often work as financial managers, helping develop investment strategies that will promote and increase the growth of a client's capital. Some investment accountants are hired directly by a company as a financial officer or account manager, while others work out of brokerages and may have many clients. These accountants are typically also responsible for maintaining and preparing tax data for all investment accounts.
It may be difficult at first to grasp the scope of investment accounting. In addition to keeping records exact and up to date, it is important to try to understand the investing market in order to make the best financial investment plan. Novices may want to schedule an appointment with a financial adviser to help come up with a basic investing plan before taking a chance on self-accounting.
Another interesting learning resource is an investment simulator. These are online programs that allow a user to open an account and trade or invest on fake markets that mimic the behavior of real investment markets. This can allow a new investor to practice trades and strategies without putting real money at risk. There are both free and paid versions of simulators available online.