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Accounting Services for Marine/Shipping Companies

Maritime industry is an inevitable part of the nation's military strength and economic policy. Maritime industries include ships afloat, cargos and passengers, along with shore activities which serve ships. Since accounting records and reports are the main sources of decision making in shipping companies, accounting services play a major role for marine or shipping companies. In general, the shipping industry can be divided into tramp shipping, liner service, and industrial carrier. Each of these services performs definite functions and is managed to attain the result. Despite the existence of finance and accounting practices in marine companies, one of the unique features is the operation of vessels. The voyage of the ship is considered as an accounting unit, which means all freight expenses, passenger revenues and operating expenses are recorded under vessel and voyage. Each voyage of the vessel is considered as a separate venture. Maritime tax systems are entirely different from other industries. Therefore, special accounting treatments are used for tax implementation. Standard costs and budgets are two important planning and control tools used mainly.

Sequence of Accounting

Chronologically, accounting begins when the business transaction occurs. For making timely decisions accounting data must be maintained. Accounting data is obtained from the following sources: seaman payroll, purchase invoices, ship repair bills, fuel-filled statement, marine insurance policy, agency fee memo, passenger and freight brokerage advice, canal toll receipt, lighterage slip, authority for ship construction. Vouchers are prepared by considering these documents. These vouchers are used for bookkeeping entries. Every business organization has its vouching device for the control of cash and non-cash transactions. The identification, monitoring of the financial situation of a maritime company, the measurement of shipping costs are the major objectives. The accounting system can be within the generally accepted accounting methods, including the single entry and double entry. The presentation of the accounting events, in the books of accounts, is necessary.

General aspects of Marine Accounting

The major expenses of accounting in marine companies include: Vessel accounting is synonymous to Voyage accounting. It is carried out by marine shipping companies. Vessels can be used, as a means of transportation on water. It includes: Water-Line Operating Revenue & Expense, Subsidies, Other shipping revenues & Other credits, Vessels stores, supplies, and equipment ashore - This inventory account records the cost of all stores, supplies, and equipment held for delivery to vessels at some future date. Payments include expenses such as fuel, lubricants materials, supplies, spare parts and general appurtenances of the ship. Maintenance and repair activities deal with the main and auxiliary engines of the ship (machinery), Navigational instruments, Facilities of telecommunications facilities.

Why accounting is important to companies who are dealing with marine services?

The primary income source for the UAE economy depends on the Oil industry, there are different tax laws which are regarding the transportation services from the mainland to the free zone and vice versa. To safeguard the interests of marine companies, a proper accounting system must be maintained through record keeping, frequent analysis, tax compliance and audit work.

How CDA helps you?

Having the best accounting and auditing experts, we offer quality accounting services for marine companies in UAE. The major benefits of our services include:

Financial Record maintenance

Recording of invoices for technical supply and repairs of vessels and booking transactions timely.

Vessel Payroll Processing

Calculation of salaries of vessel crew, payment of salaries to the seamen, preparation of reports to customers, administrations of ships Preparation of monthly expense reports.

CFO and Controller Services

Preparation of monthly budget vs actuals reports, management reports upon a request of the owner or manager and developing of accounting policy and reports.

Quarterly and Annually Financial Reporting

Submitting quarterly and annual reports to the management also providing an additional customised report as per the requirement of the management.

Revenue Reports

Providing the Income Statement report including the vessel wise report to the management based on Direct and Indirect expenses which the right proportion.

Internal Audit Services

Ensuring proper internal controls and frequent review of accounts with accuracy and materiality.

Project Costing and Profitability Analysis

We consider the direct material costs, direct labour costs and overhead for determining the total cost for the project. A combination of estimates and actual figures used to measure profitability.

Cash Flow Analysis
  • Analysis of the supply of cash to the vessel
  • Verification and payment of crew salaries
  • Provides statements of accounts to the managers
  • Maintain vessel bank accounts and foreign exchanges
  • Reconciliations
Strategic Tax Planning

Giving an insight into the current tax laws relating to the maritime company, and how to properly manage your Tax Returns by complying to all the Tax Rules and Regulation.

CDA client portfolio

As a team of financial specialists, we offer the solutions you need for your business. We focus on building up ongoing relationships and to provide top-quality service and trustworthy to clients over the years. We assure proper internal control procedures in marine companies as a part of performing an internal audit. Set up a database management system to maintain all the records for smooth functioning. Our highly qualified team of professionals prepares timely financial reports which help the maritime companies to take prompt decisions. Our client portfolio is evidence of our excellent accounting services for marine companies.

“CDA provides such a fabulous job of helping us with accounting. We knew that this company does the job pretty well but this is a great experience. Your company maintains a good standard of work and we are galvanized with that.”

Akram Al Aintrazi

Managing Director, Power Hydraulics Heavy Machine Repairing LLC

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]

1. Why outsource accounting services?

To track the sales: keeping track of your sales, balancing the cash for those that need an expert & professional team is required to handle all this. When you outsource an accounting professional, they will help you with all these and will also give guidance on how to run the events with maximum utilisation of the available resources

Controlling Expenses: Firstly each business needs to understand what is their current position on controlling expenses. By hiring an accounting professional, you can find out where your business position is standing and what will help you to manage or control your both direct and indirect expenses wisely.

2. What accounting system do you use for Marine companies?

Our Accounting systems are based on the latest software’s, depending on customers preferences and needs we work with other systems too.

3. What makes you different from other accounting service providers?

Our consistent reach to customers through a high expertise team and their quality in submitting the work on time makes us unique accounting service providers.

4. Do maritime companies have to invest in accounting system software?

As a business you can choose to have an in-house system for accounting, we are open to working with any accounting system as the basics of accounts are the same for all the systems. We also provide you with a choice of maintaining your accounts on our accounting systems.

5. What are the grouped expenses under vessel accounting?

Expenses under vessel accounting include:

  • Vessel operating expense
  • Inactive vessels expense
  • Other shipping operations expense
  • Administrative and general expenses

6. What are the accounting records required by a company?

As prescribed in the Commercial Companies Law and the Commercial Transactions Law businesses must maintain a daily journal and general ledgers according to their specific business requirements. The Commercial Companies Law made it mandatory that all businesses must maintain an original copy of all correspondences, letters and invoices issued or received. All evidencing documents are to be retained for a period of five years.

7. How can you manage the collection of Receivables?

CDA expert implements stringent controlling procedures in receivables departments of clients by enabling the latest accounting software along with database management system.

8. Do you have experience in Project costing?

Yes, our team is well experienced in project costing, we use CRM and ERP supported software to handle project costing.

9. Are Maritime companies exempted from Tax or not?

Maritime companies are zero-rated in nature, in case of transportation from mainland to free zone areas.


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