Running your business from home
2nd September 2019
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Is your accountant qualified

Accountant

We assume that anyone who calls himself or herself as “accountant” is properly qualified, trained, experienced and competent.

So ask yourself these questions

  • How do you know the advice you are given by your accountant is legally sound?
  • What if your accountant makes mistake?
  • Can you report your accountant to the regulatory body?
  • Who will you complain to if you have a problem with your accountant?
  • Do you know why your accountant is cheaper or dearer than others?
  • When did you ask your accountant to show you the current practice licence?
  • Is this really the value for money?

If your accountant is good and chartered qualified accountant the answers to these question will be very easily found by asking these questions to your accountant who will be happy to answer them.  In fact your accountant will genuinely appreciate you have asked these question.

My Journey

Let me share my own journey to becoming a chartered qualified accounting practitioner.

After passing 14 exams of my ACCA qualification this is what I had to do to get a practice licence.

  • obtain 3 years’ full time experience in preparing accounts
  • get proof of my experience from all my previous bosses and employers who can certify my competence in areas of my experience.
  • take 1 more exam for obtaining practitioner licence
  • pay for Professional Indemnity insurance to cover my clients for any errors on my part.
  • establish a contract with another practicing chartered qualified accountant to provide continuous services if anything happen to me or my practicing business.
  • provide evidence [every year] that I have spent minimum 25 hours training to enhance my competence and knowledge.
  • I need to renew my licence every year after I provide all necessary evidence.

Generally all potential client ask one question without fail which is how much do you charge for accounts? Sadly potential clients never ask to see my practicing licence or qualification.  Have you ever checked that your accountant has a valid “Practice Licence”?

Designated Public Bodies

In UK there are several “Designated Public Bodies [DPB] who are authorised to provide practicing licence.

  • ACCA Association of Chartered Certified Accountant
  • ICAEW Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales
  • ICAS Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland
  • CIMA Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
  • CIPFA Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accounting
  • CAI Chartered Accountants Ireland
  • CIOT Chartered Institute of Tax Adviser

It is important to make sure that your accountant is a member of any of these regulators.  Each regulator has public register of its member.  You can check my licence on this link.

https://www.acca-business.org/dom/

In UK “Accountant” word in not a legally protected.  Anyone without qualification or any experience can start an Accountancy Practice.  It is the responsibility of the general public to make necessary check about their accountant. All these above institutes have been requesting to protect word “Accountant” but successive government have not done anything.

So ask yourself these questions

  • How do you know the advice you are given by your accountant is legally sound?
  • What if your accountant makes mistake?
  • Can you report to the regulatory body?
  • Who will your complain if you have a problem with your accountant?
  • Do you know why your accountant is cheaper than others?
  • When did you ask your accountant to show you the current practice licence?
  • Is this really the value for money?

To find out more about running your business from home contact Sterling Finance on 0161 339 4989 or email info@sterlingfinance.net.