Welcome to our website. We hope you find this a valuable and informative resource for information about accountants in the United Kingdom.
Your choice of accountant is an extremely important one that should be given careful consideration in order to avoid a costly mistake. The choice you make could mean a huge difference to the profitability of your business and the amount of tax you finally part with.
The first thing you should be aware of is that not all accountants are of the same caliber. There are some extremely good accountants who genuinely know their stuff, and there are some who call themselves accountants simply because they can get away with it!
You probably find the last statement pretty alarming, and with good reason! There are many so called accountants on the streets of the UK that have no formal training, no proper accountancy qualifications and no professional indemnity insurance to protect you. Sadly, anyone can open up a business and say they are accountants. Unfortunately, and equally as alarming, is the fact that the same is true of the words “tax adviser” and “business consultant”.
In view of the above, it is vital that you ensure the accountant you choose to entrust your business affairs with is properly trainined, properly qualified and properly regulated. The easiest way to do this is to check that they are a member of one of the six major professional accountancy organisations in UK which form part of the Consultancy Committee of Accountancy Bodies.
They are as follows:
• Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
• Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
• Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
• Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland
• Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland
• Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy
The membership requirements for each of the above bodies may vary slightly, but the following are normally prerequisites for membership of any of them:
- Passed necessary exams
- Trained under supervision
- Keep updated with accountancy matters (continued professional development)
- Quality controlled service
- Follow strict professional ethics
If the accountants you choose are not a member of one of the above bodies, they may be a member of one of the lesser professional bodies operating in the UK. Not all of these have strict membership requirements, so it is really important to ask the accountant what their qualifications are and what they had to do to obtain the qualification.
Qualifications are not always enough to ensure you get the best service and advice. Academic knowledge needs to be applied in practice, and experience therefore counts for a lot. You may therefore wish to find an accountant with practical experience in the particular sphere you are seeking advice for.
We hope you enjoy our informative articles about accountants and trust they will give you a head start when sourcing anyone in this sector.