Scarily, absolutely anyone can call themselves an accountant. There’s no regulation which says you have to have any qualification, technical experience or indemnity insurance in order to trade as an accountant. Terrifying right? I mean, not as terrifying as having an unqualified, inexperienced, uninsured brain surgeon operate on you but still….
Now don’t me wrong, on the flip side of that, there are an awful lot of us who have worked really hard to get our qualifications and spent years building up our technical knowledge and experience.
There are a few things that you can look out for to reassure yourself though;
If an accountant is advertising as a Chartered Accountant (ACA), then they should be a member of either the ICAEW or ICAS, which means you can find their details on either organisations ‘find a chartered accountant’ pages
This will be the same if you see CIMA or ACCA as their qualification. You might also see some variations on these such as FCA, FCCA or FCMA.
These organisations ensure their members meet certain professional and ethical standards, and will offer you a place to turn if you’re not happy with the standard of the work done, or advice offered by your accountant
If it’s not clear, don’t be afraid to ask what professional body they are a member of, any accountant should be more than happy to talk about their experience and qualifications.
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