Unbelievably, anyone can call themselves an accountant, with absolutely no qualifications, and set up in practice to look after your financial affairs and those of your business. So why would you use a Chartered Accountant? Especially because they might seem more expensive than the “accountant“ down the road? Here are some compelling reasons why:
Chartered Accountants have to undergo at least three years of rigorous on-the-job training and pass a series of demanding exams in order to use the term “Chartered Accountant”. So we have a great combination of book-learning and practical skills.
In order to stay registered, Chartered Accountants have to demonstrate that they remain updated professionally by completing Continuous Professional Development. At HullJady, part of our CPD involves attending regular seminars given by some of the UK’s top professionals. We make sure we know what’s new, what’s changed and what we and our clients need to be aware of; things to avoid as well as legitimate opportunities to save tax. The lecturers are sometimes those who have advised on tax and accounting issues to HMRC and to government, so they know what they’re talking about and make sure we’re up to date.
Chartered Accountants who offer services to clients have to hold a practicing certificate and have professional indemnity Insurance. This means that, in the unlikely event that they make a mistake which costs a client money, the client can make a claim. Clients also have the right to complain about their Chartered Accountant to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) if it all goes wrong, so we can’t just disappear into the night.
We’re bound by a code of professional ethics which means, amongst other things that you can guarantee we’ll be discrete with your personal and professional details. So nobody will hear details of how your business is doing from us. The consequences if we break that code are potentially very serious. So whether your business is thriving or struggling a little, you can guarantee that no-one will hear it from us.
Our code of ethics also ensure we have to put our clients’ interests first. So we’re unlikely to suggest a tax scheme just because there’s something in it for us.
In short, as Chartered Accountants we’re regulated. So in order to continue to practice, we have to agree to the rules of the ICAEW. They monitor and regulate our work and check we’re compliant, that we have the right insurance in place, our knowledge and training is up-to-date and that we’ve behaved ethically. Can you be sure that your non-qualified accountant has done all of that?