Horrified at ACCA

Gill GittingsGill Gittings Well-KnownRegistered Posts: 121
I contacted the ACCA recently to ask them about registering to become a student accountant. I am employed by a mid tier firm, but I also have my own self employed business which the AAT know about.

I was absolutely stunned when the ACCA said that I would be struck off the student register if I were to continue doing my self employed business!:ohmy: They didn't say what they would do but the agent said the implications were quite serious if I were to be found out! They said the max I could do was bookkeeping and even that is frowned upon apparently!

So how on earth am I supposed to get my Chartered qualification? My company won't sponsor ICAEW because they no longer offer that, CIMA is out of the question as I work in practise and I need my self employment!

Why won't anyone recognise the AAT!:confused1:

Comments

  • CLAREHCLAREH Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 16
    And yet someone who hasn't sat a single accounting exam in their lives can go self employed & call themselves an accountant and nobody can stop them.

    I totally understand your frustration Gill!!!
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,069
    Gill, it's the ACCA's loss.
    I grudgingly accept why they won't let their student members practice.
    However, if said student has a practicing cert from another reputable body, sooner or later I wish they'd take it into consideration.

    Gill - have you thought about collaborating with another MiP to 'sign off' all the above-bookkeeping work, to keep you ok in the ACCA's eyes?
  • claudialoweclaudialowe Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 275
    Gill

    I went through this some years ago, and had exactly the same response as you (not that that is any comfort to you!). The person I spoke to was bordering on being rude, and I could them looking down their nose at me!!!!

    Although I can see where they are coming from, I think that they are totally missing the point - as an AAT MIP, you have that practising certificate with all that entails. You should be allowed to study ACCA as a student, and (rightly) not be allowed to make mention of ACCA within your business.

    It is a choice that you will have to make - at the moment the only difference that I can see is that with ACCA you can sign mortgage references for Abbey (see post below!!!!)

    Claudia
  • deanshepherddeanshepherd Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,809
    It is a real shame but if you want to join their club then you have to play by their rules.

    ICAEW allow AAT members to practice so maybe you could negotiate this with your employer.
  • Steve CollingsSteve Collings Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 997
    I'm not sure if you've also heard of the other "hidden rule" in that once you pass the ACCA exams and are admitted to membership, you then have to demonstrate a further 3 years post qualified experience in an approved practice and do a further assessment before you can obtain their practising certificate - so even when qualified you still cannot set up in self employment immediately.

    I had to practically jump through hoops a couple of years ago to deal with my brothers HMRC aspect enquiry (it only took a letter) but ACCA Professional Standards were so specific on what I had to do and in what capacity I could use their letters after my name.

    They are very strict and I would say between 85 - 90% of ACCA disciplinary proceedings are concerned with people "holding themselves out to be in practice" as ACCA term it. The fines are substantial and you get struck off, so if you want to continue your self employment, then ACCA is a non-starter I'm afraid. To be honest, I advise people to totally give up their self-employment if they want to do ACCA simply to protect themselves against their strict policies and heavy punishments.

    Good luck.

    Regards
    Steve
  • NeilHNeilH Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 544
    ...CIMA is out of the question as I work in practise and I need my self employment!...

    Hi

    CIMA is an option, there was girl on my final CIMA course working for a mid tier firm who had chosen it becuase it appealed to her more. However, you won't get the tax content in CIMA that you would with ACCA and you'll be unable to work towards an audit qualification when you qualify. The financial reporting is still in there but takes a slightly different slant than ACCA.

    Neil
  • EmthiEmthi Feels At Home Registered Posts: 53
    Starting a limited company may be a solution for this (just correct me if I'm wrong pls)
  • NeilHNeilH Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 544
    Emthi wrote: »
    Starting a limited company may be a solution for this (just correct me if I'm wrong pls)

    Unfortunately the ACCA rules apply to members who are director's in companies operating as accountancy practices.

    Neil
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,069
    NeilH wrote: »
    Unfortunately the ACCA rules apply to members who are director's in companies operating as accountancy practices.

    Neil
    What if the ACCA student was not a director? Does the principal in the firm have to be ACCA qualified nevertheless (eg get your mum to be the director, but you do the work?)

    I'm sure this wouldnt' work but am trying to think laterally :laugh:
  • BluewednesdayBluewednesday Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,624
    I wonder whether they would look at the substance rather than the legal form?

    My boss is unqualified whilst I am an ACCA affiliate and AAT qualified but all the PI insurance etc is in his name. I'm sure that's enough to prove that I just work for him.

    I guess there is a way you can get around it but I'm not sure it's worth it, if you stick by the rules you can sleep at night.
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,069
    I guess there is a way you can get around it but I'm not sure it's worth it, if you stick by the rules you can sleep at night.

    Yep!

    It's easy for me to say "sod them" as I'm a MiP and don't feel the need for a further qualification (ok, so I am doing ATT though!).

    But for those wanting employment, a chartered qual is a bit more necessary in terms of earnings potential, and it's a bit of an arse that students can't do the odd tax return on the side as an AAT MiP in the meantime. But then, life ain't fair eh?! :glare:

    On the plus side: it's now the weekend :thumbup:
  • NeilHNeilH Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 544
    faerie9 wrote: »
    What if the ACCA student was not a director?

    Had a quick look at the rule book and in theory this would be a way around the rules as you could be an employee of the company as well as being a share holder without directorship. In theory at least...and its quite feasible that a student or member could be employed by any incorported firm and hold shares in it. But like others say, would this really be the way around the rule...?
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