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Lack of knowledge... worrying?

TimmneTimmne Feels At HomeRegistered Posts: 37
Evening all,

Having read through a number of threads today (and lurking for a year or so but not posting much), I have witnessed a very concerning lack of knowledge from some people.

It worries me that not only do MIPs not know certain (basic) areas of accounts and tax, but that they don't know how or where to look for it. For me, coming on here would be a useful, but secondary resource; i.e. if I had looked at the guidance and my reference books and couldn't find the answer, I'd ask here.

It really does highlight that the AAT don't do much checking of their MIPs' skill levels (I know I didn't have to prove much when I registered).

I worry for some of these peoples' clients mainly.

Does anyone have similar thoughts to me on this?


  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071
    Yeah, I do agree with you.

    On the one hand, I have to like the MIP application process. For reasons nothing to do with my professionalism or aptitude, I'd never be a MIP if the practising cert was as hard to get as the ACCA/ ACA, and thus I am grateful for the more relaxed route of the AAT.

    On the other hand, it was too easy. The 'practical experience' requirement isn't strict enough. I can't believe I'm actually saying that, but I think it's true. Reading a lot of the posts on here suggests that people who have the best intentions but don't have much experience or a good grounding of the basics are being let loose on the general public.

    I don't know what the answer is, or what the middle ground should be, but I think it needs addressing.

    AAT is a great qualification, and it's more than enough to produce a decent accountant in general practice. I get the feeling AAT doesn't get the respect it deserves by some people in the accounting community - but the slack drills in getting MIP status suggests that maybe it doesn't deserve as much respect as I like to think it does? Which is a shame...

    I'm rambling now, but yeah, you have a point...
  • JodieRJodieR Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 1,002
    I totally agree with you both, but playing devil's advocate in defense of the offending posts I'm going to make the following points:-

    1) Sometimes it may be that someone's doing some bookkeeping for a client preparing records which will be checked by an accountant before being submitted and that person wants to have a go at doing something outside of their 'competency' but will probably make a note of what they've done for the accountant to check. (or similarly they may be employed and want to impress the boss)

    2) Personally I have built up what I'd like to think is a good selection of reference materials over the past few years, (study books, tax manuals, tolleys etc) and regularly read relevant parts of HMRC's business income manual and find accounting web very useful on occasion, but even sometimes after I've found an answer I like to put a post on here just to confirm that I haven't mis-interpreted it, and to see if anyone's got another or a better way of solving the problem. It's rare that there's just one simple answer to a problem and it's nice to hear the pros and cons of approaching something in various ways.

    I think that you're right that it's too easy to get an MIP licence and there's evidence on here that there are some who've slipped though the quality control net (and I don't have a solution on how to fix that problem without our membership fees increasing dramatically), but I don't think we should be too quick to judge when someone asks what appears to be a 'stupid question' on here - there may well be a sensible reason for it!
  • JodieRJodieR Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 1,002
    don't know where that 'thumbs up' icon came from! didn't mean to put that there!
  • T.C.T.C. Experienced Mentor Registered, Tutor Posts: 1,448
    We can't all be experts in every field! Give us a break! :mad2:
    Plus we like the little chit-chat we get with replies.
  • TimmneTimmne Feels At Home Registered Posts: 37
    T.C. wrote: »
    We can't all be experts in every field! Give us a break! :mad2:
    Plus we like the little chit-chat we get with replies.

    If you could tell me where I said we were all experts in every field I'd be grateful - I can't see where I even implied that?

    Quite on the contrary, I don't deal at all in tax for example if it's more than the usual income tax areas, purely because I'm out of practice with anything more detailed. I only have a small handful of clients who I get on well with and feel I add a lot of value.

    If there's something I don't understand I either find out by looking at the relevant manual/guidance or pass the client on to a friend of mine who is an accountant in practice (whereas I work as a financial accountant in a manufacturing company full time). I feel too many MIP members on these boards are somewhat greedy/desperate and accept any work they can get.

    I often worry that the clients aren't getting the advice they need (but don't know that they need it IYSWIM) and that they're stuck with an accountant who's only doing half the job.
  • T.C.T.C. Experienced Mentor Registered, Tutor Posts: 1,448
    Chill out. :cool:
  • TimmneTimmne Feels At Home Registered Posts: 37
    T.C. wrote: »
    We can't all be experts in every field! Give us a break! :mad2:
    T.C. wrote: »
    Chill out. :cool:

    Who needs to chill out?! :lol:
  • Hasan.AhmetHasan.Ahmet Feels At Home Registered Posts: 87
    Lack of knowledge.

    JodieR's contribution here is very constructive and I second that.
    On occassions I too made the same observations and have been disappointed with contents of some of the postings.
    But have to remember when evaluating that not all have the same level of engagement in accountancy work, knowledge, experience, expertise, commitment.
    Also it is my observation that one does not have to prove one's credentials as an AAT MIP before joining the discussion form or making a contribution on the same platform. So!!??

    I don't mean to be critical of Timmne either but,
    I think "implied" might have been a better choice of a word here instead of "incinuated".
    "Incinuated" is spelt with "s".

    Good luck all.
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071
    Jodie R, good post :)

    I have no idea whose posts made me agree with the OP, it's just a general vibe I get sometimes when reading the forum. My only concern is that it's too easy to get a PC.

    I'm guilty of posting 'noob' questions as much as the next person from time to time. But then, that's one way sole practitioners get feedback - we don't have the 'luxury' of colleagues to chat to and bounce ideas off. Forums are great for that. Sometimes we all have 'blonde' days. Some people come across as needing to be reminded of the basics a lot, though, which is a different kettle of fish entirely. Again, I have no idea who I'm thinking of here, but it rings a bell.

    God knows what the answer is though!
  • PaulPSBPaulPSB Feels At Home Registered Posts: 55
    Perhaps the AAT are hoping the new MIP Mentor scheme will help?

    As a matter of interest how many have registered for this?

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