Is there any point in AAT?. Am I studying to be a 'Cowboy'

LondinaLondina Experienced MentorMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 812
I found this article and even was posted in 2006, I believe this situation is still existing and became even worst in the recession....

Is there any point in 'AAT'? Am I studying to be a 'Cowboy?

I have been reading, with a growing sense of disquiet and anger, over the situation in Ireland over the use of the name 'Accountant', and the subsequent vitriol that has been posted on this site, about Cowboys', i.e. anyone who isn't a CA, by first the head of the Scottish Institute of Chartered Accountants and subsequently other CAs.
I have been studying the AAT accounts course, which involves me in an enormous amount of study, as I am not working in the profession, and am having to do the course 'cold'
Will the various Institutes of Chartered Accountants, who set up the AAT, be the only ones who are to be allowed to be 'Accountants. If this is so why am I studying and taking exams in Financial Accounts, Management Accounts, Cost Accounts Personal Taxation, business taxation, individual and corporate, and indirect taxation. IS IT TO BE ABLE TO BECOME A 'BOOKEEPER'
Are they to consign me to the leftovers, so that they are the only people who can use a term which describes what I am studying for and which has been around for over 5000 years, when they have been in existence for about 3% of that time
Yes they do take more subjects than I, but I do not want to be an Auditor, or an insolvency practitioner. I want to become a practicing Accountant, which is why I am studying and taking all these exams.
Could someone tell me the point of the AAT, who seem to be taking no action on this matter, if these people in these institutes who represent less than 1/3 of the practices in the UK, can take away my status, before I have even finished taking my exams.

Gaby Dunn
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Comments

  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    I'd imagine GP's and senior consultants in the medical profession look down on paramedics but that doesn't mean paramedics are any less worthy to those in dire need of them. Builders want to pay a MAAT £25 per hour for bookkeeping, not an accountant £200 per hour for the same thing and the accountancy world is big enough for everyone.

    While many of us on this site might stop short at calling ourselves 'accountants', it's such a generic term that when asked by others what we do for a living, many people will apply this tag to us even if we don't apply it to ourselves: legislation will hardly limit it's usage.

    Wherever we do accountancy functions, from the lowest levels of bookkeeping to the highest levels of corporate or government finance, we're arguably all 'accountants'. Until someone can invent different definitions for different roles, then the umbrella term of 'accountant' will apply to everyone operating underneath it. As for those in the upper echelons who say AAT's equal cowboys, well I say bollocks: you wouldn't dare say it to my face and with good frigging reason as I'd probably react very badly to you.

    An AAT education means you're perfectly capable of performing certain functions, a great stepping stone to those who want to study further and still an excellent acquisition to those who don't.

    As for the term 'cowboy', well it's such a broad term that can apply to anyone operating badly, trained or not, deliberately or not, chartered or not.
  • NeilHNeilH Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 540
    blobbyh wrote: »
    As for the term 'cowboy', well it's such a broad term that can apply to anyone operating badly, trained or not, deliberately or not, chartered or not.

    To "second" that, I've come across various tales and anecdotes of people having been on the receiving end of less than competent accountants - either in the standard of their work or there general attitude to providing a service. Out of the three tales that immediately spring to mind all of them were chartered accountants/accountancy firms.

    Protecting a title wouldn't be such a bad thing if it did actually serve to protect professional standards - but it won’t!

    As for respect of the AAT qualification, respect is exactly what I/it has received from employers and colleagues.

    Neil
  • LondinaLondina Experienced Mentor MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 812
    Something I don't understand, ACA/ACCA/CIMA are Chartered Accountants, AAT are accountant, should be in this way? why them are allowed to be called both and an AAT should not even considered an accountant?

    This is a reply of somebody to that article:

    "STOP WHINGEING Dont quite get the moaning.
    Do you want to be recognised as a CA or ACCA when you have only done a lesser qualification. Perhaps we should all hug a tree and just all call ourselves what we want. If you actually want to go further what is stopping you?
    Surely you'd acknowledge the above are higher qualifications than yours?"
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,069
    I don't think it's worth getting worried about.

    Even if they did regulate the use of the word accountant, I would like to think that (haha) the AAT would fight to get us allowed to use it - after all, the chartered bods set themselves aside by using the word Chartered. Apart from the IFA which aren't that well known, there are no other non-chartered accountancy bodies, hence there is a space for non-chartered accountants: us.

    I mostly ignore the fact I'm strictly speaking a technician. I'm an accountant, my practice is that of accountancy and mostly I just want to be left alone to get on with running my business without too much red tape.

    Even if they do ban me one day from calling myself an accountant, my clients won't care. We can change our business name from "accountants" to "accounting services" or something and the work will flow in just the same. But yes, I might owe the office swear box a tenner or two :lol:
  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    I'd love to see how they could regulate the term accountant since it's not just what you are but also what you do. Doctors don't practise 'doctorancy' or 'doctorism' nor do people automatically assume that everyone who works in the medical profession is a doctor!

    I'd imagine the courts would be pretty full if non-chartered practitioners were prosecuted for calling themselves/being called accountants! Would you be legally obliged to educate every single person who mistakenly referred to you as an a**ountant? And what would we rename ourselves? "Non-regulated number crunchers who used to be called something else"?
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,427
    I have to say the AAT has it's place and it's worth.

    I don't have any problems with my clients wanting a Chartered Accountant or a problem that technically I am a technician. My clients see me as an Accountant as that's what I do.

    I do think that with some people only want a Chartered Accountant, supposedly for the old fashioned snobbery factor. I find this seems to be older generations and those who have had little insight and experience of the variations in the accountancy profession.

    I feel I have marketed my practice well at my target market, small businesses looking for a value service.

    I do feel that Chartered qualifications are a step on but can also mean a completely different target market in terms of clients. I firmly believe there is a place for the AAT and that it can be exploited to build a successful practice and career.
    Regards,

    Burg
  • LondinaLondina Experienced Mentor MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 812
    blobbyh wrote: »
    I'd love to see how they could regulate the term accountant since it's not just what you are but also what you do.

    They did in Ireland, they regulate the term accountant and the AAT is out of the list!!!

    http://icpa.org.uk/underfire/cp_1-06.pdf
  • clegganatorclegganator Well-Known Registered Posts: 184
    I think my words to anyone who questioned the AATs accounting persona to stick it up their arse. I'm fine with banter between AAT and CA, but questioning the ability to perform accounting tasks is rude and arrogant.
  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    Londina wrote: »
    They did in Ireland, they regulate the term accountant and the AAT is out of the list!!!

    The Irish also told us that banning smoking in pubs was a roaring success, so much so that we adopted it over here while the stark reality is that hundreds - and possibly thousands - of pubs have now closed. Maybe indirectly, maybe directly, but ultimately thousands of people are out of work to satisfy the wants of a few.

    Good in theory is one thing, workable in reality is another and I wonder whether anyone has actually been prosecuted for "misusing" the term (I couldn't find anything through Google).

    Final thing Londina, isn't that link just a self-serving speculative discussion document (and having quickly scanned it, some might say a load of flannel) for an intention of protecting the term "accountant" rather than confirmation of it being passed into statute law so does anyone know if it actually was (or provide a link to it)?
  • stevefstevef Well-Known CarmarthenRegistered Posts: 258
    I know this is a student discussion, but as both an AAT member and a ACCA member I feel that I need to defend both groups and explain why the CCAB bodies are trying to regulate the word accountant (not that I necessarily agree that is the correct way forward).

    I believe that the training and skill sets of Accounting Technicians and CCAB Accountants is sufficiently different to require both groups to exist happily together. I belong to both ACCA and AAT because of these differing skill sets. I receive different types of support from each body and give different input to them. To fully understand the complexities being faced by my own Finance Department total reliance on ACCA and CIPFA would not be sufficient. I rely on AAT to understand the more practical elements of my work, whereas ACCA and CIPFA support my need for strategic and regulatory information. If I want a meanigful debate on how to getthe ledger to work properly, to set up a new budget reporting framework, etc, I will discuss with my AAT colleagues. To prepare for IFRS or Sustainability reporting, I will call on my ACCA colleagues. I am a Fellow Member of AAT, I worked very hard for that membership and I am proud to be able to call myself an Accounting Technician. I do everything in my power to get the term Accounting Technician recognised and appreciated. To get others to recognise that to be an Accounting Technician you have dedicatedly studied hard, passed exams and continued with CPD. It does upset me a little to see so many items on the forum saying that author wants to ditch the title to be known as somthing else.

    I am also proud to be an FCCA, again, I worked long and hard to become one and devote a lot of energy into CPD and moving the profession on in order to stay one. What really galls me is after all that hard work and continuing hardwork, anyone can all themselves an Accountant and at first sight be seen as the equivalent to an Accounting Technician or a CCAB Accountant. that is why many in the profession want to regulate the term. Personally, I think regulation is wrong. We should be out there shouting that we are Accounting Technicians, or Chartered Certified Accountants, or Chartered Accountants, or ... etc, and as such we are better trained than people merely claming to be an accountant!
  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    But shouldn't any argument for protecting the term be based more upon the fact that non-qualifieds are allegedly more prone to error and/or malpractice rather than it just being made upon the basis of entitlement i.e. that you've studied harder and thus deserve the recognition afforded by a protected term? Seems to me that quals and non-quals are both prone to mishaps, albeit of differing complexities, so my feelings are more towards the latter argument or could we be talking something entirely different such as revenue protection?

    And would we eventually see non-graduate journalists, artists etc have to call themselves something else because they're not entitled to use historically used but recently legally protected words?
  • BluewednesdayBluewednesday Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,624
    I don't think it's a case of making mistakes, other than the fact that a qualified (accountant or technician) has the backing of a professional body which the client can use as and when necessary.
  • Rozzi RainbowRozzi Rainbow Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 465
    I always find these discussions interesting and now feel able to contribute. I qualified as an MAAT this week (excuse me while I bounce with excitement at having letters after my name!!) and so am now wondering what to call myself. Am I right or wrong to say I am an Accountant?! It doesn't make the slightest bit of difference to my job as I am employed by a Chartered Accountant and my job title is technically Accountant's Assistant. But when friends and family ask what I do I would like to say "I am an Accountant". My mum thinks I should refer to myself as a trainee accountant, as I'm still learning from my boss who is obviously much more qualified than me. I am now studyinng ACCA (well done stevef on becoming FCCA that is my dream for the very future!) so would class myself as a Trainee Chartered Accountant. At the end of the day, with no regulation on the word Accountant it is up to us to call ourselves whatever we feel comfortable with.

    I think the title Accountant should be regulated as the practice where I work recently encountered a client's previous "Accountant" who was less than useless! He calls himself an Accountant but isn't regulated by any professional body so there was no-one we could complain to. This annoys me when technically I am a Technician (which don't get me wrong I am very proud to finally be a member of the AAT) when people with little or no qualifications can go round calling themselves Accountants.

    If Accountant was regulated to consist of AAT Members, and IFA and other similar bodies I may not be aware of, it would be a clear label for qualified accountants who are not yet (or don't want to become) chartered.
  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    Going back to the OP, now you've had the input of others Londina, what's your take on this at supposedly being labelled an (AAT) "cowboy"? How do you value the qualification?
  • Miss_HJMiss_HJ Feels At Home Registered Posts: 91
    as per google:
    An Accountant is a practitioner of accountancy, which is the measurement, disclosure or provision of assurance about financial information that helps managers, investors, tax authorities and other decision makers make resource allocation decisions.

    The word "Accountant" is derived from the French word 'Compter' which took its origin from the Latin word 'Computare'. The word was formerly written in English as "Accomptant", but in process of time the word, which was always pronounced by dropping the "p", became gradually changed both in pronunciation and in orthography to its present form.[1]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accountant


    Chartered Accountants work in all fields of business and finance. Some are engaged in public practice work, others work in the private sector and some are employed by government bodies.[3][4]

    Chartered Accountants Institutes require members to undertake a minimum level of continuing professional development to stay ahead of their peers. They facilitate special interest groups - lead academic and professional thinking in accountancy. They provide support to members by offering advisory services, technical helplines and technical libraries. They offer opportunities for professional networking and career and business development.[5][6]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chartered_Accountant

    so what is wrong with a MAAT using the word Accountant?
  • Raging PineapplesRaging Pineapples Well-Known Registered Posts: 110
    In other words, they are called chartered accountants to differentiate them from accountants who are not chartered, therefore it is not necessary to be chartered or certified to be an accountant... make sense?
  • SandyHoodSandyHood Font Of All Knowledge Registered, Moderator Posts: 2,034
    I still enjoy watching cowboy films.
    At this time of year I don't have very much time off, with one revision day here and another there.
    What the word cowboy and the vision of riding over open spaces in the wild west did remind me of is quite useful.

    Much of my commercial work, before entering teaching, was in hotels and restaurants. These often included accommodation as part of my remuneration package. This had many advantages, but could also have disadvantages as I could be called upon easily as I was onsite even if I was off duty.
    When I took up a position in Surrey, which again had accommodation on-site. I made a point of riding most days on Epsom Downs.

    Now anyone who has enjoyed riding up there, particularly along the gallops that lie between Epsom racecourse and Headley will be aware that you can only think of one thing while you are doing it. You can't start wondering about slow payers, cheque runs etc, there just isn't the opportunity.

    The result is you have to switch off entirely from accounts. And when you switch back on again you've rested that part of the brain.

    I thoroughly enjoyed both the riding and the work.

    Now I have very consciencious students, and I am well aware that they don't switch off enough.
    So with a serious point as well as my tongue in my cheek, perhaps a morning off playing at cowboys could really help.
    If you are taking exams in December, that vital break could freshen you up to tackle and succeed in your papers.
    Sandy
    [email protected]
    www.sandyhood.com
  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    Methinks Sandy's having one of his weird days (as I was once told by someone who works/used to work very closely with him but shall remain anonymous!)...
  • SandyHoodSandyHood Font Of All Knowledge Registered, Moderator Posts: 2,034
    blobbyh
    Thank you
    Very often keen students forget about the need to rest and take abreak from their studies. Once you've taken a break you can really feel the benefit.
    Riding about like cowboys, keeping the horse pointed in the right direction, avoiding hazzards, finding the right stride before jumping obstacles are all ways that can take your mind off accounts and exam preparation and keep that brain fresh and agile.
    Sandy
    [email protected]
    www.sandyhood.com
  • JanJan Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 654
    I've noticed that Sandy sometimes goes a bit weird, perhaps he's been captured by the Red Indians or whatever we are supposed to call them now!

    You know how you have a picture of someone in your head? Never saw Sandy as the Lone Ranger, but what a great way to get away from it all. Makes me wish I could ride.
  • Miss_HJMiss_HJ Feels At Home Registered Posts: 91
    SandyHood wrote: »
    I still enjoy watching cowboy films.
    At this time of year I don't have very much time off, with one revision day here and another there.
    What the word cowboy and the vision of riding over open spaces in the wild west did remind me of is quite useful.

    Much of my commercial work, before entering teaching, was in hotels and restaurants. These often included accommodation as part of my remuneration package. This had many advantages, but could also have disadvantages as I could be called upon easily as I was onsite even if I was off duty.
    When I took up a position in Surrey, which again had accommodation on-site. I made a point of riding most days on Epsom Downs.

    Now anyone who has enjoyed riding up there, particularly along the gallops that lie between Epsom racecourse and Headley will be aware that you can only think of one thing while you are doing it. You can't start wondering about slow payers, cheque runs etc, there just isn't the opportunity.

    The result is you have to switch off entirely from accounts. And when you switch back on again you've rested that part of the brain.

    I thoroughly enjoyed both the riding and the work.

    Now I have very consciencious students, and I am well aware that they don't switch off enough.
    So with a serious point as well as my tongue in my cheek, perhaps a morning off playing at cowboys could really help.
    If you are taking exams in December, that vital break could freshen you up to tackle and succeed in your papers.

    Agree 100%, my galloping days were more along the beach in hampshire, but I did take a trip last weekend to visit my old horse, a friend has her, and nothing clears the mind more than a good gallop!! certainly helped me!!!
  • LondinaLondina Experienced Mentor MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 812
    blobbyh wrote: »
    Going back to the OP, now you've had the input of others Londina, what's your take on this at supposedly being labelled an (AAT) "cowboy"? How do you value the qualification?

    Oh, just noticed now all these replies, didn't receive any alerts in my inbox!

    Anyway Blobbyh, I think AAT are definately Accountants, however lots of people don't think so, as for them only Chartered Accountants are the "real" ones. I wanted to find out more and I discovered that post somewhere else on the web. I actually don't know what does "cowboy" mean (I'm not English..), but I assume is someone that does things here and there?

    In other words, they are called chartered accountants to differentiate them from accountants who are not chartered, therefore it is not necessary to be chartered or certified to be an accountant... make sense?
    Miss_HJ wrote: »
    so what is wrong with a MAAT using the word Accountant?

    Exactly, it should be in this way
  • A-VicA-Vic Expertise Guaranteed Registered Posts: 6,970
    Chartered Accountants are the "Real Ones" but we all know who does the "Real Accountancy Work"
  • LondinaLondina Experienced Mentor MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 812
    However, back to Wikipedia....

    Why AAT is at the bottom of the list? No wonder people think that we are not "proper" accountants....This is so frustrating!!

    "Titles of British accountancy qualifications
    In the UK, there is no licence requirement for individuals to describe themselves or practise as an accountant (except for audit or insolvency work). However, to use certain titles and designatory letters requires membership of the appropriate professional body, thus:

    Bodies with royal charter
    Chartered Accountants must be members of one of the following:
    the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) (designatory letters ACA or FCA)
    the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) (designatory letters CA)
    the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI) (designatory letters ACA or FCA)
    a recognised equivalent body from another Commonwealth country (designatory letters being CA (name of country) e.g. CA(Canada))
    Chartered Certified Accountants must be members of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) (designatory letters ACCA or FCCA)
    Chartered Management Accountants must be members of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) (designatory letters ACMA or FCMA)
    Chartered Public Finance Accountants must be members of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) (designatory letters CPFA)

    Other recognised bodies

    Authorised Public Accountants must be members of the Association of Authorised Public Accountants (AAPA) (designatory letters AAPA)
    International Accountants must be members of the Association of International Accountants (AIA) (designatory letters AIAA or FAIA)
    Incorporated Financial Accountants must be members of the Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA) (designatory letters FFA or AFA)
    Certified Public Accountants must be members of the Association of Certified Public Accountants (CPA) (designatory letters ACPA or FCPA)
    Certified Practising Accountants must be members of the Institute of Certified Practising Accountants (ICPA) (designatory letters ICPA)

    Except the Association of Authorised Public Accountants (AAPA), the Association of Certified Public Accountants (ACPA) and the Institute of Certified Practising Accountants (ICPA), each of these bodies admits members only after passing examinations and undergoing a period of relevant work experience. Once admitted members are expected to comply with ethical guidelines and gain appropriate professional experience.

    In addition to the bodies above, the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) offers its members training and support in accountancy skills. ACCA offers a comparable status as a Certified Accounting Technician (CAT)."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_qualified_accountants
  • BluewednesdayBluewednesday Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,624
    A-Vic wrote: »
    Chartered Accountants are the "Real Ones" but we all know who does the "Real Accountancy Work"

    So where do I fit in with that one?

    Bluewednesday MAAT ACCA!!
  • AK002AK002 Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,492
    So where do I fit in with that one?

    Bluewednesday MAAT ACCA!!

    Oddball!!!
  • A-VicA-Vic Expertise Guaranteed Registered Posts: 6,970
    So where do I fit in with that one?

    Bluewednesday MAAT ACCA!!

    your just us lowly study students mecca :) and you pay the bills while we do the work lol
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,069
    Londina wrote: »
    However, back to Wikipedia....

    Why AAT is at the bottom of the list? No wonder people think that we are not "proper" accountants....This is so frustrating!!

    "Titles of British accountancy qualifications
    In the UK, there is no licence requirement for individuals to describe themselves or practise as an accountant (except for audit or insolvency work). However, to use certain titles and designatory letters requires membership of the appropriate professional body, thus:

    Bodies with royal charter
    Chartered Accountants must be members of one of the following:
    the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) (designatory letters ACA or FCA)
    the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) (designatory letters CA)
    the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI) (designatory letters ACA or FCA)
    a recognised equivalent body from another Commonwealth country (designatory letters being CA (name of country) e.g. CA(Canada))
    Chartered Certified Accountants must be members of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) (designatory letters ACCA or FCCA)
    Chartered Management Accountants must be members of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) (designatory letters ACMA or FCMA)
    Chartered Public Finance Accountants must be members of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) (designatory letters CPFA)

    Other recognised bodies

    Authorised Public Accountants must be members of the Association of Authorised Public Accountants (AAPA) (designatory letters AAPA)
    International Accountants must be members of the Association of International Accountants (AIA) (designatory letters AIAA or FAIA)
    Incorporated Financial Accountants must be members of the Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA) (designatory letters FFA or AFA)
    Certified Public Accountants must be members of the Association of Certified Public Accountants (CPA) (designatory letters ACPA or FCPA)
    Certified Practising Accountants must be members of the Institute of Certified Practising Accountants (ICPA) (designatory letters ICPA)

    Except the Association of Authorised Public Accountants (AAPA), the Association of Certified Public Accountants (ACPA) and the Institute of Certified Practising Accountants (ICPA), each of these bodies admits members only after passing examinations and undergoing a period of relevant work experience. Once admitted members are expected to comply with ethical guidelines and gain appropriate professional experience.

    In addition to the bodies above, the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) offers its members training and support in accountancy skills. ACCA offers a comparable status as a Certified Accounting Technician (CAT)."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_qualified_accountants

    Wiki is not set in stone. As I understand it, anyone can edit the entry.
    Ergo, this was clearly written by someone who doesn't appreciate the value of the AAT.

    Some bright AAT Wikipedier should go and edit it.... :D
  • SandyHoodSandyHood Font Of All Knowledge Registered, Moderator Posts: 2,034
    Along with most university and college lecturers, I do not credit undergraduates who cite quotations from wikipedia. It has a useful place and can give super starting points for research, but by the very nature of the site it can change and it cannot be relied upon in isolation.

    I may upset one or two readers, but I'm sure a bar room knowall could tell you anything. A lot could be true, most will be subjective, but I doubt you'd take it all at face value and not double check it before basing any decisions on it. I would treat wikipedia with the same sort of scepticism.
    Sandy
    [email protected]
    www.sandyhood.com
  • Bookworm55Bookworm55 Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 479
    Along with most university and college lecturers, I do not credit undergraduates who cite quotations from wikipedia. It has a useful place and can give super starting points for research, but by the very nature of the site it can change and it cannot be relied upon in isolation.

    Hey! As someone who was an undergraduate a mere six months ago, I resemble that remark! No, not really. It is often the first place I go to do some research, but I wouldn't dream of actually citing it. Following up one of their references and citing that once I've read it, however...

    I wrote an essay about Wikipedia for one of my units last year. The referencing for that was really hard because of the changeable nature of wikipedia. The essay was actually about the changes in IT in the last ten years and how they've affected me as a student, but the lecturer didn't like the fact that I talked about wikipedia at all though.
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