Qualified Accountant

slackdaslackda Trusted RegularRegistered Posts: 460
Ok, just a quick one..

I my understanding we are entilled to call ourselves Qualfied accountants, (provdng we have our MAAT status)?

For example an Accountant that has worked all hs life in accounts but has no professional qualification can also call him/her self a qualifed accountant all be it that it is QBE.

Just a bit wound up as i bid for a job on a freelance sit and was rejected as the client said in quite a rude manner that i am nto a qualified accountant.

Quote :" AAT qualified is an accounting technician not a qualified accountant!!!!!!!!!"

Personally think that he/she is getting their wires crossed with chartered accountant just disappointed to see the AAT qualification being belittled.

What are others thoughts / opinions on this?


Martin
«1

Comments

  • RinskeRinske Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,453
    My workplace thinks AAT is very low and hardly worth anything, other than for the Credit control and Purchase ledger department.

    We have one assistant accountant and asked me at some point why I am doing AAT and not started on CIMA or something useful...

    I think AAT is a great starting point and if I got AAT qualified, I am going to be very happy, but to get anywhere I will have to find another job or do CIMA, because my work does not think AAT involves anything.

    I don't even know how to change their opinion of it, as my manager has done some accountancy on uni and her MA afterwards. Our commercial accountant has ACCA and the assistant accountant mentioned above is just offered funding to finish her CIMA, as she hasn't finished it yet.

    Does that help at all?
  • PGMPGM Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,954
    AAT is a qualification, and if you have it you are a qualified accountant.

    Its quite simple really.

    Accountant is a very loose term, anyone can call themself one really. One with a qualification is a qualified one and one that has a chartered qualification is a chartered accountant.

    :)
  • slackdaslackda Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 460
    PGM wrote: »
    AAT is a qualification, and if you have it you are a qualified accountant.

    Its quite simple really.

    Accountant is a very loose term, anyone can call themself one really. One with a qualification is a qualified one and one that has a chartered qualification is a chartered accountant.

    Glad to see you agree wth me PGM,

    Rinkse know how you feel, my last manager was pushing me into Cima, which i was happy to do, but at the saem time we had several other CIMA guys at the place i worked, that had gone the certificate route into CIMA (skipped AAT) and none of them had the sound grounding, knowlegde and understanding that the AAT had given me.

    It is a fantastic qualifcation and much better than the base ACCA and base CIMA qualifcations and not just AP clerks, im starting my CIMA studies again due to work cutting the funds, but still im an assistant accountant for a global corp..wth just my AAT :D
  • PGMPGM Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,954
    slackda wrote: »
    Glad to see you agree wth me PGM,

    Yes :)
  • deanshepherddeanshepherd Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,809
    You have to think about the context.

    I don't go around saying I am a qualified accountant, I say I am an accountant because I do not want people thinking I was trying to mislead them into thinking I was a chartered accountant. If they then ask whether I am qualified then I say yes, I am AAT qualified.

    If you are talking to people within the profession then that is a different matter because if you say you are a qualified accountant they will naturally assume one of the CCAB bodies.

    If you are not trying to be misleading then you will be fine with whatever you call yourself.

    As an example, this guy runs a firm that provides outsourced accountancy services. When I read his first sentence I assumed that he qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloittes. Actually, he didn't make the grade and never qualified. Some would say that is misleading, others would say it is positive spin.

    I am not saying he has done anything wrong but you have to consider whether you are giving a misleading impression to others who then rely on the assumption that you are a CCAB member. It might come back to bite you in the proverbials if and when they do find out you are just a lowly AAT member!
  • AK002AK002 Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,492
    I want to be both lol :D

    Qualified Accountant (AAT) and Chartered Accountant (ICAS)....

    What would that make me lol... Can I call myself a qualified chartered accountant?! :-D
  • deanshepherddeanshepherd Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,809
    AK002 wrote: »
    What would that make me lol...

    A show off?!
  • slackdaslackda Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 460

    If you are not trying to be misleading then you will be fine with whatever you call yourself.

    I am not saying he has done anything wrong but you have to consider whether you are giving a misleading impression to others who then rely on the assumption that you are a CCAB member. It might come back to bite you in the proverbials if and when they do find out you are just a lowly AAT member!


    Completly Agree, but in my tender i said, i am a Qualifed accountant under the AAT MIP scheme, so at no point was i trying to make out i was a CCAB member.so imo i wasn't trying to be misleading, just stating the facts.

    Secondly i hope that the comment Lowly AAT member is said in jest as its that attitude that most poeple have that ruins the cudos of this qualification.

    thanks for the replies nice to see others thoughts on the matter.
  • PGMPGM Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,954
    I don't go around saying I am a qualified accountant, I say I am an accountant because I do not want people thinking I was trying to mislead them into thinking I was a chartered accountant. If they then ask whether I am qualified then I say yes, I am AAT qualified.

    I know what you're saying. But, I think that undervalues the AAT qualification and the work we put into it.

    Theres a lot of people that call themselves accountants and don't have a qualification, and this devalues the AAT qualification, especially if we don't even claim to be qualified!
  • RinskeRinske Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,453
    slackda wrote: »
    Rinkse know how you feel, my last manager was pushing me into Cima, which i was happy to do, but at the saem time we had several other CIMA guys at the place i worked, that had gone the certificate route into CIMA (skipped AAT) and none of them had the sound grounding, knowlegde and understanding that the AAT had given me.

    My workplace does not want to push me to CIMA, they might want to fund me for it, when I finish AAT, but I don't know until I ask (at which point they will say most likely they don't have the funds for it budgeted and maybe next year or they give me another silly excuse as they gave me for not funding AAT).

    My manager thinks AAT is very low and when I asked a question about AIP at the workplace, she asked a colleague with ACCA to explain it to me, as she didn't know and he said he would have to dig out his books, as he didn't know either (which I can understand).
    She then told him to only give a basic, as AAT is very low. (Which is not nice to hear when you are sitting there as well, even though it might be true compared to ACCA/CIMA and finished masters)

    In the meantime the assistant accountant, who needs to do 6 papers for her CIMA is telling me AAT is useless and wondering why I bother studying it, instead of something useful (as mentioned before).

    And now I am completely demotivated to do any work there, as they are all busy with the setting of budgets and have hired someone for 4 months to help out, as it's too much to deal with, while I sit here with hardly anything to do and I have been asking for more work quite a few times now, but as I don't have CIMA or ACCA they don't think I am able to do it. (They won't even bother trying to explain me some stuff or giving me a chance, and every time I ask they don't have anything or it's too complicated, which might very well be, but you would expect them to come up with something simple at least, even if it's just updating some silly spreadsheets)

    I am not surprised to see myself completely demotivated to do any work here anymore, but I just do my work, keep my head down and hope something better comes along soon!

    Unfortunately this is not just me thinking my workplace stinks, as in the accounts department we got 10 people and I know 4 of them are considering leaving for another job, the moment something better comes up. And they still have a lot of troubles recruiting people, even though we are in a recession.

    Sorry, bit of a rant in the end, which I didn't intend it to be, but I hope it does explain why they keep telling me it was considered low.
  • jewels.pjewels.p Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,774
    PGM wrote: »
    AAT is a qualification, and if you have it you are a qualified accountant.

    Its quite simple really.

    Accountant is a very loose term, anyone can call themself one really. One with a qualification is a qualified one and one that has a chartered qualification is a chartered accountant.

    :)

    People sometimes ask what's the difference? What can a Chartered do that an unchartered can't. I never know what to say. Is it that they can audit companies and we can't?
    I read somewhere that AAT Qualified are PQ Accountants not fully qualified is this right?
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,440
    Effectively we are qualified accountants.

    We cannot sign off audit assignments and we cannot undertake insolvency work.

    The rest is determined by our practising certificate.

    I think Dean is right in that we would be wrong to portray ourselves as Chartered accountants. I never try to hide anything from clients and happily explain any differences if they ask. I have never had anyone not use me because of my qualification.

    I think there are some limits to our tax knowledge but for most clients this is more than enough. The main advantage of using any qualified accountant over a qualified by experience is the regulatory body to complain to and professional indemnity insurance. We have both of these!

    I think I know which freelance site you are on about Martin, the problem there is that the people on there are mainly looking for a top service for nothing. I have seen accountancy and tax work for which I would charge a minimum of £500 be won for around £100! I don't think I am expensive and my clients don't either.

    Part of the way the site works means the clients mainly are going to be a pain and need lots of help and extra work / guidance. For this they should be charged more!
    Regards,

    Burg
  • deanshepherddeanshepherd Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,809
    jewels.p wrote: »
    People sometimes ask what's the difference? What can a Chartered do that an unchartered can't. I never know what to say. Is it that they can audit companies and we can't?
    I read somewhere that AAT Qualified are PQ Accountants not fully qualified is this right?

    Again, it's down to context. Recruitment consultants would consider AAT qualifieds as PQs and would certainly never consider an AAT member as a 'qualified accountant'.

    In the real world most people outside the industry have no idea that there are a multitude of qualifications and probably do not care.

    I will generally explain that as a non-chartered accountant I cannot undertake audits or offer any investment advice. I'm sure I have probably lost one or two potential clients from not being chartered but the 100 or so that I do have don't seem to care.
  • PGMPGM Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,954
    burg wrote: »

    I think Dean is right in that we would be wrong to portray ourselves as Chartered accountants.

    I don't think anyone has said otherwise?

    I'm not going to portray myself as unqualified either.

    I'd expect someone in the industry to be specific and ask if you are chartered, as opposed to the context related "qualified".
  • truecockneytruecockney Feels At Home Registered Posts: 93
    Rinske wrote: »
    My workplace does not want to push me to CIMA, they might want to fund me for it, when I finish AAT, but I don't know until I ask (at which point they will say most likely they don't have the funds for it budgeted and maybe next year or they give me another silly excuse as they gave me for not funding AAT).

    My manager thinks AAT is very low and when I asked a question about AIP at the workplace, she asked a colleague with ACCA to explain it to me, as she didn't know and he said he would have to dig out his books, as he didn't know either (which I can understand).
    She then told him to only give a basic, as AAT is very low. (Which is not nice to hear when you are sitting there as well, even though it might be true compared to ACCA/CIMA and finished masters)

    In the meantime the assistant accountant, who needs to do 6 papers for her CIMA is telling me AAT is useless and wondering why I bother studying it, instead of something useful (as mentioned before).

    And now I am completely demotivated to do any work there, as they are all busy with the setting of budgets and have hired someone for 4 months to help out, as it's too much to deal with, while I sit here with hardly anything to do and I have been asking for more work quite a few times now, but as I don't have CIMA or ACCA they don't think I am able to do it. (They won't even bother trying to explain me some stuff or giving me a chance, and every time I ask they don't have anything or it's too complicated, which might very well be, but you would expect them to come up with something simple at least, even if it's just updating some silly spreadsheets)

    I am not surprised to see myself completely demotivated to do any work here anymore, but I just do my work, keep my head down and hope something better comes along soon!

    Hi Rinske,

    I know exactly where you were coming from. I found that many larger companies (with everything in-house) tended to overlook the AAT qualification as nothing more than a step into Accounts. One even explained, during interview, that all I would be required to do was reconcile AMEX statements all day, every day.

    Since leaving a job (sounding not too disimilar to your situation where I was considered by my direct manager good enough to move up into reporting from Sales Ledger, but the Management Accountants wouldn't and found out soon after leaving that they promoted someone just starting studying ACCA with no prior knowledge except Credit Control).

    It can get demoralising, but if you are not getting the explosure you want, some consolation I found was looking at smaller companies. They were willing to consider MAAT as they tended to want less salary than Chartered, yet still qualified.

    The only thing I can say, to anyone, is there are as many people out there that value the AAT qualification as do not. They may just be a little harder to find.
  • RinskeRinske Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,453
    I'm so glad I'm not the only one. When I just started and they kept telling me that it was a nice step up into accounting but nothing more, I really started to worry if I chose wrong, but kept on it, as it would at least be a starting qualification, to show people I could do something more, than what I am allowed to do in my current job.

    I really started on the qualification after those words from my colleagues with the idea that AAT was comparable to a very basic bookkeeping course, but I am so glad I still stuck to it, as it is clearly not true!
  • crispycrispy Trusted Regular SouthamptonRegistered Posts: 452
    I don't understand why your colleague would describe the aat as useless, it certainly helped me in passing all my cima exams up to the finals first time as i had a good grounding. I believe the aat technician year is a much better and more useful introduction to the professional papers than the cima certificate is.

    I very highly doubt that a basic bookkeeping course would include consolidated accounts, standard costing/budgeting or any tax at all - sounds a bit like snobbery to me, stick with it.
  • Hasan.AhmetHasan.Ahmet Feels At Home Registered Posts: 87
    Qualified Accountant

    Hi all,
    I thought it may be relevant at to contribute to the topic with the following two links.
    I may get my head bitten off for this but, speaking for myself I detect some form of imbalance in the relationship between AAT and the "sponsoring" bodies, which I for one cannot say is in favour of AAT membership.
    It would interest me to know what the others think.

    The Professional Oversight Board, has launched a questionnaire relating to the provision of accounting services by members of the UK Professional Accountancy Bodies; as part of its review, of the monitoring regimes for members providing non regulated accountancy services. Accounting services includes services such as accounts preparation, payroll, tax and bookkeeping but excludes audit. We would encourage all users of external accountancy services to complete this questionnaire and ask members in practice to encourage their clients to complete this questionnaire; in order to provide us with details of the factors that are important to users of external accountancy services. To complete the questionnaire please click on the following link http://www.quarterlysurvey.co.uk/pob.htm

    "PREVENT UNQUALIFIED ACCOUNTANTS,TAX AND FINANCIAL ADVISORS PROVIDING SERVICES UNLESS THEY HAVE PROFESSIONALLY RECOGNISED QUALIFICATIONS."
    The Prime Minister's Office has responded to that petition and you can view it here:

    http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page16603
  • VonniVonni Feels At Home Registered Posts: 63
    I totally agree with you Dean I don't profess to be a Chartered Accountant I tell my clients I'm AAT qualified member in practice - they can inspect my practising certificate and liability insurance or have a copy.

    I take my qualifications and MIP status seriously; as well as undertaking CPD to meet the MIP criteria I also work for a Chartered Accountant and attend all the courses provided by Mercia that our qualified ACA's attend, as well as those related to other areas such as employment law and personnel matters.

    My employer does not always ask my opinion on technical matters but I'm more than able to answer the majority of questions and quite often do so in the office environment.

    Incidentally the qualified members in my office have very limited knowledge of personal tax, payroll or some aspects of VAT - as everything they do goes to tax checking and they don't deal with personal tax full stop. They love bigger audit jobs and will spend what seems like hours on file maintenance and audit planning. They also pass the files to a manager to review; who is the only one who has contact with the client together with the relevant partner. How boring!!!!

    My clients are happy - my fees are substantially lower than a Chartered Accountants and they get an excellent service from a suitably qualified accountant with over 30 years of experience.

    V
  • Hasan.AhmetHasan.Ahmet Feels At Home Registered Posts: 87
    I second everything you say Vonni, and that credibility should be emphasised and promoted to interested all.
  • PGMPGM Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,954
    Vonni wrote: »
    I totally agree with you Dean I don't profess to be a Chartered Accountant


    from a suitably qualified accountant with over 30 years of experience.

    V

    I'm a bit confused, are you saying AAT people should call themselves qualified or not?

    As Dean said saying you're qualified implies you're chartered, yet at the end of your post you use the word qualified in describing yourself.
  • slackdaslackda Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 460
    I think there are some confusions with people within and outside the accounting profession, as there is no legal term for a Qualified accountant ( correct me if i am wrong) unlike other trades.

    I think the basic fact is we can call our selves qualified as long as we are not trying to make out that we are chartered, going back to what i said earlier, your quite entiltled to say your a qualified accountant, with out having any professional qualifications, on the basis that you tell the client that the qualification is from experience alone (this goes back to what dean said about putting a positive spin on things )
    The problem with that is 9 times outta 10 joe public probably doesn't know the difference between chartered and qualified and assumes by some one saying that they are qualified it is the same as chartered.
  • NickNick New Member Registered Posts: 13
    charting accountant

    My clients don't care what my qualification is, they care about the quality of the job I do.

    One asked if I was a 'charting accountant' I said that I didn't know anything about geography and showed him my practising licence. I have tried to explain to clients on occasions the various qualifications and what the differences are etc, but they just smiled and nodded at me. It really does go to show that clients are not really that bothered about it, as long as you take care of them and ensure their affairs are handled with dilligence and integrity.

    I always say I'm qualified & licenced, which I hope gives a prospective client a secure feeling that they are dealing with a professional, but I'm not chartered and would never hold myself out to be.
  • bigmuggsybigmuggsy Feels At Home Registered Posts: 92
    I'm an MIP with a client base of 100 and increasing, the simple truth is that if you have small practise experience then being chartered doesn't give you any headway. If you began your career in a large firm where chartered status is basically expected then you know nothing else. One thing that chartered accountants will play on is the myth that they are actually better accountants because they have that qualification, which is complete rubbish, the only thing they can do which we can't is audits, medium and public companies and charities which, lets be honest, isn't a bad thing.

    There have been times when we've taken on a new client and on writing to the previous accountant (chartered) for professional clearence they have contacted the client stating that because we're not 'qualified' they should not come over with us. Obviously a scare tactic because they know full well it doesn't make the slightest bit of difference, as long as you have the appropraite insurance, stick to the regulations and have the knowledge and experience then your a qualified accountant (or qualified by experience if not a member of a professional body).

    We take pride in telling people of the chartered myth and so far we've been spot on.
  • Gill GittingsGill Gittings Well-Known Registered Posts: 121
    I don't really agree with bigmugsy in terms of dismissing chartereds. I am AAT qualified and am studying ACCA and work in a mid tier practice with about 120 chartereds from ACA and ACCA to CIMAS and all the chartereds are extremely knowledgeable and technically competent. I am not dissing our qualification but it is considered the more junior qualification. Some of our clients are pretty high profile clients so will need chartereds because of the technical nature of the job but I hold our AAT qualification in high regard but will also consider it a lower tier than a CCAB accountantM

    Just my opinion.
  • Hasan.AhmetHasan.Ahmet Feels At Home Registered Posts: 87
    Aat

    I agree with bigmuggsy and with his analysis of playing on the "myth".
    Respectfully for those chartereds with that attitute I believe there is another level in the market to aspire to if they believe themselves to be so.
    If on the other hand they're competing (And I respect those at this level more) in the sme's market as MIPs, then they're professional ethics should dictate that they should cooperate with the members of a professional body to which they're own associations are aspiring to remain as sponsors. I think this is where the relationship with AAT may come in.
    I would question for example on what basis and why the FRC chose not to include the AAT in this instance among the professional accountancy bodies.
  • AatAbiAatAbi Feels At Home Registered Posts: 47
    All useless unless you are already working in accounts department, best option if u have no experience is to go for a honor degree, work hard and you will end up in a graduate position.

    experience mate, that's all you need, introduce yourself as an aat or cima qualified and 90% of the ppl will ask you what is that, say you are an experienced accountant and none will bother asking you what qualifications you got.

    NEVER rely on these courses unless you already work in accounts, NEVER or you are a loser like me. :)
  • AatAbiAatAbi Feels At Home Registered Posts: 47
    slackda wrote: »
    I think there are some confusions with people within and outside the accounting profession, as there is no legal term for a Qualified accountant ( correct me if i am wrong) unlike other trades.

    I think the basic fact is we can call our selves qualified as long as we are not trying to make out that we are chartered, going back to what i said earlier, your quite entiltled to say your a qualified accountant, with out having any professional qualifications, on the basis that you tell the client that the qualification is from experience alone (this goes back to what dean said about putting a positive spin on things )
    The problem with that is 9 times outta 10 joe public probably doesn't know the difference between chartered and qualified and assumes by some one saying that they are qualified it is the same as chartered.

    if you have qualifications then you are qualified. simply in court, you can use the term qualified accountant even if you have no experience as long you have gained some qualifications, but does not matter how much experience you have got with no qualifications you are not legally qualified. this is the way I see it.
  • VonniVonni Feels At Home Registered Posts: 63
    Just a little note to add ... A lady, an MBE no less, asked for my professional advice as an Accountant before Christmas.

    She has formed a company, which has a patron who is a well know Conservative MP and the company is in the process of converting to charity status. It is presently set up as a company limited by guarantee and without share capital - the company has remained dormant but the first accounts were within 48 hours of becoming OVERDUE.

    I gave, free of charge, my advice produced a set of dormant accounts in accordance with the 2006 Companies Act which I kindly offered to post by special delivery to reach Companies House to meet the deadline and avoid the £1,000 penalty. The lady enquired about my professional qualifications and clearly voiced her disappointment that I was not CHARTERED. She then promptly asked a CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT to deal with matters on her behalf.

    The CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT filed a form AA02 (DCA) with Companies House together with a set of minutes signed by the lady, these were not posted but faxed!!!!


    So ... an AA02 cannot be used for a company limited by guarantee, without share capital or a charity. Additionally Companies House do not accept faxed or emailed accounts.

    The fine has been issued the lady is incensed but proudly tells me I was wrong the AA02 has been accepted and the CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT was correct - I'm holding my sides with laughter!! I check on the website, for £1 download the documents - and believe it or not Companies House have accepted the AA02 and the minutes.

    Being of a slightly vindictive nature I email Companies House to ask why the AA02 has been accepted in this instance and can I therefore assume that an AA02 is now acceptable.

    The reply 'an error has ocurred the AA02 and documents attached were accepted by mistake' following my email 'a letter will be sent to the company rejecting the documents and requesting that these be submitted in the correct format'.

    TOUCHE ... ONE UP FOR AAT QUALIFIED ACCOUNTANTS ... WHO SAYS CHARTERED RULE!!

    :-)
  • BluewednesdayBluewednesday Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,624
    Frankly this argument bores me as I see it on every forum I use.

    It only depends on the person, you will find examples of bad chartered and bad AAT, you will find examples of good chartered and good AAT.

    Be proud of what you are - we are qualified accounting technicians and petition the AAT to get more recognition for technician status - then this argument will never arise!
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