Becoming an MIP

andrewtdk
andrewtdk Well-KnownRegistered Posts: 150
Firstly I would just like to say this post is certainly not aimed at the recent post about becoming a mip because I think that she is giving becoming a mip the proper consideration it needs and is considering further study and I certainly hope this post doesn’t offend anyone.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while and I thought I would post about how easy it seems to be to become a MIP. People seem to be going straight from doing the qualification into having their own practise and I get the impression from some posts on here that this is what is sold to them when they first decide to do the course.

I don’t feel the AAT is enough to go straight into practise and i don’t feel that any other qualification is either and i feel that the AAT allowing people without the appropriate experience to become MIP’s could make a joke of the qualification.

I know one person who applied to become a mip and they were competent in all areas of accountancy and tax but it seemed all they had to do was tell the AAT they were and no proof was required so it seems anyone could just say they are competent and be granted a licence.

If i remember correctly we have had questions on this forum along the lines of is class 2 national insurance an allowable deduction for a sole trader and what is the rate of tax on dividends and i think posts like these prove that there are mip's out there who clearly should not be.

I think that the AAT is a great qualification and i am very proud to have it but i feel if they are not careful it could soon get a bad reputation and lose a lot of credibility.

I don’t know why the AAT seems to be so keen to grant people mip licences but i think this needs looking at and I wanted to see what others people’s views on this are and whether they agree with me or not.

In my opinion I think they should be stricter in giving out licences. I am certainly not saying it should be like ACCA etc. and I feel that the current criteria is probably fine but the AAT should certainly check that people do meet the criteria rather than just seemingly taking their word on it. I am not an MIP myself yet so I haven’t gone through the process of applying so I apologise if I am over simplifying the process and am just going on my view based on forum posts in the past.

It would be nice to hear from the AAT if anyone there looks at these forums and I certainly don’t mind being corrected if I am wrong about the checks the AAT do on people who are applying to become a MIP.

Sorry for the long rant

Andrew

Comments

  • blobbyh
    blobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    Brave post Andrew and one that's been echoed by a few others down the years. Although I'm not an MIP and work in industry, I've read a few 'FFS' moments when newly qualifieds have asked beginner questions. There's a difference between using the forums for the odd bit of technical advice (or blonde moments as some female MIPs like to call it!) but as has sometimes been pointed out, the regular MIPs are not here to fully complete someone elses client tax returns by continued Q&A!

    As for the integrity of the qualification, well I imagine if you have a couple of years experience in industry and finish your exams, does this mean you can apply for MIP status? If so, I'd certainly be worried that someone with no technical practice experience can go into practice and screw around with other peoples livelihoods.

    Just read the other thread you've hinted at, and while we know that you're only supposed to practice in areas you have relevant experience in, I wonder what the integrity checks are for validating this? I'd also bet on some testing the borderlines for this hence some of the questions we occasionally see on the MIP boards.
  • Bluewednesday
    Bluewednesday Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,624
    My exact thoughts Andrew, I don't blame the new MIP's but more the AAT for allowing it!

    I would hate to see experienced MIP's reputation being tarnished by inappropriate registrations.

    This is definitely not aimed at the recent post or poster but am disturbed at the advice given by the AAT.
  • taskey
    taskey Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,800
    I absolutely agree too. I know I have recently posted about obtaining my license, but not to practise just yet. I want the license so I can put the letters after my name, although this is not what the qualification is about - it is a nice part of it, I earned them, I want to use them :)

    I do not feel confident enough to deal with "real life" accounts. Although I work in accounts and I do voluntary work, I still don't feel I know enough to go out in to the big bad world of my own practise, but then on the flip side, if I don't get the experience I will never be confident. I have read my study texts, sat my exams and simulations, but still don't feel I am armed with the information I would need to go it alone.

    I have had a few people asking me to do their taxes but I have declined as I feel I am not confident enough to do it for them, and also I feel I am not qualified in that area as I did not do it during my AAT studies.

    I have worked hard for my qualification and I know all the MIP's have also done the same, so I do hope the AAT do follow up on references and verify the work experience before giving out licences.

    my tuppence worth

    Tracy
  • Rinske
    Rinske Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,453
    taskey wrote: »
    I absolutely agree too. I know I have recently posted about obtaining my license, but not to practise just yet. I want the license so I can put the letters after my name, although this is not what the qualification is about - it is a nice part of it, I earned them, I want to use them :)

    I thought we were talking about getting the MIP licence and not to becoming a full MAAT?
    Getting the letters behind your name doesn't allow you to be a MIP. These are separated.



    I got no clue how easy it is to obtain a full licence though, so I can't judge it, but agree that there are quite often questions going around from MIP's which worry me.

    Then again, I'm worried that a lot of people see this forum as their way to research things, rather than doing their own research, before looking for confirmation. And I find that a very bad habit as well. How many questions could be answered by a simple google search!
  • Raging Pineapples
    Raging Pineapples Well-Known Registered Posts: 110
    I'm not an MIP either, for the same reasons Taskey mentioned.

    But it's a bit of a sore point for me - I feel I *am* competent, and I'm *not*, if that makes even a modicum of sense.

    What I mean is, I'm happy enough with my knowledge of the core tax system, and I feel I could easily deal with one of the AAT 'perfect case studies' that we've all had to deal with in the exams.

    The problem is that AAT may teach you well, but they haven't taught you everything. Or anywhere close, for that matter.

    For instance, I qualified convinced that I had NICs sussed, only to have Dad run me through Contracted Out Rebates - a subject which I had never heard of before. Similarly, I thought VAT rating was fairly straightforward, then Dad slammed a 200-page copy of V1-8A on my desk and said 'Learn that'. (It's VAT on just the construction industry)

    The point is you need to be certain that you won't get any nasty surprises about taxes, reliefs, penalties and charges that you honestly did not know about. You can't specialise in everything, granted, but don't expect AAT to have taught you everything you need to practice.

    EDIT:
    Just seconding Rinske's point on research. There's SO much information on the HMRC manuals and the web in general. But do be careful to check the years involved, as it's not always clear whether a website is up to date. I found that researching Industrial Buildings Allowance, which has just been phased out.
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071
    On one hand, I agree with everything in the original post. We do sometimes see some terrifyingly basic questions from new MIPs. However.....

    I am sure the AAT are aware of this and take very seriously who they issue MIP licences to. I am also sure that they review their procedures on a regular basis and take appropriate action.

    I'm going to argue devils advocate for a minute - being a sole practitioner is lonely, and sometimes the forum is here to offer reassurance (lack of confidence). Sometimes the question is phrased in a "I don't know the answer to this" kind of way - but actually they know the answer and just want reassurance. It's worth bearing that in mind when reading 'noob' questions. Yes, sometimes people haven't got a clue, yes that is worrying, however at least they are asking for help. And given that so many people state confidence as a big thing in becoming a MIP, we really ought to be offering more help and support and less "if you're asking that should you even be doing it?" I've fallen into the trap of saying the latter on occasions, when I was that inexperienced person once.

    Raging Pineapples makes an interesting point. I quite honestly confess I know nothing about Contracted Out Rebates or various specialist VAT schemes. But none of us can know everything. What is important is knowing where to look for the answers (Rinske: yes! Google is our friend!!), and knowing when we need to look for further guidance.

    We don't know what we don't know. Obviously, we can't wait to be licenced until we know everything, or we would never do it. So then, the point at which someone is ready to become a MIP needs to be somewhere along the scale of knowing enough not to cause damage by not knowing something, and knowing enough to know how to look for other answers.

    Bear in mind that anyone can set up as an accountant, and 95% of clients never ask what qualification people have. Getting an ACCA practicing certificate is arguably overly onerous (and fair play to those who have achieved it). I fully support the AAT's stance on a more generous licencing structure, as long as it's being done conscientiously.

    I have to declare an interest here: I set up my practice when I was a student and applied for my MIP at the same time as full membership as I was already trading and had been for a good few years. With the benefit of hindsight, I now know I probably didn't know enough (though I did have the benefit of a MAAT mentor who was absolutely invaluable and I couldn't have done it without him). I enrolled for ATT while I was still an AAT student (but after completing my exams) because I realised AAT just was not enough. I have previously referred to the AAT tax exams as a "beginners guide to tax." That might be slightly unfair and is in no way meant to be rude - they are still professional and challenging exams. But they really are a basic grounding and not a lot more; they really do just scratch the surface. So, experience is utterly essential to becoming a MIP and I know the licencing team do look at it. I remember having to provide more detail about one of my licencing areas because I had written something too bland, and so they asked for clarfication before granting me that area on my licence.

    It is still worrying though that some people get licences really without enough knowledge - but then that was me 5 years ago, and I wouldn't be where I am now without the AAT route. I'd be just another unqualified. I had a nervous breakdown 10 years ago and I have been unemployable due to ongoing issues with depression (and now I just wouldn't have it any other way but to run my own business!). The AAT gave me the opportunity to work for myself in a reputable profession, an opportunity that the ACCA, for example, never could. With the benefit of experience I probably didn't know enough back then - but define 'enough' - it's hard. I can't think of a certain point at which I was 'ready,' there is no lightbulb moment. I didn't make any major mistakes and always had someone to ask, whether a helpline, or a forum or my mentor. On the flip side, I've seen some really awful mistakes by chartered accountants in practice, and they have to just through hoops to get a PC compared to us, so there is also only ever so much a professional body can do to assure quality. It's got to be about getting the right balance and providing the right support.

    Blobby, in theory, no, someone with only industry experience still needs to demonstrate experience in the areas in which they want to be licenced, so would have to get some tax experience before getting licenced in that area for example.
  • jow774
    jow774 Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 465
    Well said Monsoon, especially the bit about yourself, how refreshingly honest.

    At least the posters the op are talking about have the sense to ask first before doing anything, lets not make this another "if you want to ask a question make sure its not a daft one" thread, it doesnt help anyone when people are frightened to ask questions.

    How many so called accountants are there out there who dont ask? The ones who think "Im Chartered" I know all there is to know. Just ask the HMRC about which organisations they get the most errors from?

    As for the Industry issue, I work in industry and complete tax returns for the owner of the business and the owner of the group and have done for 10 years. The level of complication of these returns is far beyond your average plumber, builder, etc etc. So am I not suitably qualified to complete tax returns cause I work in Industry? Lets not forget that anyone can file their own returns if they so wish without the need for an accountant or even a single reference to a copy of the ft tax guide!!!! Tax doesnt have to be taxing, lol.

    Being a successful mip (which I am not yet as am still exempt through lack of clients, lol) requires alot more than just a licence. The AAT could hand out hundreds of certificates but the amount of people who make a go of it are relatively few because it takes confidence, hard work and lots of other stuff to succeed, therefore there is little likelihood of devaluing the scheme. Regardless of what people think, clients are a wiley lot and will soon realise if an accountant doesnt know what they are on with and without clients you arent an mip.
  • andrewtdk
    andrewtdk Well-Known Registered Posts: 150
    When i mentioned about some of the questions asked that was just a side issue to my post and is not the main point of this thread at all. The main issue is that i just feel that the AAT should make sure the people it gives a licence to are competent.

    I think the main problem here is that the AAT seem to be selling the qualification to people who just want to do a quick qualification and become an accountant without any relevant experience. I think it should be made clear to people on starting that after finishing the qualification you need to prove you have the relevant experience as well as passing the tests.

    I think it is truly worrying that the AAT would find completing your own tax return as enough experience to provide taxation services. It seems anyone who wants to become a self-employed MIP can just start off offering bookkeeping services for a few years until they have completed a couple of tax returns for themselves then they would be able to get a licence for tax as well. I am not certain that this is the case but if it is what have we worked so hard to achieve when it seems virtually as simple to set up as an MIP as it does to just set up as an accountant with no qualifications.

    I’m not saying MIP’s need to know everything but do you really feel that the AAT is enough on its own to sell your services as an accountant?

    I certainly don’t want getting a practice certificate to be anywhere near as hard as getting one from ACCA and feel that the AAT’s criteria is probably strict enough but to me I just can’t see how this can be being properly enforced from the impression I have got over the past few years.

    I understand your point Monsoon because you said you may have started too soon yet you have obviously gone on to become a very good accountant and one of the most knowledgeable poster on here however other people may start too early and may make mistakes and I just don’t feel that this is fair to clients. I also feel the situation is a bit different if you also have a mentor to help you.

    I know that it helps people get into accountancy and gives them a start and whilst I feel for people who are struggling at getting into the profession I’m not sure people should set up until they are ready.

    Maybe a compromise could be ok for people to set up as an accountant and make no mention of the AAT until they have built up some relevant experience and then register as an MIP? Obviously this wouldn’t help clients but it could help protect the reputation of the AAT.

    I made this post partly as I felt it would be a good discussion we should have whether people agree with my view or not

    I think Blobbyh’s post about people in industry is because generally they don’t work with tax and of course there are always exceptions to this

    Cheers

    Andrew

    P.S. I hope my post doesnt come across as over the top but english was never my strong point and what i write and what i mean isnt always the same ha ha
  • twinks01
    twinks01 Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 16
    jow774 wrote: »
    How many so called accountants are there out there who dont ask? The ones who think "Im Chartered" I know all there is to know.

    Haha I love that chartered comment
  • anniem
    anniem Experienced Mentor Pewsey, WiltshireRegistered Posts: 1,326
    This is a really interesting thread and I think it's great to talk about.

    I passed AAT last year, having worked in all sorts of different environments throughout the previous 22 years.

    I had lots of experience in many different things and had passed my exams so thought it was the next sensible step to get my MIP certificate; obtaining this was not a 'walk in the park' I was required to evidence my experience and provide valid referees, which is something I did online during the 2 1/2 years I was completing AAT.

    It's a bit of a catch 22 though isn't it? You qualify, have an MIP certificate and think you know loads ...... then the clients start arriving; and you realise that actually (perhaps) you don't know quite as much as you thought you did!!!!!

    Unfortunately, clients don't all fit one stereo-type and they aren't always as simple as in the AAT books. Whilst you can learn as much as you want online, you don't always know the answers to questions instantly. You are continually learning - and the rules are continually changing, but without knowing what you're going to be bombarded with once you have your long awaited MIP certificate in your hand you think you can do it all!

    I think it is a bit of a double-edged sword, yes, you could say that perhaps some MIP licences are rubber-stamped quite quickly, but equally I often think potential MIP's don't fully realise how much they DON'T LEARN from doing AAT. This is why I am now studying for ATT exams!

    Monsoon mentioned people who are MIP's working alone; I am one of those, but I feel embarrassed to ask ANY questions on here for fear of a more experienced MIP ridiculing me. Yet where would you want me to go to ask my 'silly' (to you) question????? On here I know that there are a lot of more experienced people than me. Should I not ask the question for fear of reprisal and sarcastic comments??? Or do I commit the worse sin of dis-service to my client for not knowing???

    I have taken on a case this year, my first company client, and I was in way over my head - I knew that I was out of my depth so enlisted the help of a lovely friend. I had taken over from a well established accounting practice who had not provided the company with the correct advice. They had also seen 3 other accountants who had not noticed the problem!! I was completely honest with the client, told them I was new and they were happy to enlist additional help, because they felt they could trust me!

    For me; it's still early days, I'm trying to build my clients gradually, so I have time to invest in 'knowing each one' before I start another new client. This week is my busiest so far as I have 2 new clients in the last 3 days.

    On the flip-side, my business is just about wiping it's face; I have had a lot of expense in advertising, memberships, software, more studying and I need client's to justify the expense.

    In terms of clients? 9 Tax Returns, 7 sole traders, 1 partnership, 1 limited company - I turned the other limited company back into a partnership a couple of months ago!

    And in my day job? 2 partnerships and 1 limited company

    Yes, it's hard work. Nobody said it would be easy.

    Do I know everything? No.

    Do you know everything?

    Please don't make people feel stupid for asking daft questions; it is far better that they ask what they don't know than they get it wrong because they felt intimidated.

    Anna :)
    FMAAT - AAT Licensed Member in Practice - Pewsey, Wiltshire
  • GinnyBee
    GinnyBee Well-Known Registered, Tutor Posts: 131
    Very interesting thread, especially as I'm a new MIP myself, and I think a lot of good points have been raised here. Got me thinking too. Please note this is all just my own opinion and the best people to judge if someone is ready to be an MIP is themselves and the AAT, but I do wonder if the idea of having a professional reference to support your application might be a good idea?

    Firstly I'd like to say to Monsoon what a fantastic achievement she's made of her practice despite having faced some tough times in her life - we could all learn much from her. Again Monsoon shows the difference between getting your MAAT and having a bit of experience compared to years of accountancy experience.

    Speaking for myself I would not have felt confident to take on becoming an MIP if i didn't have the experience as well as the qualification. I see being granted an MIP licence as an honour from the AAT and have a duty to uphold the good name and high standards of the AAT (I'm sure in common with most MIPs)

    To put myself in context although I'm a very new MIP I qualified with my MAAT in 2006 and have worked in practice for 12 years, doing everything the full range of work from bookkeeping, VAT and payroll, through management accounts and year end accounts, to income, business and corporation tax. It is this experience combined with client contact experience and my MAAT which makes me confident I should be an MIP and can deliver a high standard of service.

    Regarding tax, although my knowledge is good from keeping up to date via work I have decided to study ATT to further develope my knowledge.
  • burg
    burg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,441
    I feel I should contribute but don't have a lot more to add than others have already.

    I agree with both sides that licences can appear to be granted a little easily at times but is this potentially down to question phrasing?

    Scenario:
    Your posting a question and you have an answer but your not quite sure. Legislation isn't completely clear and is open to interpretation (isn't it all?!). Do you show you have thought and quite your post referring to your answer and asking for thoughts? OR do you write an open ended question to get a possible range of answers which may or may not confirm your findings?

    I think the above is where people get stuck and can make people seem as though they want a lot of hand holding and maybe shouldn't have a licence.

    I started by getting basic bookkeeping and tax experience and no CT experience. I then moved on to a role where my role was all accounts prep, CT work but no personal tax. I qualified and spent a further 12-18 months studying ACCA before realizing the restrictions on MIP's and together with work situations given the recession left to join my wife's bookkeeping and payroll company to move it more into accounts and tax.

    I was granted a licence in personal tax even though my knowledge was AAT study plus maybe around 25 - 35 returns over the 3 years beforehand. should I have been granted one? Possibly not but I felt I had sufficient knowledge for the majority of cases.

    I do think further study, particularly for tax is very useful and should be recommended. However, for most sole traders, partnerships and small limited companies the AAT study together with sufficient practical experience is enough.

    My suggestion is to use the forums to help but do some research beforehand and think about how you phrase your question.
    Regards,

    Burg
  • Rozzi Rainbow
    Rozzi Rainbow Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 465
    This is a really interesting thread. I'm not an MIP but am an MAAT employed in practice. I have three years experience working in practice but even so wouldn't feel confident in setting up on my own just yet (that's just me though with not much confidence!). I don't mean to offend any MIPs as I'm sure there are lots of very good MIPs out there, but from reading this thread, and other posts from some newly qualified MIPs, I agree that it seems some clarification as to the AAT's requirements for issuing PCs should be in place.

    My personal thoughts are:
    The personal and business tax modules to have been completed.
    A minimum amount of experience gained working in a practice, with a reference from the employer.
    Appointing a more experienced MIP as a mentor who can help with queries, and give feedback.
  • Bluewednesday
    Bluewednesday Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,624
    I don't think the criticism was simple questions, more that people are being granted licences without enough relevant experience.

    I often ask questions regarding interpretation as Burg has said, I'm Certified with 9 years experience in practice and I don't know it all, no one expects you too, you just need to know where to find it out! I don't think I am uncommon so not sure the 'chartered' comment was necessarily justified.

    The concern is IF AAT is giving out MIP status without enough experience what damage can be done. Monsoon, I think you are exempted from this as you had a mentor, surely that is the least someone should have had - submitting your own tax returns and AAT accepting that as experience is not the same - has anyone ever checked these returns? I'm sure we have all seen clients coming to us having submitted their own returns incorrectly and nothing ever having been picked up.
  • andrewtdk
    andrewtdk Well-Known Registered Posts: 150
    I dont mind simple questions on the forum because at least this way they get answers and mistakes are less likely to be made and we all need confirmation at times and have different areas of expertese. I also agree with burg that a lot of it is how a question is phrased.

    Where i think there could be problems is if people are getting licences who dont use forums and dont have a mentor etc so have no backup to help them.

    Im glad this thread has taken off so well and think it may even be worth a letter to the AAT at some point to express opinions and to give them a chance to set me/us straight on the process of becoming an MIP if i am making it sound much simplier than it is
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071
    jow774 wrote: »
    Well said Monsoon, especially the bit about yourself, how refreshingly honest.
    Thanks
    jow774 wrote: »
    As for the Industry issue, I work in industry and complete tax returns for the owner of the business and the owner of the group and have done for 10 years. The level of complication of these returns is far beyond your average plumber, builder, etc etc. So am I not suitably qualified to complete tax returns cause I work in Industry?
    I think in your case that is experience - I think the industry comments are more aimed at those who do lots of, say, budgets and cashflows but no tax work.
    jow774 wrote: »
    Being a successful mip (which I am not yet as am still exempt through lack of clients, lol) requires alot more than just a licence. The AAT could hand out hundreds of certificates but the amount of people who make a go of it are relatively few because it takes confidence, hard work and lots of other stuff to succeed, therefore there is little likelihood of devaluing the scheme.
    Good point, I like it.
    andrewtdk wrote: »
    The main issue is that i just feel that the AAT should make sure the people it gives a licence to are competent.

    I think the main problem here is that the AAT seem to be selling the qualification to people who just want to do a quick qualification and become an accountant without any relevant experience. I think it should be made clear to people on starting that after finishing the qualification you need to prove you have the relevant experience as well as passing the tests.
    I'm not sure where you are getting this from, because the AAT do most definitely require people to have at least 12 months relevant experience before granting them a licence.

    I do see what you are saying and I know the AAT do take this stuff seriously. I think it would be helpful if we could get the actual criteria for becoming a MIP and get it as a sticky in the MIP forum so all can see it.
    andrewtdk wrote: »
    I’m not saying MIP’s need to know everything but do you really feel that the AAT is enough on its own to sell your services as an accountant?
    Backed up with enough experience yes. On its own and with sketchy experience, no.
    anniem wrote: »
    It's a bit of a catch 22 though isn't it? You qualify, have an MIP certificate and think you know loads ...... then the clients start arriving; and you realise that actually (perhaps) you don't know quite as much as you thought you did!!!!!
    This is exactly it. I actually think it would be very few people who would realise they didn't know how to do something and blunder on regardless. The rest of us are savvy enough to ask someone!
    anniem wrote: »
    Monsoon mentioned people who are MIP's working alone; I am one of those, but I feel embarrassed to ask ANY questions on here for fear of a more experienced MIP ridiculing me. Yet where would you want me to go to ask my 'silly' (to you) question????? On here I know that there are a lot of more experienced people than me. Should I not ask the question for fear of reprisal and sarcastic comments??? Or do I commit the worse sin of dis-service to my client for not knowing???
    Mrs, I want you to ask on here, and I will personally kick anyone's butt who criticises you for asking. I know you are conscientious and competent and we all need help sometimes. I'm really, really sad that you feel this way, and I'm sure you aren't the only one. This forum is such a great resource with some great contributors, so it's a tragedy that some people feel too intimidated to ask.

    Furthermore, asking 'silly' questions helps all of us, especially newer MIPs. I can't tell you how much I learn simply from reading other peoples' silly questions!!

    I hope you know you can always ask me if you ever need to!
    anniem wrote: »
    Please don't make people feel stupid for asking daft questions; it is far better that they ask what they don't know than they get it wrong because they felt intimidated.
    Yes, yes, yes and yes.
    GinnyBee wrote: »
    I do wonder if the idea of having a professional reference to support your application might be a good idea?
    It's a very good idea. And thank you for your kind words!
    burg wrote: »
    I agree with both sides that licences can appear to be granted a little easily at times but is this potentially down to question phrasing?

    Scenario:
    Your posting a question and you have an answer but your not quite sure. Legislation isn't completely clear and is open to interpretation (isn't it all?!). Do you show you have thought and quite your post referring to your answer and asking for thoughts? OR do you write an open ended question to get a possible range of answers which may or may not confirm your findings?

    I think the above is where people get stuck and can make people seem as though they want a lot of hand holding and maybe shouldn't have a licence.
    [...]
    My suggestion is to use the forums to help but do some research beforehand and think about how you phrase your question.
    Absolutely also! This is exactly what I was getting at.
    Appointing a more experienced MIP as a mentor who can help with queries, and give feedback.
    I fully support this - it needs experienced MIPs to volunteer though, which means giving their time freely. I think all MIPs with a good few years experience should consider volunteering. I believe a mentor scheme was in place some years ago, or was trialled, or something (I'm not sure) but it needs folk to volunteer (my mentor was unofficial). If any MIPs would consider it, it may be worth emailing the MIP team at the AAT to register your interest.

    andrewtdk wrote: »
    I dont mind simple questions on the forum because at least this way they get answers and mistakes are less likely to be made and we all need confirmation at times and have different areas of expertese. I also agree with burg that a lot of it is how a question is phrased.

    Where i think there could be problems is if people are getting licences who dont use forums and dont have a mentor etc so have no backup to help them.
    As I've said above, I think very, very few people will be over-confident enough to charge ahead without realising or caring that they don't know what they are doing.

    I think it would also be really useful if everyone was actually clear on what it takes to get a MIP licence. If I have time (haha) I will look it up and post this week.
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071
  • Rozzi Rainbow
    Rozzi Rainbow Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 465
    Monsoon wrote: »
    I fully support this - it needs experienced MIPs to volunteer though, which means giving their time freely. I think all MIPs with a good few years experience should consider volunteering. I believe a mentor scheme was in place some years ago, or was trialled, or something (I'm not sure) but it needs folk to volunteer (my mentor was unofficial). If any MIPs would consider it, it may be worth emailing the MIP team at the AAT to register your interest.

    Thanks Monsoon, perhaps if MIPs who became successful mentors were to receive a discount of some sorts on their membership fees? That might encourage more volunteers. And it will still benefit the AAT overall as they know new MIPs are being supported, and able to provide the good service we all expect of AAT memebrs.
  • andrewtdk
    andrewtdk Well-Known Registered Posts: 150
    I dont know how to work the quotes on posts but Monsoon where you said you dont know where i am getting the info on people wanting to pass the exams then go into practise i am just basing this on a few posts on here who were suprised that they could not become a member as they didnt realise they needed experience aswell. (Granted this is different from becoming an MIP) but i just think it should be made clear to people that you need experience to become a member and an mip. Like i have said i am only basing it on a few posts i have read and it may be that this is a very rare occasion and it may be that the AAT explains the requirements to people perfectly well it was just a point i thought might be worth looking at.

    I think my posts are coming off as a bit more "extreme" than they are meant to, im not saying there should be a big over haul of the system but felt that it may be worth looking into the ideas posted here about providing a reference etc and i think this is a view a lot of people seem to agree with. Also i feel it may be worth getting the AAT to clarify what counts as relevant experience such as filing your own personal tax return.
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071
    andrewtdk wrote: »
    where i am getting the info on people wanting to pass the exams then go into practise i am just basing this on a few posts on here who were suprised that they could not become a member as they didnt realise they needed experience aswell. (Granted this is different from becoming an MIP) but i just think it should be made clear to people that you need experience to become a member and an mip.

    I think the AAT make it very clear but people actually need to read the AAT website and associated literature ;-) The AAT provide a lot of information and I think a lot of people ask questions before researching the answers themselves!

    Your posts aren't coming off extreme at all, I completely understand what you're saying. I am also in agreement with the professional reference for becoming a MIP as well as a MAAT. I'd also be interested to know if "doing your own tax return" counts as enough experience to be licenced in personal tax - I can't believe it does.

    PS - if you press the "quote" button on the bottom of a person's post, it will create a reply with a quote in it :)
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071
    To clarify on the experience point, the AAT have said this:

    "Just to clarify, we wouldn’t view someone completing their own tax return as enough experience to offer the taxation services, we would be looking for specific experience in each tax area in an employed, self employed or voluntary capacity."
  • andrewtdk
    andrewtdk Well-Known Registered Posts: 150
    Thank you for getting clarification Monsoon, i guess the AAT's current requirements for MIP's is probably fine then. The problems are maybe just down to miss understandings and possibly exagerations by some people. Reasurring to find that the AAT are stricter than i was worried they may have been
  • Mr T
    Mr T Just Joined Registered Posts: 2
    Hi anniem

    I was reading your reply to the messages in relation to the current thread and I agree completely. I am also just waiting on my final results and once I gain my qualification I will be applying for the MIP status. I put my hands up and say I dont know everything and thats why I will be continuing studies via the ACCA and I have friend who is ACA qualified and will be acting as my mentor. I was just wondering if there is any possibility I could meet up with you and see your set up and hopefully get a bit of practical experience.
  • burg
    burg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,441
    Mr T - Do have a look at the ACCA rules as you will be limited to bookkeeping to TB and VAT Returns unless ACCA themselves issue you with a practising certificate.
    Regards,

    Burg
  • PAMDILL
    PAMDILL Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 718
    taskey wrote: »
    I absolutely agree too. I know I have recently posted about obtaining my license, but not to practise just yet. I want the license so I can put the letters after my name, although this is not what the qualification is about - it is a nice part of it, I earned them, I want to use them :)

    I do not feel confident enough to deal with "real life" accounts. Although I work in accounts and I do voluntary work, I still don't feel I know enough to go out in to the big bad world of my own practise, but then on the flip side, if I don't get the experience I will never be confident. I have read my study texts, sat my exams and simulations, but still don't feel I am armed with the information I would need to go it alone.

    I have had a few people asking me to do their taxes but I have declined as I feel I am not confident enough to do it for them, and also I feel I am not qualified in that area as I did not do it during my AAT studies.

    I have worked hard for my qualification and I know all the MIP's have also done the same, so I do hope the AAT do follow up on references and verify the work experience before giving out licences.

    my tuppence worth

    Tracy

    I am with you Tracey, I have been working in accounts in industry for about 20 years now and only have to complete Audit sim to qualify and I certainly would not feel confident to set up as an MIP doing complete accounts and Tax returns.

    I have done the occasional self assessment return - mainly for my husband prior to his disability and my own ones, however only with reading through all the notes and referring to the HMRC website for guidance and only straightforward self employed people.

    I have been confident enough to complete my company accounts up to trial balance stage with accrual prepayments for the last few years but have always left the corporation tax, deferred tax etc. to the external accountant.
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