Is your training provider telling you porkies?

MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All KnowledgePosts: 4,071FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
I’m a MIP and I know someone who is studying AAT.

I was really upset to hear that she was told by her tutor that “All accounts prepared by an AAT member have to be signed off by a chartered or certified accountant before submission,” which is utterly untrue.

My friend set her straight, but the tutor still stuck by her false belief.

Mt friend doesn’t want me to contact the college or really to get involved, but I am horrified that some AAT tutors are “down-talking” the AAT. This isn’t the first time this tutor has said something derogatory about the AAT in terms of its standing and indeed the capabilities of its members, and the potential that the qualification offers.

I have suggested to the AAT that perhaps training providers need to be given a general message, to ensure lecturers/ tutors know exactly what they are teaching, as it sounds like there are possible problems that could be rectified.

Have you experienced anything like this? I would be interested to know.

Comments

  • StuartWStuartW Online Community Manager LondonPosts: 492Registered
    Hi Monsoon,

    Thanks for raising this - can you confirm you've contacted someone at AAT regarding this? If not I can direct this point, but if you have that's great!

    Thanks,

    Stuart
  • AbelAbel Feels At Home Posts: 46Registered
    It has happened to me while studying AAT LVL 2. A friend of mine from class works as an assistant for a chartered accountant. He has asked our tutor if he could use the knowledge he got from his workplace to do some accounting related jobs for a friend of his. The tutor said that if he is sure he can do it then go on. But only supervised by a chartered accountant which also has to sign the document at the end as taking responsibility for it.
    And yes, I agree that it's annoying to know that you can do something for a client or a friend but you are not allowed to because you do not have the "legal" right to do it. However, on the other hand, I think this rule is made to keep accountant wanna-be's cheating people or just messing up their records.
  • coojeecoojee Experienced Mentor Posts: 794Registered
    Abel wrote: »
    It has happened to me while studying AAT LVL 2. A friend of mine from class works as an assistant for a chartered accountant. He has asked our tutor if he could use the knowledge he got from his workplace to do some accounting related jobs for a friend of his. The tutor said that if he is sure he can do it then go on. But only supervised by a chartered accountant which also has to sign the document at the end as taking responsibility for it.
    And yes, I agree that it's annoying to know that you can do something for a client or a friend but you are not allowed to because you do not have the "legal" right to do it. However, on the other hand, I think this rule is made to keep accountant wanna-be's cheating people or just messing up their records.

    This is a bit different because your friend isn't qualified yet nor is he a member in practice. In this instance there's only certain work that a student can do without someone else having to check it first. What Monsoon is referring to is people who are fully qualified members in practice.
  • MWAUGH1983MWAUGH1983 Trusted Regular Posts: 420Registered
    This is rather worrying but I think a lot of providers will say various things on a basic level to students. Like saying that certain providers books aren't up to much but will push the same providers books for their own ends! This is rather distasteful I feel!

    It maybe the case that the tutors in the examples above dont want their students to do stuff as they may be better than them!

    The one thing I will look for in a provider is honesty and integrity; if they cant push the same principles that they preach then that is a problem!

    Martin
  • NeilHNeilH Trusted Regular Posts: 547Registered
    coojee wrote: »
    This is a bit different because your friend isn't qualified yet nor is he a member in practice. In this instance there's only certain work that a student can do without someone else having to check it first. What Monsoon is referring to is people who are fully qualified members in practice.

    Other than statutory audit, financial services and insolvency, a student or non qualified person can actually perform any other area of accounting work, including the preparation of financial statements. The professional body the student/accountant is a member of may have it's own regulations, such as the requirement of a practicing certificate. In the case of the AAT a student can undertake a full range of accounting services provided they do not refer to their association with the AAT and only undertake work they are are competent to carry out. However, the ACCA (for example) have quite stringent regulations on these matters and in fact a self employed AAT student can do more than a member of the ACCA who doesn't hold a practicing certificate.

    On the point of financial statements, the "signing off" issue gets banded around a lot and seems to be mis-understood. Accountants don't sign off the accounts as such, if the accounts require an audit, then the auditors will sign an audit report. However, it is the directors of the company who are responsible for the accounts and as such a director will sign the accounts (balance sheet). In some cases for un-audited accounts, the accountant may include an accountants report, but this is not to provide any assurance on the accounts but rather to state that they were prepared from the clients records etc. Some bodies (banks etc) may require accounts prepared by a qualified accountant, but this is not the same level of assurance as an audit.

    Neil
  • coojeecoojee Experienced Mentor Posts: 794Registered
    NeilH wrote: »
    Other than statutory audit, financial services and insolvency, a student or non qualified person can actually perform any other area of accounting work, including the preparation of financial statements. The professional body the student/accountant is a member of may have it's own regulations, such as the requirement of a practicing certificate. In the case of the AAT a student can undertake a full range of accounting services provided they do not refer to their association with the AAT and only undertake work they are are competent to carry out. However, the ACCA (for example) have quite stringent regulations on these matters and in fact a self employed AAT student can do more than a member of the ACCA who doesn't hold a practicing certificate.

    On the point of financial statements, the "signing off" issue gets banded around a lot and seems to be mis-understood. Accountants don't sign off the accounts as such, if the accounts require an audit, then the auditors will sign an audit report. However, it is the directors of the company who are responsible for the accounts and as such a director will sign the accounts (balance sheet). In some cases for un-audited accounts, the accountant may include an accountants report, but this is not to provide any assurance on the accounts but rather to state that they were prepared from the clients records etc. Some bodies (banks etc) may require accounts prepared by a qualified accountant, but this is not the same level of assurance as an audit.

    Neil

    I stand corrected then.
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