Full Member - but unable to carry out bookkeeping services !!

geek84 MAAT Posts: 568 πŸ’« 🐯 πŸ’«
Hi Folks

I became a full member of the AAT recently. I would now like to provide bookkeeping services to local businesses. However, the AAT body insists that because I am now a full member, I now have to apply for their member in practuice scheme. In order for me to do that, they say that because I have not got the minimum 12 months work epxerience in book keeping, I need a mentor who can check my bookkeeping work and sign me off in order to get my MIP license. They said I cannot practice as a bookkeeper otherwise, and if I do, then I will have to resign my full membership status !! Has anybody else come across that problem before? This all seems strange to me and now I am regretting becoming a full member and it would have been better for me just to begin my bookkeeping business without bothering to apply for MAAT status !!

I know of numerous instances where a husband has becomer a sole trader (i.e. window cleaner/plumber), and his partner does the books for him. Surely, these partners have not all got book keeping qualifications!!

Any advice greatly appreciated.


  • Gem7321
    Gem7321 MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
    This is an AAT requirement and to be honest I am astonished that you have not heard of the Members in Practice policy. The licence and your membership gives credibility to your services compared to the wives of sole trader husbands who do not have bookkeeping qualifications. The AAT is your regulatory body and therefore they have to be satisfied that you are competent in performing these services and that you will act within their guidelines. It should not be viewed as an obstacle, it is an advantage that you have over non-regulated bookkeepers.
  • BeccaLouJ9
    BeccaLouJ9 FMAAT Posts: 896 Regular contributor ⭐ 😼 ⭐
    Geek, I don't know all the ins and outs of the MIP scheme, but I completely agree with Gem..

    Surely you'd WANT the backing of the AAT for your side line book keeping business? It is your professional body that you worked hard to gain membership to, why would you not want that? It can only enhance your business?

    If you haven't the relevant experience to gain the licences then isn't that a sign that maybe you should get the experience before diving in? Surely your clients would prefer someone within the MAAT MIP scheme (as it shows competence), than someone who has forgone their professional qualification because a lack of experience is preventing them complying with the regs?

    Rules are there for a reason, and all that :)

    Good luck though.

  • BeccaLouJ9
    BeccaLouJ9 FMAAT Posts: 896 Regular contributor ⭐ 😼 ⭐
    ..also I'm sure others will tell you, that if you want to start studying ACCA, as you've mentioned before, then there will be even stricter rules regarding yours book keeping aspirations.. Just a thought.

  • Diddy Mau
    Diddy Mau Registered Posts: 238 πŸŽ† 🐘 πŸŽ†
    Hi Geek

    I agree with Gem & Becca.
    a qualification on its own is good, so is experience (with no qualification). but combine these together and you have someone who knows what do to and has experience to suit.
    Becca is right, ACCA has far more rules that must be followed.

    for me, I would say.
    Stop and think, what do you want out of your qualification?
    if serious about ACCA, then go for it. But others will tell you, its not a decision to be taken lightly. If its to be a Self employed book-keeper, then look into how you would go about it.

    For me, I stopped at AAT level 4, got my letters and I'm more than happy. I have no intention of Self employed work.
    Becca is doing ATT, and I know this decision wasn't taken lightly.

    So, Geek......what do you want out of life?
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071 πŸŽ† 🐘 πŸŽ†
    I'm with the other replies. Having enough experience is important, just being qualified isn't enough :)
  • janwal
    janwal Registered Posts: 1,189

    Hi Geek

    The AAT qualification is not to be take lightly, maybe it is worth reading all the policies and rules again.

    I haven't made it yet to full membership yet as still have Level 4 to re do but already know what you can and can't do and as others have pointed out if you intend to carry onto ACCA there are a lot more tighter controls concerning what things you can do whilst studying.

    Good luck in whatever you decide.
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