Ignorant Chartered Accountant

Ellabobbin Registered Posts: 92 ? ? ?
Hi, I wonder if anyone has any tips on how to deal with this... I have recently met with a prospective client. The meeting went well and they asked that I take on their accounts/tax return/payroll. I duly sent my letter for professional clearance, and so the outgoing accountant knows I am both AAT and ATT qualified. Nearly a week later I receive an email saying that the previous accountant has advised them to check that I am a certified accountant and not a bookkeeper... He clearly knows I am not certified/chartered, he also knows I hold professional qualifications and am not a bookkeeper! He doesn't know I am an ATT prize winner though a friend did suggest my medal needs shoving where the sun doesn't shine lol, nor that I am currently studying my CTA... Any suggestions gratefully received, I feel now he has sown a seed of doubt our previous rapport may count for nothing 😕


  • burg
    burg Moderator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,441
    Overall clients don't really care. Can you prove to the client that Chartered/Certified does not necessarily mean they are a good accountant. Explain what this allows them to do i.e. Audits and how that really is not relative to smaller businesses anymore. Explain the type of clients you act for and possibly your good rapport with those clients and ,if true, the lack of investigations from HMRC. I am only AAT qualified. I occasionally have had potential clients ask what the difference is but many don't really care as long as they trust you and you can do a good job.

  • wannabebean
    wannabebean Registered Posts: 72 ? ? ?
    I would report him to his Chartered body. He is not allowed to imply something he manifestly knows is not true. If he has implied you are a book keeper I would report him.
  • jamesm96
    jamesm96 Registered Posts: 523
    Depends how 'wordy' you want to be I guess. My generic response to 'are you chartered' is 'I'm not chartered, but I'm qualified and have a License to practice'. Sometimes I'll explain that the licence is from the AAT and entitles me to carry out all accountancy services other than auditing. If the conversation needs to go any further I'll often mention that AAT are one of the seven accounting bodies in the UK recognised by IFAC, and I might also mention that all the major high-street lenders recognise my qualification for reference purposes.

    You could also mention that your practice is subject to the same scrutiny (as far as 'Practice Assurance' is concerned) as ICAEW firms; the 'Practice Assurance' visits being carried out by ICAEW inspectors.
  • Paul C
    Paul C Registered Posts: 193 ? ? ?
    The clients I take on have never asked. Cost is more important and they seem to be happier that I am a sole trader who works from home. I have all the AAT benefits mentioned above by people in my mind and ready to go just in case.
  • Ellabobbin
    Ellabobbin Registered Posts: 92 ? ? ?
    Thank you all!

    Well after all this time, I have finally today received the information requested from him - after a second letter, various emails and finally a letter sent recorded delivery on Monday saying I would contact ICAEW if he didn't respond.

    The only reason I let it drag a little was because he is a friend of one of the directors and I was conscious that I didn't want to cause any friction.. The director was great and after trying to get the information herself said he was being a a88e and to go ahead!

    Interestingly he didn't do the director concerned self assessment but I do now ;-)

    I do love getting letters addressed to Dear Madam though, when he knows my name!


  • babsa
    babsa Registered Posts: 118 ? ? ?
    Hi Ellabobbin,

    I work for an accountant with not letters after his name. He did all the ACCA exams apart from the last one. He has no problems getting the accounts information from other accounts. I would suggest they are sore at losing a clients. If you had to sign an accountancy certificate for a mortgage the bank would recognise MAAT . Don't let them get to you.

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