AAT with Criminal Record

In a book I’m writing, the main character (let’s call him John) is 18, has passed AAT level 2 and 3 and is currently doing exams for level 4. John has 3 exams left until he’s passed level 4, which he expects to complete within the next 4-6 months. However 2 weeks ago John was arrested on suspicion of “fraud by false representation” and “possession of articles with intent to commit fraud”. In the worst case scenario if he is charged and convicted, what would be his best options for the future? Would it be best to try and finish all his remaining exams quickly and gain full AAT membership? What would John’s future job prospects look like with a criminal record?


  • CeeJaySix
    CeeJaySix Registered Posts: 645
    Whilst I can't specifically remember for AAT membership, I suspect it is the same as ICAEW, and you must declare criminal convictions (even if spent).

    I don't fancy John's chances of gaining full membership if he is convicted of either of the above, as they display a distinct lack of integrity and would bring the profession into disrepute.

    Even if he qualifies before being convicted, he would still have to declare it if & when he is convicted; failure to do so would carry disciplinary action, so as well as losing his membership he'd probably be fined.

    Working in practice is highly unlikely, as in my experience even if not a member of a professional body, practices will ask for the same disclosure. Industry may be slightly easier, though I still doubt any finance department would take someone with those convictions, especially so recently.

    So in the finance world options seem limited, even if setting up his own practice independently (ie. no quoting of AAT) - MiPs may be able to advise, would such a conviction hamper obtaining PII?

    John may need to suck it up, take the hit and change career.
  • SandyHood
    SandyHood Registered, Moderator Posts: 2,034 mod
    I agree.
    Convicted fraudsters and accountancy do not go together.
    If you are writing a book, your character could end up keeping the books of villains and gangsters.
    You can explore that side of accountancy. Dealing with entirely different morality to the kind of things he would have studied in his level 3 ethics unit.
    Meyer Lansky was the accountant for Lucky Luciano in New York during prohibition. Apart from him I can't recall the name of any other accountants who worked in the world of crime.
    My guess is that the violence and ruthlessness mean accountants become something else that can be disposed of.

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