Accountancy practice

I am AAT qualified and I’m currently studying ACCA . I’ve recently decided that I’d like to start my own accountancy practice.

Now I know that I’m not allowed to do so as I’m an ACCA student but could my wife (who has some experience with accounting) start a practice, with me working as her employee? Would she be allowed to sign of accounts for small businesses and submit their tax returns etc. I’ve seen someone say on the internet that anyone can sign off accounts and provide accountancy services, is this true? If that’s the case then what’s the point in studying?

I mean, doesn’t it just seem wrong that someone who has very little experience with accounting could quite freely start a practice and someone who is actually studying it can’t?!

I would really appreciate it if someone could help clarify this.


  • burg
    burg Moderator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,441
    It is indeed correct aht anyone can do so. The difference is how long would they last with no experience or training. I'm not sure if your suggested set up will be acceptable to ACCA but there is nothing wrong with it from a legal perspective.

    The point of studying and gaining practical experience is that you will become a qualified person with good skills and experience that can be put to good use advising and assisting clients in the most tax efficient ways of working considering their individual circumstances.

  • TreadStone
    TreadStone AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 280 ? ? ?
    The truth of the matter is that, generally,pretty much ANYONE can sign a set of accounts without a hint of a qualification.

    You don't mention how much experience you have personally or in which area of accounting you currently work, or if that is even the case. You only state your wife has "some" experience. Does she have any qualifications ?

    Without knowing this it's difficult for anyone to offer sound advice.

    What I will say though, is that if you can't answer your own question about the point of studying, that doesn't bode well. What other people do shouldn't matter really, so long as you're satisfied that personally you're going about it the right way.

    Contact ACCA, they have reasons for these stipulations. Based on what they say, this may help you decide whether continuing your studies is the best solution for you.....and your wife.....

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