Continuity Practice Cover

Alicia84Alicia84 Registered Posts: 46
Hi Everyone!
I have been running my own Accountancy business for the last few years and recently I have had an influx of people wanting me to do their books for them. Subsequently, as I am now a Licensed Member I need to put some Continuity Cover in place in order to accept the work I have been offered.
I was just wondering if anybody would be willing to act as my cover? If needed, I can return the favour.

Any help/suggestions would be much appreciated.

Many thanks in advance :-)

Comments

  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,356
    Hi @Alicia84
    It may help if you tell us where you are based - although continuity of practice can be provided remotely depending on your client base :)
  • readerreader Experienced Mentor MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,013
    Maybe worth re-posting this message in the general accounting section (rather than tax) as the general accounting section gets around 30k+ views.
  • readerreader Experienced Mentor MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,013
    Well around 2.5k is from you and me and marie noelle, so only leaves 27.5k per decade(?) from the extinct members
    MarieNoelle
  • Alicia84Alicia84 Registered Posts: 46
    Hi guys - I'm based in Southampton however, at present most of the work is fairly basic so covering it remotely would be ok.
    Worst case scenario, information could be posted if necessary as none of my clients (at present) have more than a card folder full of info.
    thanks for the tips, I'll repost in General Accounting :-)
  • readerreader Experienced Mentor MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,013
    I think this continuity arrangement thing is a bit of overkill by AAT to be honest.

    In the unlikely event you are taken ill/have an accident you will still be able to get things done via computer, phone, tablet, etc.

    If you die then the client would need to find a new accountant from the AAT directory, google, word of mouth, etc.

    Having a continuity arrangement isn't going to help.

    I know my post is of no help to you Alicia. Although I will finish by saying I use a friend at work.
  • Alicia84Alicia84 Registered Posts: 46
    I totally agree! It's ridiculous tbh.
    Unfortunately I work in industry so I am the only qualified person here :-(

    Really don't know how I can get around this - just seems like another thing AAT do to try and hold people back!
  • readerreader Experienced Mentor MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,013
    I think it is overkill by the AAT to be honest. I don't think the AAT is trying to hold you back. I'm sure the AAT would love to receive payment from you in return for a piece of paper that says you can practice. The AAT achieve nothing by holding you back as you could always resign AAT and practice unqualified and if you did this the AAT would lose a customer.
  • LucyDLucyD Registered Posts: 1
    Hi @Alicia84
    I'm just starting the process of setting up as self employed and am based in Southampton. I'm also looking at the continuity cover I will need to be able to apply for AAT licence. If you haven't found anyone yet perhaps we could help each other out?
    Alicia84
  • Alicia84Alicia84 Registered Posts: 46
    @LucyD apologies for taking so long getting back to you- that sounds perfect!
    Could you possibly email me your details on [email protected] and I can email you mine.
    Thank you so much, I really appreciate it x
  • readerreader Experienced Mentor MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,013
    edited February 22
    The AAT should really just have a 'bank' of people willing to act as continuity and then in the unlikely event something happens (e.g. the accountant gets run over by a car or dies) the client can contact the AAT and get put in touch with the bank of people willing to act as continuity.

    Under the current system, if the accountant does get run over by a car or dies, the client would never know who the continuity partner is, whether they have the appropriate services on their licence, are they part time or full time, do they have employees, are they members of other organisations eg ACCA, do they charge similar fees, etc.

    This whole thing seems like nonsense to me.

    Admittedly, my post is of absolutely no help to anyone.
    mskaatAlicia84
  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,356
    Unfortunately the continuity of practice seems to be a tick box exercice for some and I don't think it's helped by the cumbersome agreement template provided by the AAT.

    Saying that, I would rather my clients are looked after by someone I have chosen rather than a complete stranger.
    Surely you would let your next of kin know where to find your will alongside your continuity agreement? Also AAT should have their details as it is a licence requirement.
    Re appropriate services I believe you have to check your continuity of practice is experienced to carry out the work.
    Re fees I believe the accountant has to carry out the engagement on the same terms, in any case the client can chose to appoint someone else.
  • readerreader Experienced Mentor MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,013
    In my case, I use a friend at work so I have no issues there. However, as you can see from the forums, it is clear that members are just hooking up with complete strangers and therefore have no idea of their competences, services, experience, PT/FT, etc. I'm sure there are members who are just desperate to put any old person's name down just to get a licence.
    mskaat
  • readerreader Experienced Mentor MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,013
    I would love to know in the last 5 years how many times the AAT has been approached by a member of the public to find out who their continuity partner is?

    I doubt many members include their continuity partner with their will or even speak to their continuity partner. I doubt many members even have a will!

    Even with a continuity partner, the continuity partner will not have any working papers, reference numbers, authorisations, etc. So would be in exactly the same position as a non-continuity partner.
    mskaatMarieNoelleAlicia84
  • Alicia84Alicia84 Registered Posts: 46
    Tbh I really do think it's all a load of nonsense. Yes, the AAT will have details of your cover, but truthfully, how many of your clients would even think to contact AAT and find out. Sheesh, before I was licensed most of my clients had never even heard of AAT let alone know what it was!

    Likewise, I'm pretty sure that if I dropped down dead tomorrow morning my husband would be far more concerned with the fact that I'm no longer around, plus dealing with our grieving son, sorting our own finances and arranging my funeral to even think about notifying my clients!
    reader
  • readerreader Experienced Mentor MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,013
    I wonder whose professional indemnity insurance (PII) would have to pay out if the continuity partner made a mistake.

    The original accountant's PII because they selected an incompetent continuity partner?

    Or the continuity partner because they made the mistake?

    Or both?
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