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Accountant?

Alice WhiteAlice White New MemberRegistered Posts: 12
Does anyone know when we can call ourselves accountants?

Someone told me I had to take ACCA first, but then I read somewhere that you can finish AAT and be an accountant.

Is there a rule?

Comments

  • beverly hudsonbeverly hudson Feels At Home Registered Posts: 95
    When you qualify as AAT you will be a qualified accounting technician, not a qualified accountant. A qualified accountant is an accountant qualified under a CCAB body.
  • Alice WhiteAlice White New Member Registered Posts: 12
    But i think i've seen AAT members say they're accountants. Why would that be?
  • beverly hudsonbeverly hudson Feels At Home Registered Posts: 95
    You are a qualified accountant under CCAB regulation. AAT does not currently have that status so you cannot be recognised as an accountant in the normal sense.
  • Alice WhiteAlice White New Member Registered Posts: 12
    Thank you. That's nice and clear.
  • deanshepherddeanshepherd Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,809
    Nice and clear.. but not necessarily correct!

    Whether you are an accountant or not is a matter of fact, not qualification.

    Being a CCAB member allows you to be called a 'chartered accountant' which is the only protected term in the industry.

    There are plenty of perfectly legitimate accountants who have no recognised qualification whatsoever. There are also plenty of accountants who are members of non CCAB bodies such as AAT, IFA, AIA, CPA etc..

    This debate can run for days. Do a google search and you will probably see this debate on many forums.


    Just to add..

    - Beverley has used the expression 'qualified accountant' which I am not sure is what you actually asked. If you are talking to people within the industry and you use the term 'qualified accountant' then they will assume you mean a CCAB member. It is all about context and to whom you are talking to at the time.
  • peugeotpeugeot Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 624
    What I find intriguing where this topic is concerned is the sheer intensity of it and how accountants (note I say 'accountants' and not 'qualified accountants') in all areas of the profession view it. On Accountingweb this subject always seems to set debates off.

    I find that generally if you describe yourself as an accountant, the next response by someone not in the profession is about how they can minimise tax rather than who you're qualified with (or not in some cases).

    However, the subject keeps cropping up and I suspect it will do so for years to come. I say this because I read yesterday in 'Accounting and Business' - a magazine for ACCA members - that 93% of CCAB members want the term 'accountant' protecting, so I think it will be interesting to see how this develops in the coming months/years and if it is implemented, what will non-qualified accountants be called I wonder?

    They have protected the term in Ireland - does anyone know what accountants are called over there?

    Kind regards
    Steve
  • Alice WhiteAlice White New Member Registered Posts: 12
    That was interesting, especially the Irish comment. I've looked into it and found this:

    Ireland tends to take its lead from the United Kingdom. In a positive move, the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority has recommended to the Minister for Trade & Commerce, Michael Ahern, that the term "accountant" be statutorily protected, only allowing members of recognized bodies to use the term. RTE news article on proposed statutory recognition of term "accountant"

    The website also stated:

    The requirements for entry in the profession of accounting vary from country to country.

    Accountants may be licensed by a variety of organizations, such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Institute of Chartered Accountants, and are recognized by titles such as Chartered Certified Accountant, Chartered Accountant, Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, Certified General Accountant and Certified Practicing Accountant. Many countries recognize two or more accounting bodies. There is, however, no legal requirement for an accountant to be a paid-up member of one of the many Institutes and other bodies which are effectively a form of professional trade union. Unlike the Law Society, which can legally stop a solicitor from practicing, accountancy institutes do not have such authority. Generally, certain specialized areas of accountancy such as auditing and insolvency are tightly regulated


    Although the list does not include AAT, it does not exclude it.
  • deanshepherddeanshepherd Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,809
    The Irish case is very interesting. The much publicised go ahead was given to protecting the term 'accountant' last year but I understand that the enabling legislation has yet to hit the statute book.

    A governing body has been set up to regulate the 9 recognised bodies in Ireland who will be authorised to allow their members to use the term 'accountant'.

    Non-members of the prescribed bodies will be able to carry on as normal but rather than call themselves accountants they have to come up with some other moniker, most commonly providers of accounting services.

    You say tomato, I say tomato..

    Very different to the protection afforded to the legal profession where qualification is mandatory.

    The CCAB are still campaigning for the term to be protected in the UK but I cannot see any Government backing this idea until the effect in Ireland has been quantified. Unfortunately (for the CCAB at least) little seems to have been gained from the exercise in Ireland.

    The authorities were reluctant to ban the non-qualifieds from practising altogether, more they wanted the public to be aware that they were not members of the 9 prescribed bodies and spent considerable public funds raising awareness of this fact. However, this seems to have backfired somewhat because now there is a perception divide amongst those that can call themselves 'accountants' and those that provide 'accountancy services' such that some prescribed members are now finding it difficult to compete in the lower end of the market as the public now believe that they are going to be over-priced.

    Simon Sweetman wrote an insightful article a few years ago (here) whereby, as a closing comment, he suggested many consumers would rather a friendly 2-star service than be forced to use an expensive 5-star service. Something that appears to be ringing true in Ireland.

    I wonder how many of those 93% of CCAB members work in small practices?!
  • beverly hudsonbeverly hudson Feels At Home Registered Posts: 95
    Nice and clear.. but not necessarily correct!

    Beverley has used the expression 'qualified accountant' which I am not sure is what you actually asked. If you are talking to people within the industry and you use the term 'qualified accountant' then they will assume you mean a CCAB member. It is all about context and to whom you are talking to at the time.


    Dean you have completely misinterpreted completely what I have said. A "qualified" accountant is an accountant qualified by CCAB. An accountant qualified by AAT is a qualified Accounting Technician. I have been in this industry a long time (31 years +) and have trained AAT, ICAEW and ACCA trainee accountants as well as worked for HMRC, so I know a matter of fact when I see one you certainly don't have to tell me a "matter of fact" nor do you have to tell me what an "accountant" is, I have been one for far longer than you have.

    I agree it is a matter of who you are talking to, but I would implore you not to mislead people insofar as being something which essentially you are not. I would also implore you to develop some people skills as that is a core aspect of being an accountant.
  • deanshepherddeanshepherd Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,809
    No misunderstanding.

    I bow to your superiority.
  • BenBen New Member Registered Posts: 14
    Well!
    I go with Dean's interpretation which is absolutely correct.
    CCAB qualified accountant means one who is qualified through a CCAB member bodies.
    These are now all chartered bodies (Incorporated by royal charter).
    Only ACA was a chartered body until relatively recently.
    ACCA was called "Association of Corporate and Certified Accountants", and like the rest were not "Chartered".
    There are members of other bodies such as IFA AIA and AAT (Just look up the website of AAT it says "Look for an AAT qualified accountant")who are qualified accountants and do legitimately call themselves as such.
  • BluewednesdayBluewednesday Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,624
    Sorry Ben, I don't agree that an AAT can call themselves qualified accountants. Accountants maybe, but not qualified accountants.

    What's so wrong with being a qualified accounting technician anyway?
  • BenBen New Member Registered Posts: 14
    All know that being a "AAT" Qualified Accounting Technician is a well respected qualification, and if anything, members deserve higher status in the profession for their achievements, and attain that.
    You cannot (That's what Dean said) call yourself "Chartered Accountant" or "CCAB qualified accountant", and that is the top and botttom of it.
    Question was whether accountants other than the ones qualifying through CCAB member bodies can call themselves qualified accountants. Well! look up IFA, AIA, and other perfectly well respectable bodies.
    I don't think they will accept that they are not "accountants"; some having worked in the profession all their lives.
    CCAB members may and perhaps do claim that you shouldn't call yourself an accountant unless you're qualified through CCAB.
    However the only authority behind that claim is only the CCAB.! member bodies.
    Counter arguement then run is that, CCAB position is based more on vested interest and selfserving than being more in public interest. Counter arguement seems to have had more weight because CCAB's position is not reinforced by legislation or by any other authority. Of'course this must not be confused with the claim that anyone without proper training and qualification should be able to call themselves accountants!. Even if they do they wouldn't get far. Public members are no fools and nor is the HMRC.
  • deanshepherddeanshepherd Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,809
    Just to clarify..

    The original poster only used the term 'accountant'.

    Beverley added 'qualified' to the discussion and perhaps clouded the original issue.

    I am an accountant.

    I am qualified.

    But I do not go round saying I am a 'qualified accountant' because I think many would assume that meant CCAB qualified which I am not and do not purport to be.

    In that respect I agree with Bluewednesday.
  • BluewednesdayBluewednesday Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,624
    To be honest we would be far better raising the profile of the AAT than arguing about terms so that when we say we're a qualified accounting technician, people know what that means!!

    Any suggestions on how we can do that??
  • deanshepherddeanshepherd Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,809
    We need to get someone in the Big Brother house..

    ..any volunteers?!!

    ;)
    ibrahimmalak
  • edkavedkav Feels At Home Registered Posts: 37
    I thought maybe looking in the dictionary would help!....

    Definitions of "accountant"

    Oxford dictionary - " a person who keeps or inspects financial accounts"

    Cambridge dictionay - "a person who keeps or examines the records of money received, paid and owed by a company or person"

    Wikipedia encyclopedia - In the UK, there are no license requirements for an individual to be describe himself/herself or practice as an accountant (except in the areas of audit or insolvency) but to use certain titles requires membership of one of the many appropriate professional bodies.

    * A Chartered Certified Accountant must be a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (designatory letters ACCA or FCCA).

    * A Chartered Accountant must be a member of one of the following:
    o the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) (designatory letters ACA or FCA)
    o the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) (designatory letters CA)
    o the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI)
    o a recognised equivalent body from another Commonwealth country (designatory letters being CA(name of country) eg CA(Canada))

    * An International Accountant must be a member of the Association of International Accountants (designatory letters AIAA or FAIA).

    * A Chartered Management Accountant must be a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (designatory letters ACMA or FCMA).

    * A Chartered Public Finance Accountant must be a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (designatory letters CPFA).

    Each of these bodies admits members only after passing examinations and undergoing a period of relevant work experience. Once admitted members are expected to comply with ethical guidelines and gain appropriate professional experience.

    Chartered Certified, Chartered and International Accountants engaging in practice (i.e. selling services to the public rather than acting as an employee) must gain a "practicing certificate" by meeting further requirements such as purchasing adequate insurance and undergoing inspections.

    Accountants holding "practicing certificates" may also become Registered Auditors in accordance with the Companies Act, providing they can demonstrate the necessary professional ability in that area and submit to regular inspection. It is illegal for any individual or firm that is not a Registered Auditor to perform a company audit.

    Further restrictions apply to accountants who carry out insolvency work.

    In addition to the bodies above, the Association of Accounting Technicians offers its members training and support in accountancy skills"

    Sorry its so long - but thought it may help!!!
    :001_smile:
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