Home For accounting professionals General accounting discussion

Inappropriate course of action taken

axl2dervaxl2derv Well-KnownRegistered Posts: 172
I have today received a letter from the ACCA stating that I am in breach of the terms of the association by mentioning their name while undertaking more than just basic bookkeeping. It was brought to their attention by a member of this site. I am unsure as to why somebody on here would not approach me direct instead of going to the ACCA with my website. This type of behaviour only discourages a person not to pursue their career with the ACCA and go with another organisation. I was under the impression that we all stick together in this kind of profession and not discourage one another.

Comments

  • speegsspeegs Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 854
    That is a really awful thing to happen to you.

    Are you an ACCA? If you are why would it be a problem for someone to proudly say that they are?

    I think it is really nasty that someone would report you like that behind your back. I hope you able to sort this out in your favour.

    Speegs :thumbup1:
  • axl2dervaxl2derv Well-Known Registered Posts: 172
    Thanks.

    No I am not an ACCA student member but I was applying to be, after I finish AAT in August. I meantioned on my website that I was looking to study ACCA and expand my practice to chartered status.
  • BluewednesdayBluewednesday Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,624
    I assume the problem is that you have mentioned ACCA in your website. I'm pretty sure that the rules state that you cannot even mention them at all whilst a student.

    I know they are very strict about when and how their name is used. Before you decide to work as self employed you need to check out the practicing certificate rules as ACCA are very restrictive and you have to work for an approved practice for 3 years before you can be allowed to practice on your own. I believe CIMA are much more flexible.

    BTW I didn't report you.
  • speegsspeegs Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 854
    Wow. The rules are very strict aren't they.

    Actually, thinking about it, I could not mention the AAT until I had my practising license and even then the guidelines for using the AAT logo are very strict.

    I think if anyone sees something that they is wrong with someone elses website it is only fair that the contact the person first to giving them a chance to rectify what is obviously an innocent mistake in my opinion.

    Speegs.

    PS I didn't grass you up either.
  • peugeotpeugeot Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 624
    I didn't report you either.

    However, the ACCA have been cited in accountancy journals as the most strictest of all the professional bodies.

    The ACCA's view is that they will go to any lengths to protect the integrity of their qualification which is also the reason they place heavy restrictions on what you can do in terms of practising as a bookkeeper (because that's all you can do) unless you meet the requirements (as Annette says), undertake a period of further training and then gain a practising certificate. This is the reason that many AAT MIP's cite as the reason for not doing ACCA because it would severely limit their work.

    I had a case a couple of years ago where my brother's friend asked me to write to the tax office for him to do an 'error and mistake' claim - it was literally one letter to the taxman, but I still had to get authorisation to write the letter from ACCA and they instructed me to refer to myself as a 'Honorary Reporting Accountant' in the letter to distinguish me from other practitioners who held practising certificates in order to use the ACCA initials after my name.

    In all cases my advice to student members (especially MIPs) is to always consult ACCA before you refer to them as they are extremely strict.

    Best wishes
    Steve
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071
    Carl, sorry to hear about this.
    I know you were advised of ACCA's rules in this thread, and if you changed the words on your website as soon as you were advised, and then got reported to ACCA, then that seems unfair.

    If you continued to mention ACCA despite the advice, then unfortunately that is a risk you took and got penalised for.

    I note that your current website wording states you are a student member of AAT - I believe this is against AAT rules; until you are a MAAT you just plain can't mention AAT I believe. In the nicest way if I was a prospective client and I noted you were only a student, I'd look elsewhere. I'd change that bit on your website too.

    Good luck with everything, but from your various posts it really does seem like you are taking on more than you can handle. Yes, we do stick together as you noted in your OP, but we also tell it how it is as we want to protect the profession which includes you too!

    And it wasn't me either :)
  • SueSue Well-Known Registered Posts: 217
    Hi

    It wasn't me either!!

    I had the same problem when I first went Self Employed. I'd paid my ACCA subs and paid for the Home Study kit from BPP and ended up having to cancel my student membership.

    I do know of an AAT Member that lives locally to me who is studying ACCA, I believe she has just sat her final exams. She has told me she prepares tax returns then asks Accountants to review them for her, although they are in her name when they are passed to the Client. I don't know whether this is a way round continuing to study with the ACCA or whether she should not be doing this, but as far as I'm aware she has been doing this for at least a year. (I'm not talking about myself if anyone is wondering!!!)

    Sue
  • deanshepherddeanshepherd Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,809
    May I recommend attending this. It's free.
  • NeilHNeilH Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 547
    Sue wrote: »
    Hi

    It wasn't me either!!

    I had the same problem when I first went Self Employed. I'd paid my ACCA subs and paid for the Home Study kit from BPP and ended up having to cancel my student membership.

    I do know of an AAT Member that lives locally to me who is studying ACCA, I believe she has just sat her final exams. She has told me she prepares tax returns then asks Accountants to review them for her, although they are in her name when they are passed to the Client. I don't know whether this is a way round continuing to study with the ACCA or whether she should not be doing this, but as far as I'm aware she has been doing this for at least a year. (I'm not talking about myself if anyone is wondering!!!)

    Sue

    If she is putting her name to the returns as an individual, as opposed to a representative of a firm, I don't think this would be getting around the rules.

    Sub-contracting is a way around the rules and would mean you can count your work-experience towards the ACCA. In the eyes of the client they are a client of the firm who you sub-contract with, but it gives you the flexibility of self employment and means you can undertake more than just book-keeping.
  • SueSue Well-Known Registered Posts: 217
    Hi Axl2derv

    When you originally put your website details on here were you just asking for comments? Surely if you hadn't actually advertised your website anywhere and you were asking for people's opinions on here you hadn't really gone live with the website and as long as you removed it as soon as someone on here told you to then you haven't really done anything wrong?

    I've designed my own website and I emailed the AAT on the 3rd October asking if they could confirm that how I have used their logo is acceptable, all I have received so far is an email telling me I will receive a response within 5 working days - I'm not sure what the AAT count as working days!!!

    Sue
  • axl2dervaxl2derv Well-Known Registered Posts: 172
    Hi Sue,

    That is correct. The only people who have seen my website are the people of the AAT forum and my family. I have not advertised it yet. I never meantioned that I was a part of the ACCA, just that I would like to study with them in the future.
  • SueSue Well-Known Registered Posts: 217
    Hi Axl2derv

    I assume you've told the ACCA this? Although you won't be able to study ACCA once you are Self Employed if you are doing more than bookkeeping. The option I have gone for is ATT.

    I have just looked at your website - what is your reason behind charging higher bookkeeping hourly rates for larger companies? If you were charging a set price per size of company I could understand.

    If you are working on a larger bookkeeping job there is less admin involved for you.

    Sue
  • MrGofOxfordMrGofOxford Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 22
    Hi Carl this seems so harsh to me, what are the consequences? Is it just a letter of warning or in there any fine involved? Are you sure that someone on here has reported you? I would guess that the ACCA employ people (or 1 person) to trawl through bookeepers' & accountants' sites in order to find any misuse of their name & places like this website would be a haven for them, if someone from here has reported you then they need stringing up really, we are all in the same (or at least very similar) boat & the only reason I can think of someone doing that to you is either jealosy or competition.

    I think you should write a letter to them stating your reasons & the fact that you only stated that you are PLANNING TO STUDY ACCA. Surely that is a positive thing for ACCA rather than negative? You are promoting their course as well as proving your ambition. Maybe you could get more clues from them as to WHO it was who grassed you up?! Are you sure it was a member of the forums? If it was then I hope they're reading this safe in the knowledge that they're an absolute tw*t! Sorry but it's true!
  • axl2dervaxl2derv Well-Known Registered Posts: 172
    There is no fine involved, just a warning for me to remove any meantioning of them. I was planning on working full time at a chartered accountants and doing my business part time. Does this mean I could still study ACCA as I would be in a chartered accountants full time? My business would have nothing to do with the ACCA.

    Sue,

    I am only playing around with prices. If you have any pointers for me on how I should charge, I would be most grateful for your advice.
  • deanshepherddeanshepherd Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,809
    axl2derv wrote: »
    I was planning on working full time at a chartered accountants and doing my business part time. Does this mean I could still study ACCA as I would be in a chartered accountants full time? My business would have nothing to do with the ACCA.

    Nope, not allowed.

    If you want to join their club you have to play by their rules.

    Standard disciplinary action for practising as a student is removal from student register and exclusion from ever becoming a member. If you want to check the punishments for various infringements of ACCA rules then take a look here.
  • TigerTiger Feels At Home Registered Posts: 63
    Am I getting this right?? As an AAT Member you can practice on your own for everything including taxation (subject to experience). If the same member then starts ACCA as a student you can only do book keeping.... :confused1:
    I'm employed as an accounts technician in practice and have finished Tech level but not yet a member.... If I want to train for my ACCA how will that effect what I am doing now... I do it all just under the wing of the practice and their name and insurance etc???

    Will it be okay so long as I stay empolyed and not branch out into self employment until ACCA qualified......

    Thanks
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071
    Tiger wrote: »
    Am I getting this right?? As an AAT Member you can practice on your own for everything including taxation (subject to experience).
    Yes except you can do tax as well, not sure why you think you can't
    If the same member then starts ACCA as a student you can only do book keeping.... :confused1:
    Yes. ACCA rules.
    I'm employed as an accounts technician in practice and have finished Tech level but not yet a member.... If I want to train for my ACCA how will that effect what I am doing now... I do it all just under the wing of the practice and their name and insurance etc???
    If you are not self employed and you are employed by an ACCA firm you are fine.
    Thus:
    Will it be okay so long as I stay empolyed and not branch out into self employment until ACCA qualified......
    Absolutely :)
  • BluewednesdayBluewednesday Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,624
    Can I just clarify you don't have to be employed by an ACCA firm to be able to practice under a contract of employment?

    When you are employed you are covered by your employers PI and are able to do anything required.

    However you are not allowed to do anything in your own name that a third party may place reliance on so you are not able to sign mortgage statements etc.

    I have qualified and working towards membership in a non ACCA practice. ACCA are very restrictive about what you can and can't do so as long as you ask yourself is anyone other than your employer placing reliance on what you are producing , you'll be fine.

    I presume the distinction is made that when you prepare something for a client, your employer is checking it and therefore taking responsibility for it.
  • PGMPGM Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,954
    I have qualified and working towards membership in a non ACCA practice. ACCA are very restrictive about what you can and can't do so as long as you ask yourself is anyone other than your employer placing reliance on what you are producing , you'll be fine.

    Its been mentioned a few times how ACCA are a lot more restrictive than AAT, but I assume its well worth the time and effort involved??

    And once you can practice, what additional cover does ACCA give you?
  • TigerTiger Feels At Home Registered Posts: 63
    Thank you.... I don't think it is an ACCA registered practice I am with but from what you say I guess that won't matter.... just got to decide if I want another few years study or not!!!!! The salary difference is quite big between AAT and ACCA which will have an influence on what I do... I'm on £19K at the mo which is pretty average but not great.... like most people could do with a bit more cash about???? I don't know what to do really - I'm a mum of 3 as well as work and study so its a big commitment! :001_rolleyes:
  • NeilHNeilH Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 547
    axl2derv wrote: »
    I was planning on working full time at a chartered accountants and doing my business part time. Does this mean I could still study ACCA as I would be in a chartered accountants full time? My business would have nothing to do with the ACCA.

    Hi

    This will actually be ok providing you stick to book-keeping, payroll and VAT but you musnt refer to the ACCA connection. Check out the rules book on the ACCA website.

    Neil
  • PoodlePoodle Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 711
    Hi,

    I started ACCA but stopped after level 2 because I started on my own.

    When I sumitted my ACCA studies as CPD for my AAT practicing license it was the AAT licensing panel that pointed out the ACCA rules to me.

    I did not grass you up either.

    Poodle
  • axl2dervaxl2derv Well-Known Registered Posts: 172
    I might just study CIMA and do my own thing. The ACCA state that if you are CIMA qualified, you can own your own practice and still study with them. There are loads of exam exemptions from ACCA when you are CIMA qualified. That might be my best route.
  • monkeypuzzle47monkeypuzzle47 Feels At Home MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 134
    I was recently made an MIP, and had registered as acca student, but Ive had to stop my studies and exam entries too because of the "acca rulebook". Also wanted to use my acca study for cpd which aat accepted when i became an mip, it was me that had to check with them afterwards about this acca problem and they didnt seem to know until further investigation.

    Does anyone know any other qualifications that are open to MIPs who want to better themselves??? it seems aat-aca fast track isnt an option either.

    p.s i did not mention you either to acca, thats just wrong.!!

    Jenny
  • deanshepherddeanshepherd Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,809
    Does anyone know any other qualifications that are open to MIPs who want to better themselves???

    ATT then CTA..
  • PoodlePoodle Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 711
    Dean

    If you go for ATT or CTA am I right in saying that you may study and pass the exams but when you have finished you will not be able to register as a full member of those bodies and use the designated leters if you work for yourself in an unsupervised capacity.

    Poodle
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071
    Poodle wrote: »
    Dean

    If you go for ATT or CTA am I right in saying that you may study and pass the exams but when you have finished you will not be able to register as a full member of those bodies and use the designated leters if you work for yourself in an unsupervised capacity.

    Poodle
    I thought you could for ATT but just not for CTA?
  • deanshepherddeanshepherd Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,809
    Nope.

    You need to have 3 years relevant recent professional experience. This can be in your own practice or working for someone else.

    You also need to provide details of 2 sponsors to support your application who must, broadly speaking, be CTAs or CCAB members but this is not to qualify your experience as such but to confirm that all the details on the application are correct and that you are a 'fit and proper' person to be considered for membership.
Sign In or Register to comment.