What is an Accountant?
According to the London School of Economics, it is “A person skilled in the recording and reporting of financial transactions”
An alternative definition is “Someone who solves a problem you didn't know you had in a way you don't understand.”
Our testimonials page will show you that we go much further than the first description and that the second one does not apply to figurefox at all! We can give some guidance in what to look for when choosing an accountant as follows:
When is an Accountant not an Accountant?
Anyone can call themselves an accountant, whether they are qualified as an accountant or not!
What makes the difference between a qualified accountant (who quotes letters after their name) is that they have professional rules and guidance to adhere to, including rules on how much Compulsory Professional Development (CPD) they have to do in a year to ensure that the advice they give is up to date and accurate. Non qualified accountants do not have any rules to follow.
The rules also prescribe levels of Professional Indemnity Insurance that they must hold, so that if for some reason advice they give is incorrect or causes you some sort of loss, then there is the opportunity of recompense.
What letters to look out for.
There are several letters to look out for, this does not include all of them, however in many cases where there are two forms, e.g.. ACCA and FCCA, the latter usually means that the individual has more than five years post qualification experience.
AAT, MAAT - The Association of Accounting Technicians
Most accountants start their career by studying for this qualification before going on to study for ACCA or ACA. This qualification is also held by many bookkeepers and accountancy staff. CPD Hours per year – no specified number
ACCA, FCCA - The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
This qualification is held by finance professionals such and financial directors, senior accounts staff and Partners in accountancy practices. CPD Hours per year – 40 including 21 verifiable
ACA, FCA - The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
This qualification is also held by finance professionals such and financial directors, senior accounts staff and Partners in accountancy practices. CPD Hours per year – no specified number, based on members judgement
ATT - The Association of Tax Technicians
This is the leading body for providing tax compliance services. CPD Hours per year – 45 including 15 verifiable
CTA - Chartered Tax Advisers
Similar to ATT, but members are qualified to a significantly higher standard. CPD Hours per year – 90 including 20 verifiable
figurefox are members of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. We maintain our learning by attending structured learning seminars provided by our professional body as well as researching material for producing training seminars and writing articles & blogs.
figurefox clients can be reassured that they are receiving relevant, up to date advice.
This article was adopted from another accountant’s website: www.ccfaccountancy.co.uk