Aren’t all accountants qualified?

Aren’t all accountants qualified?

This may sound like a very odd question but we come across a number of new clients who, when asked, always say their previous accountant is qualified without giving it a second thought.  On investigation this is not always the case as the word ‘accountant’ is not a legal term.  You yourself can call yourself an ‘accountant’ right now, it is as simple as that!

I want to tell you a true story that happened very recently.  A person, let us call him

Mr What-is-the-difference, was in business and had an accountant (not qualified).  This accountant had not filed the company’s accounts and the company had then been struck off by Companies House!  When this person found out and chased his accountant for an answer, the accountant suddenly became unavailable to his calls and messages.  Mr What-is-the-difference was very concerned because there was £10,000 left in the company.  On contacting us, we discovered the company was late in a number of areas and the penalties that needed to be paid before the company could be resurrected amounted to £9,800.  There is little point in doing this and Mr What-is-the-difference’s only option would now be to try and sue the unqualified accountant.

How can someone in business try to avoid this situation?  The answer is to look for an accountant that has a Chartered status.  They would have trained for exams for approximately seven years and would continue to study each year, which we call ‘continued professional development’.

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