Why Chartered Accountants?

Can ANYONE hold themselves out to be an ACCOUNTANT?

The short and rather amazing answer is yes!

Every year people come to us who have assumed their current ‘accountant’ is appropriately qualified only to find out, when it is too late, that they are not qualified at all. This is because legally, unlike the majority of other professions, anyone can call themselves an ‘accountant’ without any training, qualifications or experience.

So what is the difference between someone claiming to be an ‘accountant’ and an ICAEW Chartered Accountant?

Criteria 'Accountant' ICAEW Chartered Accountant
Academic training Potentially none Rigorous academic training including exams on financial management, financial reporting, auditing, business analysis and strategy, and taxation.
Practical training Potentially none At least three years practical training with an organisation that is authorised by ICAEW.
Up to date knowledge Potentially none All members must comply with ICAEW’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements, ensuring that their knowledge and skills are kept up-to-date.
Insurance Potentially none Chartered Accountants who offer accountancy services to the public must have professional indemnity insurance.
Ethics Potentially none Chartered Accountants are expected to maintain the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct.
Complaints procedure Potentially none Chartered Accountancy firms must have a complaints procedure as a mechanism for clients to hold their advisers to account if necessary.

ICAEW Chartered Accountants are subject to rigorous external review on all these issues and more. That is why appointing a Chartered Accountant means choosing the very best, up to date advice and peace of mind.