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Online accountants should prove their qualifications

Online accountants should prove their qualifications

UK200 wants the government and accountancy industry bodies to do more to highlight the differences between qualified and unqualified accountants.

Anybody can set themselves up as an accountant and a lot of clients don’t appreciate that firms who are not regulated are offering substandard advice, albeit at a cheaper price than a regulated practice.

The MD of a firm of accountants in Chesterfield pointed out that at first glance there seems to be very little difference between a qualified or unqualified accountant. However, there are some things that an unqualified accountant cannot do.

Software packages now make it easier for limited company contractors to do their own accounts and coupled with the coalition’s proposals to reduce red tape, unqualified accountants could start to find life even easier.

The UK200 Group wants the ICAEW and the ACCA to promote the brand so that people won’t use an unregulated accountant. They would also like to see the government take action to regulate or close down operators who are unqualified.

The vice-president of UK200, Jonathan Russell said that some small accountancy firms are seriously thinking about whether the burden of regulation is now too onerous to bother with. Russell thinks that there are three possible options going forward. Either regulation has to be compulsory for all accountants, or accountants who are not qualified are barred from practising, or the regulation on those who are qualified is reduced so that they can compete on a level playing field.

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Image: 234/365 – ::ding:: a stroke of genius by B Rosen

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