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"Accountants' report"

Given than anyone can call themselves an "accountant" (a whole different topic - let's not get into qualified or unqualified), can anyone prepare a set of accounts (assuming they're competent to do so - or even if they're not!) and sign off an "accountants' report" in the name of a firm saying they've prepared accounts from the client's records????


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Why not?

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'accountant' is not a protected name ....

so anyone can call themselves one. Its a shame that 'neuro-surgeon' is not similarly free as I have always fancied having a bash.

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If you've prepared a set of accounts then you are, by definition, an accountant

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Having a bash at neuro-surgery...

... in neuro-surgeon speak, I believe that's what is known as taking a stab. Scalpel!

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What you have to be careful of... whether you (as a member of an accounting body and an employee of a non-accounting firm) are holding yourself out as a principal in the firm by signing the report in the firm's name and therefore need to hold a practising certificate from your own institute (because the client might be misled into thinking the accounts had been prepared by a firm of eg Chartered Accountants). Might be better not to call it an "accountants' report" but head it up "work performed".


Can't I call myself a neuro-surgeon then???

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Anyone, except . . .

Funnily enough if you are a trainee member of one of the professional accountancy bodies then I think you would get into hot water if you signed yourself an "accountant" on a set of figures (even though you made no mention of being part-qualified).

The reason is that the professional body to whom you were attached would regard that as a disciplinary offence.

Also (in the UK at least) if you were charging a fee for preparing a set of accounts for a third party you would need have a supervisory body for MLR 2007 purposes.  That would involve registering as an accountant with HMRC if you were not covered by a professional body.


P.S. How long have you been suffering these headaches - and where did I leave my drill?

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Different techniques I guess ...

neuro-surgeon speak, I believe that's what is known as taking a stab. Scalpel!


You stab .. I'll continue to bash until told otherwise by my professional body ..... gosh medicine has lots of puns!!!


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David - solicitors prepare accounts...

...but are presumably OK under MLR because they're regulated by the Law Soc. There must be lots of people who prepare accounts who aren't regulated.

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Unregistered preparers

Anyone in the UK preparing accounts for fees on a self-employed basis who is not registered with a supervisory body under MLR 2007 is liable to a penalty under Reg 42 of MLR 2007 for a breach of Reg 33 in that they are acting as an accountant when not entered on the Commissioners register maintained under Reg 32.

Apologies for the legalese!

As you say, solicitors are OK because they are registered under MLR with the Law Society.


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Once again, David

Your clear and unambiguous expert legal opinion is much appreciated

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does not say how much it would be David

is the fine a piece of string as in hung out to dry?!

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Amount of the penalty

There is no statutory maximum on the amount of the penalty.  Reg 42 says,

"A designated authority may impose a penalty of such amount as it considers appropriate on a relevant person . . . for this purpose, “appropriate” means effective, proportionate and dissuasive".

Make of that what you will !

The penalty is payable to the designated authority which imposes it.


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