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AAT Confusion. Can i sign off accounts or not!

I have recently attained a AAT Licenced Accountant certificate.

Didn't find your answer?

I am confused... am i am able to sign off limited company accounts. Or charity accounts (under 250k turnover) with this licence. I assumed not, but have received conflicting information! Anyone able to clear this up for me? Thank you

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By andrea2286
24th Oct 2019 22:36

An AAT full member can sign off the accounts for companies that do not require an audit. Companies may be audit exempt where at least two of the following conditions apply: their annual turnover is no more than £10.2 million. their assets are worth no more than £5.1 million.

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By Wanderer
25th Oct 2019 03:39

andrea2286 wrote:

I am confused... am i am able to sign off limited company accounts. Or charity accounts (under 250k turnover) with this licence. I assumed not, but have received conflicting information! Anyone able to clear this up for me? Thank you

andrea2286 wrote:

An AAT full member can sign off the accounts for companies that do not require an audit. Companies may be audit exempt where at least two of the following conditions apply: their annual turnover is no more than £10.2 million. their assets are worth no more than £5.1 million.

You appear to have posted a question then (incompletely) answered it yourself in the first reply?

Is this you?-
https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/07264863/filing-history
If it is you certainly shouldn't be 'signing off' limited company accounts.

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Replying to Wanderer:
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By paul.benny
25th Oct 2019 08:03

I don't think the OP has answered her own question. The quote refers to full members whereas the original question refers to being a 'licensed accountant'. Not that I know the difference.

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Replying to Wanderer:
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By andrea2286
26th Oct 2019 01:05

No it's not, but may i ask how you come to that conclusion that if it is, i certainly shouldn't be?

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Replying to andrea2286:
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By Wanderer
26th Oct 2019 06:46

Okay, fair enough but if you can't see why I reached the conclusion my point still stands. Look at the state of the various accounts, no where near compliant, some dormant filed when clearly the company isn't, comparatives of year x not agreeing with year x-1, loads of under disclosure, loads of unnecessary disclosure. Those filings by a company that holds themselves out to provide accountancy related services are a joke.

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Replying to Wanderer:
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By andrea2286
29th Oct 2019 15:22

My apologies, i didn't look at the accounts, just that it was a bookkeeping business and thought you had made the assumption based on them being a bookkeeping business.

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By Matrix
25th Oct 2019 06:55

What do you mean by sign off? Do you mean prepare accounts and conduct an independent examination for a charity?

I would 1) check with the body itself and 2) check whether you have sufficient experience to offer this service to the public.

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Replying to Matrix:
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By andrea2286
26th Oct 2019 01:08

Thank you.. was just looking for a quick answer last night, before looking further into it today.
The charity want me to check over the accounts, speak to the treasurer etc, and sign off to say seem all correct.
I spoke to charity regulator...they are happy for me to sign off. Thank you

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By paul.benny
25th Oct 2019 08:04

Have you asked AAT? They will give you a definitive answer.

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Replying to paul.benny:
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By Wanderer
25th Oct 2019 08:24

Ask ACCA as well, as you've previously stated that you are a student member and are applying for an ACCA membership.

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Replying to Wanderer:
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By andrea2286
26th Oct 2019 01:12

No, been on a course all week.. not had a minute to call them.
I iust assumed not, but something anothrr AAT licenced said to me, made me think i could be wrong. Just with ACCA you need 2 years post full membership to attain practice cert to sign an accountants report. I assumed it wasn't within AAT licence.. my licence says i can carry out stat accs preparation.. but doesnt specifically say about signing them off t say approved in an accountants report. I will call AAT on Monday.
Thank you

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By acceje
25th Oct 2019 08:18

What did you apply to do ? Your licence will state what you able to do - if you have applied for Financial accounting and accounts preparation for statutory purposes then you can prepare limited company accounts. Charity accounts may come under the heading "independent examination". I agree that you should check with the AAT before taking on these clients.

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By GR
25th Oct 2019 19:00

This thread shows that AAT appear to be happy to give out practising certificates even to the most clueless members.

In short, small companies do not require 'sign off'. The director can prepare their own accounts without an accountant (but can use an accountant if they choose to). If you put a non-chartered accountants report in the accounts you could sign this off but it would mean every little in my opinion and is not a requirement.

You will obviously not be able to sign off medium and large companies accounts as these will require an audit.

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Replying to GR:
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By andrea2286
26th Oct 2019 01:18

I see.
Its a minefield. I have completed all my ACCA exams, but haven't got full membership or obviously a practice certificate with them. I just didn't even think it was an option to sign a report on any accounts, until i was in a training session on a course, with an AAT Accountant.. who said something...i know i can prepare ltd co accs.. but assumed from that point, i would need to get a acca or othet body qual accountant with a practice cert to sign off before submitting to co house and hmrc

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Replying to andrea2286:
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By JoF
26th Oct 2019 09:02

Are you still an ACCA member? If you are, even with a full MAAT/FMAAT licence then you cannot go beyond TB at all until you have a licence from them, under Reg 8 of ACCA. Their rules trump the AAT rules so you need to be checking with ACCA instead. Of course if you have completed your ACCA exams but since resigned as a member then it is AAT you need to check with.

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Replying to JoF:
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By andrea2286
29th Oct 2019 15:30

I am looking to deregister as a student with ACCA. I haven't completed my PER to attain membership, and havent taken on any Ltd co accounts as yet, just looking at my options. Thank you for commenting..
I currently carry out work under an ACCA Accountant, who said he was willing to help me with my ACCA sign off.
As i have completed all my exams, i feel it a waste to not ever attain my practice certificate with them, therefore thinking of de registering with ACCA, to not break any regulations. Then once i have gained the relevant time experience to satisfy ACCA practice certificate requirements. Reapply to reinstate my membership and apply for a practice certificate. Therefore would i be best to carry on just doing bookkeeping work just now and complete my PER prior to de-registering?. Therefore i need to apply for to become a member again rather than a student. My heads boggled haha

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By Matrix
26th Oct 2019 08:52

You can check the Charities Act to see which bodies can do the independent examination. It depends on turnover. Also here is a useful article: https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/business/financial-reporting/charities-i...

The ability to research issues such as this and providing solutions and planning is key if you are looking to provide services to limited companies. It is not just about the preparation of accounts.

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Replying to Matrix:
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By andrea2286
29th Oct 2019 15:38

Thank you.
I would be doing it voluntary, for experience gained. I have just seen this this morning, as well as another document for guidance on an independent examination. I wouldn't carry out any work, without doing research into it and ensuring i was competent.
I have been an external trustee for another charity for the past 2 years now, therefore have some experience in charity accounts. But would be following the guidelines also. Thank you for taking the time to respond

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By klerg000
29th Oct 2019 11:07

Actually it depends on what you asked for in your licence when you applied.
When you filled in the application form you need to mark what you want covered by your licence. If you marked both sections and the AAT gave you the licence to cover these sections then yes you are licenced. Then you need to look at the other accounting reasons why you may or may not be licenced to sign off individual accounts like the amount for audit etc

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By rockallj
29th Oct 2019 11:37

“Are you still an ACCA member? If you are, even with a full MAAT/FMAAT licence then you cannot go beyond TB at all until you have a licence from them, under Reg 8 of ACCA. Their rules trump the AAT rules so you need to be checking with ACCA instead. Of course if you have completed your ACCA exams but since resigned as a member then it is AAT you need to check with.”

JoF is correct. You cannot go beyond TB if you are a student/qualified with ACCA until you have a practice certificate with ACCA.

You will effectively need to choose between the two prof bodies as I did. I relinquished my ACCA to be licensed under AAT.

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Replying to rockallj:
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By andrea2286
29th Oct 2019 15:33

I am looking to deregister as a student with ACCA. I haven't completed my PER to attain membership, and havent taken on any Ltd co accounts as yet, just looking at my options. Thank you for commenting..
I currently carry out work under an ACCA Accountant, who said he was willing to help me with my ACCA sign off.
As i have completed all my exams, i feel it a waste to not ever attain my practice certificate with them, therefore thinking of de registering with ACCA, to not break any regulations. Then once i have gained the relevant time experience to satisfy ACCA practice certificate requirements. Reapply to reinstate my membership and apply for a practice certificate. Therefore would i be best to carry on just doing bookkeeping work just now and complete my PER prior to de-registering?. Therefore i need to apply for to become a member again rather than a student. My heads boggled haha

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Replying to andrea2286:
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By JoF
29th Oct 2019 15:42

Dont you still need to retain 'membership' to get your sign off? Is your Accountant able to undertake the sign off?

I dont think you can just de-reg and re-reg as it suits otherwise everyone would be doing it.

These are questions I think you need to put to the ACCA.

As far as Im aware you cannot do sole traders etc self assessments as this takes you beyond TB.

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