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Accountant Certificate - mortgage applications

HMR&C no longer issuing SA302's on request

I have had the most draining of days today.  I carry a practice certificate from the CPAA, although it does cover all of my CPD and also professional indemnity insurance, the main reason I have continued with the certificate is so that I can sign off the accountant certificate for mortgage applications.  If the bank doesn't accept my qualification then there really hasn't been a problem as I have just forwarded a copy of the SA302.

Not sure how many people out there are aware, but as of September this year, HMRC no longer issue the SA302's.  We can use the tax computation from our third party software along with the tax overview from HMR&C.  It seems though, that some banks are not accepting this information if the application is for a company director and instead want signed accounts from a recognised accountant.  I found out today that Virgin Money is one of those banks and have refused to accept the documents which I have sent to them.  I am in the process of trying to find a suitable accountant who will sign this off for me, but at what cost?  I am now rethinking whether I really should continue with my membership with CPAA.  The frightening thing is what will happen once my client finds out that I can't sign off on this, no doubt there will be a level of uncertainty for him and possibly the loss of a client for me.  Any suggestions would be most welcome please!!

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By Matrix
19th Oct 2017 17:48

I don't know what qualification you hold but if it is not recognised then there is nothing you can do. If you think this is a big issue then you will need to gain one of the recognised qualifications. Or pay for the accounts to be signed off by another accountant for a fee.

It is, however, great news, for the UK accounting industry since it is a step in the right direction towards some kind of regulation. Accountants similar to yourselves may need to make it clear in their terms that they do not hold a recognised qualification enabling them to sign off on mortgage applications for certain providers.

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By Summer
to Matrix
20th Oct 2017 10:17

My business is very clear as to what I hold in terms of qualifications, I would never attempt to mislead anyone and your suggestion is quite insulting.
luckily I've had a previous employer do this for me, clearly my reputation speaks for itself. Qualifications are not everything!
A great example is a statement made by a very well known business man, who said -
"Whilst at school I failed all of my exams and my best friend got 'A's in everything. My friend is now a very successful computer programmer at Microsoft, and I OWN IT!" - Bill Gates.
I run a very successful business and have previously worked in practice for 20 years, I have so much experience and can run rings around many an accountant.
I use accounting web to seek constructive information and expect the same from my peers, it is regretful that you feel the need to post negative comments but perhaps this says more about your own inadequacies and insecurities

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By Tornado
to Matrix
20th Oct 2017 10:24

The way I read the HMRC list is that those on the list will accept an SA302 downloaded by the client from their online account plus a tax overview or a substitute SA302 from commercial software plus a tax overview from an Accountant.

As far as I can see, if an Accountant is used, there is nothing to say that the Accountant has to be qualified.

Am I missing something or is it as straightforward as that?

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By Summer
to Tornado
20th Oct 2017 11:11

You are right and under normal circumstances it wouldn't be a problem, this is a bridging loan and apparently that's why they need the additional information. It's difficult because not many banks do bridging loans and so the mortgage broker isn't able to do much about it either. Looks as though I've managed to get it sorted though so a little relieved about that. Thanks for your input, much appreciated

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By Mr_awol
to Tornado
20th Oct 2017 11:20

The problem isn't the tax year overviews which the OP can provide, more with the accoutnants reference.

I'm finding it increasing popular for lenders to request the SA302/tax year overview/etc and then when they see dividends on there, the lender requests a reference on the company itself. Presumably this is to ensure that the company has sufficient income and/or reserves to keep on paying that level of dividend (stops Mr Director from voting huge divis for two years from historical profits, getting the finance, then not having the means to keep that income going).

I wouldn't be surprised if they drop the SA302/tax year overview aspect in time, and put us back where we were before that become the trendy thing to ask for.

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By Summer
to Mr_awol
20th Oct 2017 11:37

I have just found out that it is actually a bridging loan that is being sought, not a normal type of mortgage application and this is why they need the additional information. Good news for the likes of me though, nothing really changing and so moving forward I won't have any problems. Seems as though the banks will continue to accept tax overviews and computations without a problem. Sorry Matrix, it will mean that people 'like me' will be able to continue working without passing those damn exams.

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By Mr_awol
19th Oct 2017 18:15

Good luck finding another accountant who will sign it off for you. I cant think of too many circumstances where I would do so (not without conducting an appropriate amount of work on it anyhow).

Ive never heard of CPAA but they reckon they are acknowledged by 'most' banks and building societies:
http://www.acpa.org.uk/about-membership/banks-and-building-societies/

That said, there's a few big name omissions there - NatWest, Barclays, HSBC, etc from the High Street as well as many of the specialised lenders.

How do you join the CPAA and what qualifications do you have? Do any of them give examptions to one of the more traditionally recognised bodies?

Ive just had a Vmoney reference in and they accept:
ACA, FCA, CA, ACCA, FCCA, AAPA, FAPA, ACMA, FCMA, MAAT, FMAAT, AAIA, FAIA, AFA or FFA.

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By Summer
to Mr_awol
20th Oct 2017 10:15

luckily I've had a previous employer do this for me, clearly my reputation speaks for itself. Qualifications are not everything!
A great example is a statement made by a very well known business man -
"Whilst at school I failed all of my exams and my best friend got 'A's in everything. He is now a very successful computer programmer at Microsoft, and I OWN IT!" - Bill Gates.
I run a very successful business and have previously worked in practice for 20 years, I have so much experience and can run rings around many an accountant.
I use accounting web to seek constructive information and expect the same from my peers, it is regretful that you feel the need to post negative comments but perhaps this says more about your own inadequacies and insecurities

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By Mr_awol
to Summer
20th Oct 2017 11:13

Clearly, in the case of mortgage references, qualifications 'are' everything - else VM wouldn't have wanted someone from a different body to sign this off.

Your reply (copy pasted from the same irascible response you gave to Matrix) is more than a little ironic. Certainly I didn't give any negative comment towards you and neither, really, did Matrix.

You have chosen to join a certain body that isn't well recognised, and that has downsides. Two people have given fairly constructive comments and your own insecurity complex has put you straight on the defensive.

Matrix didn't insult your association, but made a rather valid point that bankers insisting on 'set' qualifications may help weed out the largely unregulated, often poor quality chancers who plague our industry. I didn't read that as a slant against you but merely a comment on the general observation.

Likewise, I made a suggestion that you might be able to use your existing qualifications and/or memberships to join a more widely recognised body - if you care to. Alternatively, like Tornado says, lobby the CPAA to try and get more lenders to give them approval. Or don't, and just accept that you wont be able to sign all documents for all banks, and might have to find someone willing to do so.

As for your former employer, I think they are in the minority who would do such a thing, but maybe others on here will disagree. I wouldn't put my name on anything that hadn't been prepared by me or under my supervision/within the firm. I think to do so is a bit foolish TBH no matter how well you know the work of the external person doing it. That said, it's a factual comment about the accounts so there's probably some get out for them - it could be seen as no different to signing a reference based on the last three years' figures, where two of those years were prepared by a previous accountant.

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By Tornado
19th Oct 2017 18:40

I suggest you contact CPAA and ask for their opinion. I guess they have a programme for signing up lenders to accept CPAA Member signatures (good progress so far) and they might just be able to give you constructive advice.

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19th Oct 2017 19:29

HMRC have published a list of the banks/lenders who have signed up to the agreement reached with the Council of Mortgage Lenders. If Virgin are not on that list you can go back to HMRC to ask again and they will help you. If they are on the list I think your only remedy is to find someone to rework your accounts on a permanent basis. Yes there is an additional cost but the alternative is to look at other lenders.

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19th Oct 2017 20:23

The disparity between banks signed up and banks paying attention is old news.

I've taken to forwarding the list of lenders to any awkward ones. That way it's their problem.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mortgage-providers-and-lender...

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to SteLacca
19th Oct 2017 22:05

So Virgin are on the list.

One good reason for going elsewhere.

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to SteLacca
20th Oct 2017 09:26

SteLacca wrote:

I've taken to forwarding the list of lenders to any awkward ones. That way it's their problem.

While I'm with you in spirit, the issue with this approach is it's really the clients who need the mortgage lender rather than the other way around and it's our clients who suffer if we can't get the lenders on-side.

I can't really blame them for their reluctance either, I've demonstrated on here before that the current SA302 replacement of tax year overview & tax computation can easily be forged by anyone with access to a word processor, were I a lender I would be looking for significant supporting information and a signed statement from a registered professional as well.

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to Duggimon
20th Oct 2017 09:37

To date, I haven't actually had a lender get arsey about it. More than happy to provide an accountants ref, if required.

Lenders are going to have to capitulate, though. HMRC are seeing to that.

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20th Oct 2017 10:24

I don't mind if HMRC issue SA302's or they don't. What I want from them is consistency. Despite their statement that they are no longer issuing SA302's I have heard cases that they will still issue them if you give them some sob story. So we will be faced with the same old embarrassing situation that you tell the client they can't have one but they ring up HMRC and get one themselves.

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to jon_griffey
20th Oct 2017 14:24

It's been our experience that they will still send them out but they want to know who the lender is who's asking for it. Hopefully this means they are doing something about the inconsistencies behind the scenes and we can end up with a process everyone agrees on.

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By Summer
20th Oct 2017 22:34

I think the real issue at hand is what happens when we, the accountant need a mortgage. Surely you can't certify your own accounts. Does this mean that we will need to appoint an accountant to prepare our accounts. I think the whole thing is quite ludicrous and don't really understand how this will work. No doubt there are many a business out there who don't use an accountant and perhaps the wife, mother, sister etc may do this for them. What about them, Any thoughts?

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to Summer
21st Oct 2017 00:23

I wouldn't worry about certifying your own accounts.

What on earth is a CPAA anyway? Is it a foreign CPA transferring over to a UK body? Never heard of it.

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By Summer
to Kim Jong Un's Hair
22nd Oct 2017 12:33

Yes, those are the letters we use CPA (certified public accountant) I believe it is quite universal just not really one of the traditional UK bodies. It's aimed at people in practice and there are various options for entry. QE is a way in but you have to prove your experience in practice, show evidence of your work, and also have a professionally qualified accountant vouch for you, I had my old boss who is a member of the ICAEW. You must keep up, and evidence the relevant CPD - 30 hours per year, carry professional indemnity insurance and be registered for money laundering. All seems pretty legitimate

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23rd Oct 2017 11:55

First time I've heard of CPA outside of US or Australia, where it is a statutory requirement to practice.

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By Summer
to Jackie0802
23rd Oct 2017 14:48

They are listed here, so seems okay, don't think they are the same as CPA in US or Australia which is slightly misleading -
http://www.accountant-directory.co.uk/content/accreditation.html

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