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Best route to working for friend

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Hi

I've been searching the internet for hours but struggling to find a concise answer. I do plan on phoning the ACCA at some point but wanted to see if I could find some information first. I'm an ACCA student (part qualified), worked in an accountancy role for 8 years and I've just sat my first strategic exam, although I'm unsure if I really want to pursue them and finish the qualification.

My friend is self employed and asked me to help with the accounting side of things, from my research I discovered that without a practicing certificate I can't actually help with the self assessment only provide to TB level, I don't work in practice and in the past have struggled to find jobs in practice that don't require practice experience so I don't see ever really being able to get a PC (and even if I did it's going to be at least 4+ years). However I've found today that there is an expemption for 'honorary' work which I think I meet the requirement for (Didn't advertise my services and don't get paid) would this enable me to actually do the self assessment in this situation?

Another situation is that the same friend is looking to start a partnership and asked if I could help with the accounts for this too - as this would be more work I'm not quite as willing to do this for free, so is my only option to only provide the book-keeping services? I have worked in roles previously that required submitting tax/vat returns for the company I've been employed by so could I become employed by the partnership and be able to do everything they require, or do you require a PC even if employed by a company/partnership?  

Any advice would be appreciated

Thanks

Replies (11)

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Scalloway Castle
By scalloway
25th Mar 2021 21:07

The best route to working for a friend is to walk in the opposite direction, particularly if you want to stay friends.

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Replying to scalloway:
boxfile
By spilly
25th Mar 2021 22:44

Totally agree. It could result in you doing masses of unpaid work, which you may end up resenting ever starting. Or your friend may not take kindly to being informed that they are spending too much, their margins are out, they are widely profitable and will be paying loads of tax, the business is loss-making - take your pick from these scenarios and add in a couple more you won’t have even thought of yet.
Maybe you could offer to set up a system for them to use, then bow out pleading insufficient time due to your studies?

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Replying to spilly:
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By Lolly111392
26th Mar 2021 13:56

In terms of the partnership I have no plans to do any unpaid work which is why I included the question regarding whether the LLP could employ me or whether that still requires a PC?
I understand the risks of working with/for friends I'm just looking for advice on if it's even possible, not whether I should do it or not. It appears giving up my membership is an option but if there is an alternative route that would be preferable.

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Replying to scalloway:
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By Paul Crowley
25th Mar 2021 22:49

+1
Just say you are not permitted by the ACCA
Otherwise get PPI insurance
How long do you intend to work for free with MTD ITSA coming in before you make a mistake that is difficult to fix and friend takes advice from someone with better experience

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By Tax Dragon
26th Mar 2021 05:52

This is one scenario in which I think the forum really can advise.

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By SXGuy
26th Mar 2021 06:46

Or drop the membership? You missed that option..

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Replying to SXGuy:
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By Lolly111392
26th Mar 2021 13:49

I've read a lot of questions that involve people saying they've dropped their membership so that's an option although I'm not too sure how that would affect future job prospects. e.g can I still claim my ACCA exams under my qualifications on my CV / would I have to tell employers that I'm not ACCA registered anymore?

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By Mr_awol
26th Mar 2021 14:15

Sorry OP - not a criticism of you per se, but isn't this pretty unprofessional of the ACCA to allow stuff like this? Aren't ACCA members doing it 'properly' and paying their subs, PI, etc more than a little unhappy that their governing body is willing to turn a blind eye to students and members providing side-lines on a commercial basis without having to jump through the same hoops?

Let's face it, this loophole of doing the accounts to TB effectively enables ACCA students/members to act for unincorporated entities and either give them the info to do their own accs/TR, or submit through the gateway using the 'client' credentials. I've known of several ACCA members with practice jobs offering 'bookkeeping' services on the side. I even took on one client whose 'bookkeeper' was an employee of their previous advisors!

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By Paul Crowley
26th Mar 2021 14:32

Find out what honorary means from ACCA
I understand a similar arrangement is OK with ICAEW but intended for people who help charities and the like Pro Bono
Quite common upon retirement
An advisor is responsible for any advice given, even if no charge.
Do you have a solid view of what expenses are reasonable and justifiable having dealt with 100s of such claims.

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By Paul Crowley
26th Mar 2021 14:36

Bookkeepers are required by law to be monitored by an HM Treasury appointed supervisory authority such as ICB and to put in place anti-money laundering controls and, specifically, to implement policies and procedures for: Customer due diligence and ongoing monitoring. Reporting procedures.

AML Overview - Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

https://www.google.com/search?q=bookeepers+and+aml&rlz=1C1GCEA_enGB871GB...

If true then need to sort AML procedures and regulation

Prior threads about dropping membership means that those agents get regulated by HMRC

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Melchett
By thestudyman
27th Mar 2021 08:36

Read and re-read here:

https://www.accaglobal.com/content/dam/ACCA_Global/Members/Forms/Honorar...

Important to meet the requirements but also just as important is if you deem yourself competent to do the work. Ethically you should not be doing accounting work (such as tax returns, final accounts) if you are not experienced or competent in that line of work.

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