How does one compete?

How does one compete?

Didn't find your answer?

Read this snippet in a local Free Rag and decided to dig a bit deeper. This guy operates from a bedroom on the top of a dingy looking Indian Takeaway Bar.

Though knowing nothing of accounting he describes himself as an Accountant.

He works on the front counter taking orders and approaches customers who he knows run their own businesses handing them flyers with their takeaway bags.

He majors on payrolls (which he knows little to nothing of) but he is fast spreading into the other aspects of accounting Services.

Sage Payroll is installed on his PC. He has a locally qualified accountant in Islamabad who cannot find work there who uses Log Me In so he is now in this guy's PC. The client emails the data and everything is dealt with in Islamabad including queries, RTI submissions, staff payslips are emailed.

The client here is none the wiser. He charges £15 per payroll (regardless of staff numbers) pays that guy £2

No VAT involved of course. It transpires he has over 300 clients and growing not just payrolls but limited company accounts - everything filed online from his PC with his ID,

This only came to light because an UK based relative of one his slaves who he tried to swindle by not paying him, confronted him after Friday prayers in the local mosque. A fracas developed and police were called.

Hence the making it to the local tag. BTW his standard charge is £380 for a limited company upto £50k t/o all in including directors tax returns.

You have to admire the guy but you have to ask why is it that our profession is the only one that you can make masquerade as a professional when you are anything but. Incidentally, I eventually met the guy. He could charm the birds off the trees.

Replies (38)

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By Jekyll and Hyde
04th May 2015 13:27

by offering a superior and better service
I understand your frustration and in the passed my views have been similar. In order to compete we just need to continue to provide superior and better service to allow our reputations to grow.

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By qhas
04th May 2015 13:41

Agreed
But you have to wonder why we dedicate 5 years of our lives to qualify when a guy who does or knows nothing of the subject sits on par with you. You couldn't do that of you were a doctor or solicitor. That 's life I suppose.

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Replying to PJ30:
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By andy.partridge
04th May 2015 14:06

You could

qhas wrote:
You couldn't do that of you were a doctor or solicitor. .

People masquerade as something they are not all the time. Try googling 'guilty of impersonating a doctor' and you might be surprised by the results, but you shouldn't be. Society is full of scammers, but many including the guy you have identified get caught.

You have gone into the profession because you wanted a good, long and honest career. You have invested time and money to do it. That's a good thing. You won't need to be constantly looking over your shoulder and you should sleep well. Of course, being qualified is no guarantee of honesty as a scroll through the ICAEW disciplinary reports will testify.

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By Roland195
04th May 2015 13:55

No competition

Is the sort of business who accepts a quote for accountancy services along with their chicken balti one that would pay market rate professional fees anyway?

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Replying to FirstTab:
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By qhas
17th May 2015 10:44

You'd me amazed.......

Roland195 wrote:

Is the sort of business who accepts a quote for accountancy services along with their chicken balti one that would pay market rate professional fees anyway?

if you speak with your fellow accountants I do mainly where we bounce ideas off each other. You will find, as I did, that many a client doesn't give a toss whether you are qualified or not. They see their accounting and tax affairs purely as a necessary evil and the least they can pay the better. They will argue with you every year to reduce their tax bill (by whatever means) never mind that it's your neck on the line. So, if the chicken balti man will do it great. Icing on the cake is that his charge is peanuts .
I would strongly suggest that you check this out with your pals. I'd love to know the outcome,
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By User deleted
04th May 2015 14:33

Let us go back to the old theories:

Rivalry - the compliance part of the accountancy practice is dominated by low-price (well £9.99 upwards!) competition given that anyone with with a PC can set up an accountancy business (it's no more a practice). So rivalry is often about price and price alone. Form filling work is done mostly online (cloud or otherwise) and technical quality is becoming irrelevant.

New entrants - there are no barriers to entry so all you need is a PC and two weeks of SAGE or Xero training. This means supply exceeds/nearly meets demand and that leads to Rivalry above. Demand is not dying out because more than 1000 companies are formed every day, and a substantial number get struck off daily.

Bargaining power of buyers - given the supply level it's a buyers' market which is basically down, again, to price!!!!

Power of technical knowledge, skills, competence - this is irrelevant because software is written according to the law. So anybody can operate it.

Substitute products - technological changes mean UK form filling (tax return, vat return, Co Ho filing) can all be done remotely. And given the light touch nature (or being business friendly) our regulations for small business this is likely to complicate things for local qualified practitioners.

So what can be done?

Forget that the institutes (am a member of quite a few of them!) will help, nether will the  regulatory framework will change. The only way forward is to play the market:

1. Differentiate - have some sort of edge: tax, audit, insolvency, company law, pensions , acquisitions, sector-specialists, HMRC investigations etc etc

2. Focus on specialist products e.g SEIS, EIS, SSAS, SIPP,R&D, Film tax

3. Grow global using the power of technology and Google uncle! Many small businesses in Europe/Asian fancy a UK base

Finally there is no point of being frustrated - accountants are trained to face the worst, and that's why we depreciate all assets!!!

 

 

 

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Teignmouth
By Paul Scholes
04th May 2015 18:33

andy & taxguru have summed it up

You can not compare the traditional accounting stuff with being a doctor or solicitor, they are still quite protected professions, I'd never try and operate on myself and I would struggle to DIY legal stuff.  Most of our work though (the stuff you are saying he does) can now be done by the business person or taxpayer, and many have realised they no longer need us for all they used to and so why wouldn't they just want cheap & cheerful?

Just as bookkeepers are moving into tax and accounts prep, as taxguru says, we need to move with the times and find other skills & expertise, or even a different career path.

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Replying to Matrix:
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By qhas
17th May 2015 11:10

It's the ,.....,

Paul Scholes wrote:

You can not compare the traditional accounting stuff with being a doctor or solicitor, they are still quite protected professions, I'd never try and operate on myself and I would struggle to DIY legal stuff.  Most of our work though (the stuff you are saying he does) can now be done by the business person or taxpayer, and many have realised they no longer need us for all they used to and so why wouldn't they just want cheap & cheerful?

Just as bookkeepers are moving into tax and accounts prep, as taxguru says, we need to move with the times and find other skills & expertise, or even a different career path.

different career path, as you say, that seems essentially pertinent, if you were a youngster again choosing a career would you choose one where you will graft for 5 years minimum, earning next to nothing in that time, invest in infrastructure, pay through the nose for PI, continuous procurement of CPD points, renewal of practicing certificate, the list goes on ...... And then find you have to compete with the chicken balti guy who has no GCSE's but advertises himself on the same professional bracket as you. His service may be third rate but who cares? He is 'amenable' to 'adjusting' income and/or expenditure to 'suit ' the client but had no worries. He has no Institute Disciplinary Body to strike him off. With a blasé Revenue around he carries on gaily.
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By Montrose
05th May 2015 09:54

It's called competition!

The world does not owe us a living. Auditing, the only time our professional qualification is recognised by law[other than in the case of insolvency practitioners]is not required by most businesses.

We are all suffering from disruptive technology as Paul Scholes says. Much of what we have learnt is now incorporated in software- and that trend won't stop. Have you yourself adopted modern technology?. Quill pens are no longer used..

So concentrate where your knowledge is superior to what is embedded in software.

I have yet  to meet a computer which  can negotiate with HMRC for example, or advise someone faced with marital breakup - let alone suffers from fraud..You are a business adviser - so sell that service !

 

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Replying to Tim Vane:
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By qhas
06th May 2015 21:05

My thoughts precisely

Montrose wrote:

The world does not owe us a living. Auditing, the only time our professional qualification is recognised by law[other than in the case of insolvency practitioners]is not required by most businesses.

We are all suffering from disruptive technology as Paul Scholes says. Much of what we have learnt is now incorporated in software- and that trend won't stop. Have you yourself adopted modern technology?. Quill pens are no longer used..

So concentrate where your knowledge is superior to what is embedded in software.

I have yet  to meet a computer which  can negotiate with HMRC for example, or advise someone faced with marital breakup - let alone suffers from fraud..You are a business adviser - so sell that service !

 

Happily you and I and most of us on this forum have well established practices and have extended and enhanced our services (like you describe)
from those early dark days when we first started on this yellow brick road with not one client in the bag, no great experience we could claim to have. All we had was a minimum of 5 years hard graft and a fortune spent by our parents on our upkeep and fees . We had to compete on price to get into the market - as it were. Spare a thought for those guys starting their lives now who have to compete with the type of guy I was describing. You can forget the ICAEW. They don't care about the likes of is. They see their mission in life as looking after the big boys. In fact it is run by and for them alone.
'
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By Jim100
07th May 2015 01:35

competition

Yes its harder now competing with book-keepers, AAT, outsourcing from Asia, online services, more accountants setting  up  every day (and fewer retiring) and the chancer like the bloke described above plus the fact that most people are willing to have a go themselves nowadays  to do the accounting and tax through software.  I agree its harder for qualified accountants now though the biggest casualties could be the bigger firms who lack service and fair prices. 

While its not ideal price will go down significantly as we all seek to pick up clients.  Some contribution is better than nothing for some. 

Already I am contemplating a career change or diversion maybe a side business as know I won't be able to make a great living from accountancy. It does make me really sad but have accepted the challenge. I agree differentiation is key and the one who can will do well. Something else I need to consider

I am hoping the government introduce some more complex legislation on the lines of Statutory Residency Test or Auto Enrolment that will keep accountants ticking over.  Though it could be countered by the government other ideas like getting more people out of the Tax return net and software companies introducing fully integrated accounting and tax packages bypassing the accountant. 

Though the best news ever would be if someone enshrined the definition of an "accountant"  Oh well we can dream at least.

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By Jim100
07th May 2015 10:08

Like to add

All these years of training, exams and further learning then we are competing against cowboys who just know how to press a few buttons on the software and file the accounts and tax returns and probably does not even know what CPD stand for. Oh well.

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By Jim100
08th May 2015 23:51

agreed

@Jekyll and Hyde

I totally agree with your points.  I think those that have set up without any training and qualifications  are not likely to analyse the accounts and just input the date and hope the software comes out with the right answer.  Sometime it will sometimes it wont but they don't care as they only want the fees and they are not governed by anyone so they cannot lose.   In fact, they may even collude in fraud.  HMRC are so busy that they will never find out. Ultimately, we and the country lose out

Stating the obvious  - If our field was  properly regulated then the government would gain from extra tax revenue and HMRC would probably have more confidence that the right amount of tax is being paid and maybe able to manage with less staff/

I still think yes we may take business from the large practices but the danger is these cowboys will take business from us simply because the price is ridiculously low.  The types of clients at risk would be low earners or those where we cannot add much value e.g contractors as typically after a while we are just a filing service.

 

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By Sherman Holter
09th May 2015 13:31

Or

 

Or you could start offering all your clients really cheap Indian Take-Away Food and then watch him squirm.

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By TaxMatters
09th May 2015 14:44

fighting back

I'm not sure how serious I mean this comment but for a long time I have thought that we need to give HMRC an incentive to work with us rather than against us. We know that HMRC are a law unto themselves and seldom admit they are wrong even when it flies in the face of reason.

We should be thinking about actions like filing documents on paper rather than electronically. If we could influence their internal systems (eg if they were swamped with paper) maybe we could get them to listen to our demands.

I have difficulty in believing that any qualified accountant is unable to see a difference between a take away worker and someone who has spent years training and qualifying. We are accountants and the title should be restricted to people who have qualified as such. I have no difficulty setting my status equivalent to a doctor or a solicitor. They train and qualify in an equivalent period to us and our status is well deserved.

I have a plethora of clients who came to me because they have been so badly served by the indian take away type. Most frequently because they have an inspection and the indian take away has turned their back on it because they can't cope with it. Only at that stage did the find out that they were not dealing with a qualified accountant and the institutes and HMRC simply sit on their paws - disgraceful!

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By andy.partridge
09th May 2015 15:02

@ TaxMatters

If you are a chartered accountant you can call yourself a chartered accountant. If you are not a chartered accountant then you can not.

So aren't you already getting the 'protection' that your training and status deserves?

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Replying to johngroganjga:
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By TaxMatters
09th May 2015 15:12

protection

No we are not getting the protection which our institute should be providing and if you ask me that is what we pay for. The client does not know the difference between an "accountant" and a chartered accountant and they seldom ask. If it looks as though the person is a qualified accountant why would they ask?

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By andy.partridge
09th May 2015 15:42

What you describe

Quite rightly in my view your beef is with your institute.

You seem to be saying that because your institute isn't very effective they should be let of the hook and instead you get protection by law. As I said the term 'chartered accountant', which let's face it has the added value, is protected.

I am comfortable that there are many 'unqualified' accountants who are better than me, so it would be absurd if I were to claim that they shouldn't be allowed to call themselves accountants.

There are already measures in place to guard against and punish poor accountants be they qualified or not. 

 

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Replying to waldron:
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By TaxMatters
09th May 2015 18:12

the unqualified

Andy - my beef is that none of the institutes are grabbing this nettle and no they should not be let off the hook. Even if there were unqualified people who are good I still say they should not be permitted to call themselves accountants and it is the job of the various institutes to get that put in place. There are plenty of other titles they can use to make it clear to the public that they are not qualified. In Germany the use of the title is tightly regulated and there is no reason why it shouldn't be here if only to protect the public from Indian take away workers

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By andy.partridge
09th May 2015 20:27

I misunderstood you
I didn't realise you thought that the institutes should be protecting the term 'accountant'. In my view they should be educating consumers of the value of the brand. That adds value, supports the members and helps consumers make an informed choice.

Actually, if the public wants a take away worker to do their accounts, then why not? Some tax payers happily do it themselves, which is where the hackneyed doctor analogy tends to fail.

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By Jim100
10th May 2015 22:23

of course

Of course, there should be a clear definition of an accountant in legislation.  Firstly it gives the Public some comfort they are not dealing with an amateur, Secondly, the government will have some confidence the right amount of tax is being paid if tax returns are filed by a qualified accountant.Standards of work will increase and the reputation of the profession enhanced instead of blackened by these cowboys. 

For, a personal and maybe selfish point of view it will obviously result in more work and higher fees.

Actually, there is no point in training and qualifying nowadays. You might as well take some AAT exams or better still just learn some integrated software and you would do fine.

I don't see why qualified accountants like myself should have to struggle after the hard work of training and qualifying.  

Thinking about it if I don't have any money then I too would get a takeway and get my accounts done.  At the end of the day I would just want it filed.  Maybe I would get some free poppadums too

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By TaxMatters
11th May 2015 00:44

The unqualified

Andy - you are correct in what you say but that does not mean that my view is incorrect. The institutes should be doing both enhancing the brand and protecting their members. God knows they live well enough from the fees we pay. Lets have some value for our money!

Jim - a nice balanced (if a little satirical) overview. The fact remains that the public are easily misled into believing that the take away worker can do the same job as a qualified accountant and when the duped client is challenged by HMRC then suddenly there is a vacuum.

If the public want to submit their returns on their own I have no problem with that. They have made a choice and believe they can do the job as well as we can. Should it go wrong they know their decision was incorrect. What if they use the indian take away and it goes wrong? Did they use him believing he was an accountant? This one can charm the birds out of the trees apparently and so can a few others I have come across but it is the clients that suffer.

I stick to my view that the title accountant should be a reserved title. Anyway what harm can it do to have the title reserved ? Can it really be wrong to stop people calling themselves something they are not?

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Replying to tom123:
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By andy.partridge
11th May 2015 10:57

I know I must be boring you, but . . .

TaxMatters wrote:

Anyway what harm can it do to have the title reserved ? Can it really be wrong to stop people calling themselves something they are not?

The harm:

1. It prevents people who are good at their job, doing their job.

2. It cuts off the supply of service provision, unnecessarily putting up prices for consumers.

If people do the job of an accountant, they are an accountant. You are wanting to stop people calling themselves what they are, not what they are not. What they are not are chartered accountants (or certified, or chartered management etc.) and they can not say that they are.

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By Matrix
11th May 2015 05:49

I never knew that non-qualifieds did accounting until I joined AWeb.  So I do not expect the paying public to know this. 

While I do not know why you would hold yourself out to be a professional when you are not, I am not threatened by non-qualifieds.  I have had some terrible handovers from qualified accountants.  I would not go as far as Andy and say that there are non-qualifieds who are better than me, since per above, I do not know any.

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By Ken Howard
11th May 2015 11:34

What about gas fitters, electricians, double glazing

If it's so wonderful having a free market where customer is king and regulation/protection are dirty words, where do the new rules re gas fitters and electricians and window fitting fit in?

We're updating our house and are constantly getting hit by the extra costs of having to get qualified electricians to wire up the kitchen, GasSafe registered plumbers to connect the cooker, regulated window fitters to fit the new double glazed windows, etc - all of these are costing a lot more these days.  These are all jobs that basically anyone could do in the past - "time served" was the key phrase in the old days.  Hell, you could even DIY your home if you had the inclination.  Nowadays, its a sea of regulations and certificates.  Long standing tradesmen are being forced out of their trade because they're not able to go on full time courses to be classroom-taught in exactly what they've been doing for the last 20-30-40 years.  

So why is the accountancy profession and the general public so poorly protected?

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Replying to DJKL:
James Reeves
By James Reeves
11th May 2015 11:55

Safety first

Ken Howard wrote:

So why is the accountancy profession and the general public so poorly protected?

Because nobody ever died in their sleep due to being poisoned by fumes from a faulty balance sheet.

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Replying to SXGuy:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
11th May 2015 14:43

Faulty Finances Can Ruin Your Health

James Reeves wrote:

Ken Howard wrote:

So why is the accountancy profession and the general public so poorly protected?

Because nobody ever died in their sleep due to being poisoned by fumes from a faulty balance sheet.

Having your finances b*ggered up causes major stress in people. I've seen a client of 35 turn grey over the course of an investigation, and another turn into Mr Blobby (remember him on the Noel Edwards show?) as his business slid down the pan. My village GP once told me that he prescribed horse pills to half the businessmen patients in the district, just so that they could get some sleep at night.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By andy.partridge
11th May 2015 15:10

Just goes to show

I'msorryIhaven'taclue wrote:

My village GP once told me that he prescribed horse pills to half the businessmen patients in the district, just so that they could get some sleep at night.


A qualification is no guarantee of protection for an unsuspecting member of the public from a maverick..
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By andy.partridge
11th May 2015 11:49

Physical harm

The physical harm that a cowboy's work can do to their customers and others, including visitors, neighbours and themselves means it's quite right that there is regulation.

At least you didn't say we are like doctors!

The 'qualified' accountancy profession is protected (I know I am repeating, but nobody seems to want to hear it) and the general public is protected by the law in the usual business circumstances of failing o fulfil a contract or poor workmanship. The general public is also protected from those who seek higher fees by restricting entry into their marketplace.

The failure of the public to recognise value in using a 'qualified' accountant (if that is the case) is a failure amongst qualified accountants to promote themselves effectively and a failure of the complacent institutes to support their members.

The fact is that the term 'accountant' isn't going to be protected, so let's get over that and give the public reason to prefer to use us.

  

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By TaxMatters
11th May 2015 17:14

We are all right

The problem here is that we are all right to a certain degree. Andy's point is valid but it misses the point. You are not an accountant because that is what you do, you are an accountant because that is what you were trained to do and sacrificed for several years. You are a member of a recognised institute and regulated. If then the Indian takeaway worker decided to call himself an accountant it would be much easier for the client to hold him to account when it goes wrong.

The word Chartered or Certified may be regulated but not the word accountant as it is in Europe. If we really want to be in the EEC then maybe we should harmonise? I know there is little chance of that either. Hell after 40+ years they can't even agree on the shape of a plug.

Haven makes the point about the effect of investigations. Sure - they can result from the work of a qualified accountant but they are far more likely as a result of the work of the Indian takeaway worker.

Andy - you make the point that it prevents good people doing their job. Incorrect. If they are good then let them qualify or call themselves something else. Then they can carry on with what they are doing but not commanding the premium that a genuine accountant deserves.

you also make the point about competition again I think that's the wrong side of the coin. It is the Indian takeaway worker who is eroding our price structure which takes into account all the necessary checks which need to be performed.

All the arguments in the world won't bring me away from the view that in addition to the word chartered being reserved, the word accountant should also be reserved and I make no apologies for repeating myself.

Maybe we should adopt the European approach? What you can charge is laid down by law. As a result there are no indian takeaway workers because there is no price competition in that way. That would not sit well with most of us either though.

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Replying to Moonbeam:
Stepurhan
By stepurhan
11th May 2015 17:29

Not following you here.

TaxMatters wrote:
Andy - you make the point that it prevents good people doing their job. Incorrect. If they are good then let them qualify or call themselves something else. Then they can carry on with what they are doing but not commanding the premium that a genuine accountant deserves.
Qualification under any of the institutes or associations is not a quick or cheap task. So you are saying that someone who is already good at their job should be forced to go to a lot of time and expense to prove it or not be able to do their job. For that matter, you are asking them to commit to the ongoing financial cost of being a member of said organisation. There are a number of people here who have given up their letters because they see nothing back for their annual subs. You would put these people, who have proved themselves historically, out of business.

You talk about them calling themselves something else, but that is already the situation now. Only certain people can call themselves "chartered" or "certified". Andy's argument is that it is up to the professional bodies to inform the public that this additional appellation should command a premium as "genuine accountants". If the non-genuine accountants in your view are to still be allowed to operate (because you aren't about preventing good people doing their job) what alternative are you suggesting.

I'm ACCA, and I hope that the effort I put in getting that qualification in reflected in my work. I'd still rather be respected for what I do rather than the letters I have.

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Replying to Moonbeam:
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By andy.partridge
11th May 2015 17:36

No missed point

TaxMatters wrote:

You are not an accountant because that is what you do, you are an accountant because that is what you were trained to do and sacrificed for several years. You are a member of a recognised institute and regulated. If then the Indian takeaway worker decided to call himself an accountant it would be much easier for the client to hold him to account when it goes wrong.


The training, the sacrifice (oh God, I was chained to a radiator and didn't see daylight for years) and membership of a recognised institute makes you not just an accountant, but a chartered accountant (or similar). You would have, or might have been a mere 'accountant' before you qualified depending on what you did.

Are you seriously saying that a person who as an accountant has spent their lives working in practice, but didn't pass their finals should face the double ignominy of being unable to call themselves a humble accountant, let alone a chartered accountant? That's just cruel!

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boxfile
By spilly
11th May 2015 17:53

Certified no longer
So I will be excluded from calling myself an accountant now I have resigned from the ACCA? Despite having qualified over 10 years ago and having worked in practice for 15 years as well as in business for further 10 years?
As I sat and passed the exams I feel entitled to classify myself as a Certified Accountant even if ACCA in their infinite wisdom have decided otherwise. I still belong to other accountancy bodies, just not the one who set the exams I took (and which does nothing for those dealing or working in SMEs).

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By spilly
11th May 2015 18:09

Too busy
Sorry, am way too busy getting the accounts in a muddle so someone with extra letters after their name can come in and charge loads for using my exact same figures in their audit.

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Teignmouth
By Paul Scholes
11th May 2015 19:09

What we do is no longer special.

When I qualified, I too was overwhelmingly aware of how much I'd invested into getting that qualification, but when I took my colleagues down the pub for a couple of pints after work, I was brought closer to reality by my senior partner slapping me on the back, shaking my hand and saying "congratulations, welcome to the first rung".  Like it or not, the investment and "sacrifice" that someone undertakes is purely to get that bit of paper, it's what you then do and experience that then determines what you are.

Within a few months of getting my letters, I was running audits on my own, giving investment advice and was carrying out company liquidations (and had not a clue what I was doing).

These specialist activities have, quite rightly, become regulated, and you need formal qualifications to carry them out, so what's left is, for over 90% of the time, pretty routine basic stuff, much of which can now be undertaken by the taxpayer or business person, with little if any help.  This is why any regulation of "accountant" would always have to be so narrow in what it entitled an accountant to do that the title would become meaningless and would just confuse Jack & Jill public.

I and others have worked with many accountants, without letters, who are far more capable than many accountants with letters and I'd go further and say that many of my clients know far more about preparing a set of accounts or completing a personal tax return than a freshly qualified person from a top 5 firm.

Stuff changes and what I might have seen as a justifiable elitism in the 1970s, no longer exists.

 

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By andy.partridge
17th May 2015 10:54

If this is true

It demonstrates the failure of the accountancy profession to persuade the public that there is any value in an accountancy qualification. It is not a reason to protect the word 'accountant'.

There is  marked difference between the public being misled (as they might be if someone pretended they were a chartered accountant) for which there is protection, and the public not caring one way or the other and seeking a low-cost solution.

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By andy.partridge
17th May 2015 11:37

Sweet and sour

You sound like you think life is unfair (you are right there).

Look forward. If you have the qualifications, intelligence and experience you have the tools at your disposal to succeed. You have no guarantees, but you have advantages.  It's up to you how you use them.

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By ShirleyM
17th May 2015 11:42

You don't have to stick to the bog standard work

If you were a Rolls Royce jet engine qualified engineer, would you expect the same rates when working on a bog standard transit van, or would you look for 'Rolls Royce' customers? The van driver may be able to do most of the maintenance himself anyway.

Likewise, if you are qualified, do CPD, and have PII insurance, then you can point that out to the client, not just to get better fees but to assure them they will have some comeback if you screw up.

If clients aren't that bothered, then you can't protect them.

It's like the people who let a passing 'builder' persuade them to pay £5K upfront for a new drive, and it turns out to be rubbish and it costs them another £15K to get the resulting mess put right. Some people just want 'cheap' and think they made a good choice because they saved money .... until they want the mess sorting.

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