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Thinking of leaving ACCA - any advice?

I'm considering ditching my practising certificate

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Hi everyone, I am looking for some practical advice from people with experience of leaving the ACCA or getting rid of their practicing certificate please.

I am an ACCA, qualified over twelve years ago, and have had a practising certificiate (PC) for the last four.  18 months ago I set up on my own and had to find a Continiuty of Practice (COP) with the ACCA.  The person who was my COP is getting rid of his PC so can no longer be my COP, and other people I know and have asked to step in are saying the same thing - they are ditching their PC becuase the costs and compliance are too much and of no benefit to their business.

ACCA are not being much help when I ask for help finding another COP and are banging their drum saying I'm in default of the regulations without actually offering me any practical support.  Right now I can't really see what I get for the £200 odd pound subscription and £400 odd PC cost. When I have asked ACCA  my questions below they are being a bit vague so I am throwing it out here:

Can I continue in practice as just an ACCA without a PC as long as I don't claim to have one?  Can I still advertise myself as an ACCA as long as Im not certifying accounts?  I'm loathe to lose my ACCA after so much time and effort to get it, but it seems pointless to keep it if I also have to have a PC which I'm struggling to get without a COP.

So I guess my main concerns or questions would be:

Is it easy enough to get PI insurance without a certificate or governing body?

I assume I will just have to register with HMRC for money laundering purposes to continue as an authorised agent with them?

Has not being an ACCA or having a PC affected your business?

Any advice or things I have not thought of from people who have been through it would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks


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08th Feb 2019 17:00

I'll do the easy ones - those with no professional qualifications can still get PI Insurance and I doubt if it's more expensive than with qualifications.
Yes, you register with HMRC for MLR. I know people who are registered in this way and it's perfectly OK.
Getting and keeping clients has precious little to do with qualifications, but how you can solve their pain.
The only problem you may have is with mortgage certification certs. As an ATT person myself, Virgin Money is the only body I've come across so far who doesn't recognise my qualifications. I got another accountant to act when a client needed a cert for them. Client has continued with me however. Most clients haven't needed to refer to me at all about mortgages.

Thanks (1)
08th Feb 2019 18:59

The cost of ACCA membership and PC is minimal - and you get tax relief on that. By the time you have paid HMRC the MLR fees, you haven't really saved anything. Some potential clients WILL do due diligence and see that you have no qualifications (as you cannot be an ACCA and practice without a PC)and will go elsewhere. That is a fact - but you will never know it as you won't get their enquiry in the first place. You also give a stick to local competitors to beat you with

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By Locutus
09th Feb 2019 12:18

AJF499 wrote:

Can I continue in practice as just an ACCA without a PC as long as I don't claim to have one?


AJF499 wrote:

Can I still advertise myself as an ACCA as long as Im not certifying accounts?

If you perform *any* work that falls within the definition of public practice (which it sounds like you do), then the answer is no.

Thanks (1)
10th Feb 2019 15:00

If I may just take exception to a point jon-griffey made, you would remain qualified as you have passed all of the exams - you simply are not a paid up member of the Association.

My analogy is that I don't need to pay anyone every year to tell them I have a degree. Why then should I pay ACCA for the pleasure of telling people that I did indeed pass their exams and have the certificate to prove it!

Of course, this ignores the supposed "benefits" that membership brings of regulation, competency cpd etc - apparently without membership you aren't capable of doing it yourself (with a little 3rd party registration where required by law)

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10th Feb 2019 16:43

I don’t think it will be important from a client perspective, but the psychological attachment can be very strong. Your institute relies on it.

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